Opening night was an encouraging thing for Dallas Star fans. The Stars and Chicago Blackhawks went at it like a couple of heavy-weight fighters in late season form- Back and forth, up and down the ice. It was a clean, crisp game with a lot of skill.
Then there was last night, which Stars head coach Lindy Ruff would describe quite frankly as "stupid" and "garbage."
From the Dallas Morning News, here is part of what Ruff said...
"We played stupid hockey. Lack of focus. Play like that, you deserve to lose."
"We made some great plays in the game, some guys had trouble defending early. I thought we came around. But when you have a two-goal lead, you can't do what we did. Even on the fifth goal we lost two guys on the forecheck for no reason. We let them come all the way up ice. That for me is just lack of focus. That's just garbage hockey."
"We lost focus of what we need to be. All of the sudden, we thought ‘let's try to score six or seven,' but that's not the way this league works. When you're up a couple of goals, you defend. You don't give up situations, you don't take bad penalties. You only get away with so much so long, and we paid dearly for it."
So as in Pittsburgh, as in Columbus, it's another night where they put something in the piggy bank point-wise, but it also serves as a learning experience. They have a long way to go before they reach their potential, and nights like that one are illustrative of the kinds of styles and game planning they'll see along the way as teams pay more and more attention.
It will get better. But he's right. There was some garbage hockey last night. From both teams.
- Travis Morin recorded his 100th career AHL goal last night in the Texas Stars' 1-0 win over Utica. Jussi Rynnas with the shutout. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Mystery surrounded the nature of Pascal Dupuis' injury in Pittsburgh Thursday night after a shot hit him in the back of the neck and he appeared to shaking his hands as if to verify feeling in them - he was back on the ice to the relief of many last night against the Islanders. Some reports mention a period of numbness. Either way, it appears he's fine. [Sports Injury Alert.com]
- The season for laughing at the Colorado Avalanche continues, this time as P.K. Subban breaks out of the penalty box and scores a beauty against them. [Puck Daddy] Also, they lost again last night.
- Seen here...Alex Ovechkin rubbing noses with puppies? Is he running for election? Also, something about Washington DC. See, I nailed the joke? [SBNation.com]
- Victor E. Green glamour shots? Why not? The kiddos love him. [SB Nation]
- The Dallas Stars game presentation crew strikes again, this time catching a sleeping Flyer fan on the big screen. [Twitter]
- Here our friends at Broad Street Hockey marvel at how well their fourth line did against Dallas. Like Nashville's. Like Columbus'... Hmmm... [Broad Street Hockey]
- Mike Heika says Valeri Nichushkin could return to practice this coming week. [DMN]
- Tyler Seguin's four assists can't get him into Puck Daddy's top three last night. [Puck Daddy]
- Many reported seeing Paul Stastny in a sling last night after the Blues demolished Phoenix or Arizona or whatever. [NHL.com]