The Dallas Stars are making it a habit of feverishly burrowing their way out of puck holes, but they once again managed an impressive comeback, this time against the Vancouver Canucks. It started out with Dallas dominating, only to get counterpunched and nearly put away in the middle 22 minutes of the game.
The Canucks played a tight defensive game, but Dallas poured it on them, forcing the game into 3-on-3 where Stars were reminded of how good Benn, Seguin, and Klingberg are in what became a 4-3 overtime win. At 8-2, tonight is officially tied for the best start to a season in franchise history. Just saying.
1. Miller's Crossing
#Canucks made Gaunce skate by himself in warm-up. And Miller by himself in 1st period— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) October 30, 2015
Stars owned the first ten shots of the game, hence the joke here. They were dominating play until a defensive breakdown allowed Alex Burrows a breakaway opportunity. He got a shot off, but the refs gave him the penalty shot anyway (?). Burrows capitalized on the second opportunity.
2. From Quick Cup to Sharp Puck
Sharp ties the game pic.twitter.com/RuPpiwf98k— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 30, 2015
Right after a sharp Antti Niemi save that required what you might call a...proficient perineum...
Patrick Sharp took advantage of a smart pinch by Jyrki Jokipakka. Despite the range at which Sharp took the shot, it deflected off the defender's stick creating a knucklepuck effect. Still, a stoppable shot for Ryan Miller, and one he would have liked back.
3. Klingoski, Meet Klinguya
Stars have been outshot 18-5 since starting the game with a 10-0 advantage in shots on goal.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) October 30, 2015
The Stars struggled in the second period. Which is kind of like saying Greedo struggled to shoot Han.
Not only was Vancouver doing a great job of collapsing in their own zone, and counterpunching, but Dallas gave them a helping hand with their own mental flatulence.
The most interesting narrative for Dallas was the switching of defensive pairs. John Klingberg and Alex Goligoski were split in favor of Klingberg and Johnny Oduya, with Goose on Jason Demers' left hand side. I think Ruff was trying to calm Klingberg and Demers, who seemed to fight the puck at times.
4. Michael Gruber: Extra Attacker
Glorious. pic.twitter.com/AXL5aZQ6Wg— Katie (@distracts) October 30, 2015
Humanity is probably in agreement about the certainties in life; death, taxes, and the mediocrity of Nickelback. Dallas' conducter of cunning Michael Gruber decided to troll the Vancouver Canucks by playing nothing but Nickelback for a full period. Gruber, you're a man amongst boys, but the Stars can hear the music too. Thanks for switching to nothing but Avril Lavigne. Wait...
5. Zubov, Who?
Patrick Sharp ties the game 3-3 pic.twitter.com/yNIS3HlswI— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 30, 2015
Just kidding Sergei.
Dallas nearly blew it 10 seconds into the final frame. Another defensive breakdown and Radim Vrbata paid the net bill.
But Dallas is finally starting to give fans their money's worth this season. It's not ideal, to get destroyed, ignore defense, and then make a dramatic comeback but it worked for Rocky, and it's working for the Dallas Stars at home. First Jason Demers snapped one from the blue line with Radek Faksa screening Miller pretty good. And then the above goal...
Before talking about Klingberg, it's important to note Niemi's massive save before this sequence. It won't go on any highlight reels (even though it should), but Henrik Sedin was screening Niemi. One of the point men cracked a slapper, which Sedin jumped over, that Niemi got enough glove on to send wide. That was a huge save, and required supernatural anticipation.
Sharp would put himself on hat trick watch with his second of the night off a shot by Klingberg that was really the byproduct of his contumelious puck craft*.
Klingberg reminds me a bit of a blueline Jason Spezza with his ability to dangle in a shark tank. Spezza probably doesn't listen to as much Graveyard as Klingberg might, but both share that fluid skating ability that isn't fast, but is foxy.
6. Finally, a Look at Dallas in Mutant League Hockey
another look pic.twitter.com/ebjpZqePmw— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 30, 2015
You don't really want to see the Stars in overtime, but it's gonna happen eventually, and it's not like it won't be fun.
Ruff threw out Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and John Klngberg to start the 3-on-3 madness. They looked great, but probably got less going than the oddball Cody Eakin-Patrick Sharp-Jason Demers trio. When the Art Ross triplets took the ice again, that was all she wrote. Benn made a brilliant effort to enter the zone and then did what the leading scorer in the league has a habit of doing.
If you're curious why Benn's celebration seem so spiritual, it probably had to do with this:
For those that don't know Larry Orr was the recently deceased skate shop owner the Benn brothers grew up with who had a lasing impact on the community. Hell, the Benn brothers compared him to Hans from the Mighty Ducks. What more do you need to know?
The whole story is an interesting cosmic wrinkle to what was already a special night. For those keeping count, that's 17 points in 10 games for Benn. I've always considered Benn elite, but not the kind of guy I'd expect to do things like win an Art Ross, or possibly take Ovechkin's goal scoring title away. The crow tastes good, folks.
*Sorry. I'm a Word of the Day junky, and my mission in life is to make Razor jealous if just for a split second.