There's an old proverb that says even a lion must defend himself from fleas. For the second time in two weeks, the same Dallas Stars who held a positively leonine 12-3-0 record (and at the moment are still the sole occupants of the No. 1 spot in
hell with the lid off the Central Division) couldn't swat the pesky Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Stars once again went up against a hot goalie (yes, that would be James Reimer, the Official Kryptonite of the Victory Green, who usually looks more average than this) and took plenty of shots that ended up not mattering. Alternate captain Vernon Fiddler summed up the issue:
That left the door open, as the Maple Leafs made a hard push and the Stars couldn't close out a win with a 2-1 lead. The Stars struggled with those problems last season, and they have vowed to be better in 2015-16. So far, they have been better.
"We put ourselves in position to win, and we didn't execute," Fiddler said. "It's unacceptable. We have to be better at buckling down."
Lindy Ruff tells Heika that he expects them to do just that:
"I think what's been the biggest strength of our team is the players holding each other accountable," Ruff said. "I think as a coach, when you have that, you've got a team that I think can be real dangerous, because you're not kidding each other."
There's more, so go read. [SportsDayDFW]
The NHL's general managers did talk about making nets bigger during their annual November meeting yesterday, but they're not in any hurry to actually do it. [The Hockey News]
It's worth pointing out that the Wonder Finns continue to be good news for Dallas, and Kari Lehtonen tells Heika about one, almost unprecedented factor that's helping to make the difference. [SportsDayDFW]
Meanwhile, as the Stars prepare for two divisional games in a row, Mike points out more #JustMDKthings.
Central Division standings by points percentage 1. St. Louis, .767 2. Dallas, .750 3. Minnesota, .714 4. Nashville, .714 5. Chicago, .567— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) November 11, 2015
Here are Strader and Razor in the postgame, marveling at how breakdowns in front of the net allowed a team that doesn't score a lot to somehow manage to score a lot against Dallas.
The Texas Stars lost a scrappy game to interstate rivals the San Antonio Rampage, and Rampage LW Patrick Bordeleau has earned a three-game suspension for a nasty boarding that took out Stars defender Mattias Backman. [100 Degree Hockey]
The Cedar Park squad has recalled forward Emil Molin to shore up (get it?) a squad that has sent several major offensive powers up to Dallas. The Swedish rookie has nine points in 11 games so far this season. [Idaho Steelheads]
Meanwhile, just in time for Veterans Day, Sean Shapiro talked with Texas Stars goalie Jack Campbell about his mask honoring Chris Kyle. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
Are the San Jose Sharks about to trade Patrick Marleau? At least one team is rumored to be pushing hard for the left wing's services, and Marleau has now said he would waive his no-trade clause for the Rangers, the Ducks or the Kings. [CSN Bay Area]
The Stars media team trolled Toronto pretty hard last night. Of course, Toronto trolled back. [Sportsnet]
Srsly. That isn't cheap... ...well it's cheaper than up there, but still... pic.twitter.com/th8s1G6RbC— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) November 11, 2015
Finally: Alex Ovechkin tied a personal-record 15 shots on goal last night, but didn't get the tally to break the record set by his idol (and newly minted Hall of Famer) Sergei Fedorov for most career NHL goals scored by a Russian-born player.
According to @hockey_ref, only 4 players have recorded 15 shots on goal in a game and last night was the second time Ovechkin has done it.— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) November 11, 2015
"His 15 shots on goal tied a career high" sounds hilarious when you say it out loud. Ridiculous.— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) November 11, 2015
You still don't need a reminder that Alex Ovechkin is awesome – yet BarDown provides one anyway.