Seven losses in a row. Four regulation losses in a row. The Dallas Stars cannot win a third period, and lost another to San Jose this evening. As the Stars' own broadcast foreshadowed with the game tied...
Add a couple more to that 15.
The Dallas Stars were looking pretty up 3-1 early in the third period. No Valeri Nichushkin or Cody Eakin and Anders Lindback in net... The buttons were pushed and it looked like the team had responded well, out-shooting the Sharks despite a few too many fire drills along the way.
And then Patrick Marleau scored on a power play. And then Burns scored 4-on-4 on a 2-on-1. And then Burns scored again after one of the aforementioned fire drills.
Three unanswered, bang bang bang, and the Stars woes continue to grow at an alarming pace.
Also, Tyler Seguin had a hat trick.
The Stars went four whole games without goals from Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin or Jason Spezza (or Ales Hemsky, don't you know...) so #91 thought he would make up for lost time in a hurry. The result? His fifth hat trick celebration in just 94 games with the team...
Mike Modano had six hat tricks in a Dallas Stars uniform in uhh, considerably more than 94 games. There's little doubt that at this pace, that is one record Seguin will most likely acquire from #9.
But that was it. They spent the last four-five games being a zero-line team and got back up to "one line team" tonight. Where is that balanced attack? Why acquire Spezza and Hemsky to continue to be the exact same one line team they were last season, but without the goaltending Kari Lehtonen gave them early on in 2013?
What other buttons can Lindy Ruff push? How many line combinations are there? A two-goal lead at home in the third period should be church. Absolute church. It's hard to know what to say about all of this right now, but it's easy to see where the problems start- Turnovers.
Specifically when the team is trying to transition up ice. The broadcast had a good highlight reel ("highlight") of them in the second period, and then Sergei Gonchar's panicked shoveling of the puck up the boards which resulted in a goal demonstrated it again- They simply cannot move it clean and the opportunities for counter punch are too many.
What's more than that, it's not the other team beating them. It's them beating themselves. If they're cleaner in transition... They're the team we saw last spring.
Anders Lindback played a pretty good game, so it could be a confidence builder for him, at least. None of those goals were particularly his fault. A 2-on-1, the scramble on the Burns goal, the slam dunk on the back door... Nothing he can do.
Another positive was the power play... kind of. It snapped an 0-for-17 streak and finally got back on the board, so maybe that's a load off their minds, but a couple of them in the second were not pretty as sloppy transitions haunt them there as well, yielding shorthanded chances with alarming regularity.
That's too many words wasted on another disappointment at home. The Stars stay in the basement of the Central and the necessary point percentage to even scrape into the playoffs grows more daunting every day.