It wasn't exactly a 60 minute win. But the Dallas Stars will take it following their respective Thanksgiving feasts. The game was controlled by the Canucks who owned the shot attempt battle 49 to 32, but lost the high danger scoring area chance tango 10 to 8.
The other source of control? Really bad officiating. Bad officiating is like that one really bad dish your can't-cook relative brings to Thanksgiving; you can tolerate it given the wealth of options unless no one can cook. And none of the officials could cook tonight; every interference call happened because a Star gave a Canuck dirty looks. Anyway, let's unpack this one.
1. Corsi Claustrophobia
Dallas with 37.8% Corsi For % through the first (5v5, Adj) Fiddler, Eaves & Janmark leading Corsi +/- right now.— Carolyn Wilke (@Classlicity) November 28, 2015
Dallas didn't exactly have a scintillating first period. Bad zone exits, more turnovers, and sloppy play contributed to a first period that was dominated by the usual suspects (the Sedins) and not so usual suspects (a scrappy 4th line of Derek Dorsett, Brandon Prust, and Adam Cracknell.
2. The Novice Norris
That goal was because the Stars still aren't responding appropriately to the Canucks forecheck.— Josh Lile (@JoshL1220) November 28, 2015
John Klingberg had the worst game of his career against Ottawa. Tonight didn't come close to that, but his turnover in the 2nd period came from Tuesday's Senator stench. Klingberg is still just a pup. I don't begrudge him for making mistakes. But I do begrudge the team for having trouble with what they know they need to prepare for.
3. Spezza Takes the Lead
Patrick Sharp looks very much at home in Dallas. Including tonight, he has points in his last nine games at American Airlines Center.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) November 28, 2015
Of all the players on ice this game, none were better than Jason Spezza. He was creating chances out of thin air, and his line of Mattias Janmark-Jason Spezza-Patrick Eaves was the only trio to post a positive possession differential (granted, 1-1-minus 1, respectively). Dallas made good on their PP, which has been humming all season long. Speaking of...
4. Paging Dr. Kadri
14th in NHL in penalties drawn last year. They have to get on the PP more often. Wonder if teams are being more careful since PP is good.— Josh Lile (@JoshL1220) November 28, 2015
Dallas is 31 Percent when they have 3 or more PP's in a game, but 6 Percent when they have 2 or fewer. And they haven't had a whole lot.
Luckily for Dallas, their PK was aggressive and intelligent. And only ended up giving up a single goal on the Vancouver PP despite seven chances. I don't want Dallas to get hurt, take the fall, and act indignant. But surely they can find a way to make honest work do special team theatrics.
5. 3 On 3 Theatrics
that was almost a fantastic OT goal pic.twitter.com/h7fA3o6iA6— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 28, 2015
3 on 3 is barely hockey. There are times when it looks more like Mutant League Curling. And it's fantastic. Perhaps the best moment/play of the game was this particular save by Antti Niemi. He didn't always have to be stellar, but he had to be focused. It was especially nice to see in light of the Ottawa game.
6. Undefeated Where it Counts
This season following losses, the @DallasStars are 4-0 and have gone on winning streaks of five, three, three, and five games.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) November 28, 2015
Out of all the trends, and statistics, this one should be everyone's favorite.
The Canucks play a tight, disciplined game, which helps explain why they've ended up in OT more than anyone in the league. And Dallas could never find a rhythm, in part, due to the awful officiating. So it's nice to grab the two points, and make it out alive in front of the home crowd. Still....
- Valeri Nichushkin was the other player who stood out. He had two really prime chances, and should probably get a few looks on the Janmark-Spezza line soon.
- Is it possible Jack Campbell gets the start tomorrow against a divisional opponent? It would certainly be an eccentric choice on Ruff's part if it happens. The incentive to do so isn't to break Campbell in with added pressure; but to take advantage of a warm body. Goalies tend to perform below the mean in back to backs.
- Cody Eakin is another player I noticed. For better? Sort of. For worse? Sort of. I liked how tough he was on the puck, but his reads are still of the enthusiasm over expertise variety.
- Minnesota and Nashville lost. Chicago and Winnipeg won. This is what the Central "struggling" looks like. If Dallas can beat Minnesota tomorrow, that'll be a hell of a twist of the dagger.