Editor's Note: I didn't catch the entire game because like most nerds, I had to check out the new Stars Wars film so I could talk about Stars Wars before most of my friends and family, and pull the 'Who Wants to (Expletive Deleted) Touch Me?!" Cartman treatment.
In an 82 game season, moments like this will happen; the Dallas Stars will lose. They haven't gotten used to it. That's a good thing. They lost to a team riding those bizarre luck driven runs that even talented teams become collateral damage in (just ask Nashville). They haven't gotten used to it. That's a good thing.
However, what they're beginning to get used are the broken plays in their own zone. That's not a good thing. The sky isn't falling. But there are definitely games where it gets a little foggy, and tonight was one of those nights.
1. Johnny Shorthanded Hockey
Oduya SHG pic.twitter.com/ur26M9iY5K— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 18, 2015
There is no part of the Stars' game that is better encapsulated than by what they're able to do shorthanded. Jamie Benn and Cody Eakin are typically the engines of the Power Play Counter Punch (Beakin? Ho Ho), so it was with great pleasure to see Oduddler (I'll shut up soon, I swear) join in on the kilt carousal.
2. Blueline Points: It's not just for Klingberg
Johnny Oduya had 2 goals and 10 points in 76 games last year. After tonight's goal, he now has 3 goals and 5 points in his last 5 games.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) December 18, 2015
I've been saying for awhile how critical it is for guys like Julius Honka, Niklass Hanssen, Bystrom, Backman, et al. to develop. Esa Lindell and Stephen Johns are givens; on paper, the most important blueline prospects in terms of how they can can add size and skill. But other than Klingberg, Dallas doesn't have the kind of coast to coast potential players like Roman Josi, Erik Karlsson, and Klingberg have. Dallas' prospects don't compare obviously, but Klingberg and the odd Oduya hot streak can't be the only things threatening the opponent's net. Could Nill be on Team Byfuglien?
3. Not Revenge of the Stars
Well, the Stars definitely "possessed' a good portion of this game. Only problem is that the high danger areas were compromised only 8 times in Calgary's zone; the exact same amount that Calgary compromised Dallas'. A lot of fans seemed to think that Kari Lehtonen is really bad at fighting screens. I'm not a goalie expert, but professional athletes don't rely on spider sense, and cat like reflexes. They rely on, despite the stereotypes of the high school jock who grows up to work at the gas station, cognition. Goaltenders are all about economy of movement. There's too much luggage to be anything else unless you're Hasek (or Quick). Kari's problem is not that he's bad at fighting screens (though that's a part of it, albeit a small one), but that he's bad at making predictions with traffic in front of him. Maybe I'm just being nitpicky, but it's important to make these distinctions. As bad as he was last year, he has not been historically bad, so it's not like he doesn't know what to do when opponents are giving him the Penthouse treatment.
4. Character Actors
I love Eaves but that just isn't his role.— Jordan Dix (@jordan_dix) December 18, 2015
Patton Oswalt has this bit where he meets Brian Dennehy (to the pop culturally challenged, Dennehy is the cop who drew first blood on Rambo). Both men are at a Hollywood gala with big name actors and actresses. Oswalt starts to salivate over the sheer amount of food that is not being eaten because how would big name actors be such big deals if they were built like your average joe? Oswalt resorts to his baser instincts. Then Dennehy joins him, and shouts, "Character actors! Who gives a **** if we're fat!?"
Moral of the bit? Jason Spezza is that physically fit star who can't be chowing down burgers and fries with the puck proletariat.
5. Back Up Goalies: The Voodooening
With everyone nerding out over Star Wars today, I remembered this hilarious Lehtonen gif I found long, long ago pic.twitter.com/y24F3rNrRg— Jen LC (@RegressedPDO) December 18, 2015
Just replace Kari with Karri, and you get the point. Or maybe not. I don't know what this signifies either except that Kari Lehtonen had at least one moment where his motor got light sabered, and he ended up spinning out of control.
6. Cloudy, With a Chance of Pratfalls
My feelings exactly pic.twitter.com/PbReULe66p— Josh Lile (@JoshL1220) December 18, 2015
No caption needed. On to the next one.