Remember that proverb about how even a lion must defend himself against fleas? Yeah, we're there again after the Stars gave up a three-goal lead to a dangerous Calgary Flames team that's pretty eager to move out of the basement at this point.
It's not the first time this season that the increasingly powerful Stars have found themselves overmatched by a team that, on paper, they should have just handled. Captain Jamie Benn didn't spare much in his exit interview with Mike Heika:
It was a lesson learned for a Stars team that should have known better after earlier losses to Colorado and Toronto twice. While the Flames (9-14-2, 20 points) came in with the worst goals against average in the league and one of the worst records, the Stars did not show a killer instinct.
"We just stopped playing hockey," Stars captain Jamie Benn said of Dallas blowing a 3-0 lead. "We knew they were a desperate hockey team, and it was a pretty embarrassing loss."
It's not even as if the Stars were trying to guard their early lead, says coach Lindy Ruff:
"We weren't trying to protect. We had some go off the post," Ruff said. "We didn't skate well, we didn't execute well, a couple of reads on those last couple of goals against weren't very good. They sensed we were on our heels, give them full marks."
The team has two more games in western Canada on this road trip, against the Canucks and the Oilers – two more struggle teams that can bite when cornered. The Captain knows exactly what he wants to happen:
Asked what he can take forward into those games, Benn said: "Play a full 60 minutes. We've really got to learn our lesson."
There's much more at Heika's place. [SportsDayDFW]
It was a busy evening in Kill last night:
- The Minnesota Wild took down the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 at United Center. [The News & Observer]
- The Nashville Predators vanquished the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. [USA Today]
- The St. Louis Blues lost to the Florida Panthers 3-1 in Scottrade Center, thanks in part to two goals by Derek MacKenzie. [ABC News]
- And the Colorado Avalanche built on a 27-save performance by Reto Berra to defeat the New Jersey Devils 2-1. [NHL]
Here's a little morning pick-me-up: Stars goalie coach Jeff Reese seems authentically dazzled by the skills of his newest charge, Jack Campbell, and says Soupy is very nearly NHL-ready. [SportsDayDFW]
And remember, someone always has it worse. Sometimes, it's a lot worse. Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and vice president Bob Nicholson talks about the team's ongoing struggles and their "rock bottom" 3-0 loss to the Maple Leafs on Monday. [TSN]
Hey, don't forget that All-Star voting is now open. You can vote for Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, John Klingberg, Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp multiple times per day.
The NHL Board of Governors will meet December 7-8 in Pebble Beach, and all eyes are on the projected 2016-17 salary cap – which has plenty of real-life implications for the teams, notably in the Tampa Bay Lightning's ongoing extension negotiations with their superstar captain, Steven Stamkos. [Sports Illustrated]
What's not on the Governors' agenda? Expansion, says Pierre LeBrun. [TSN]
Check out the SB Nation gift guide! There's a lot that could be said about a catalog that includes a portable pizza oven and a flask disguised as a gold bangle, but I'm pretty sure this is all you need to know, because STANLEY CUP POPCORN MAKER.
Speaking of which, Bodog has posted odds for the Stanley Cup, major postseason awards and much more. @YahooSportsNHL has all of them, but here are a few highlights....
The oddsmaker has also picked the Stars to win the Murder Death Kill Division. Home ice, suuuuuuuhn!
Meanwhile, no one stops the John Klingberg Maglev Train. Look at this. LOOK AT IT.
(1) #NHL Norris Trophy Klingberg 11/4 Karlsson 3/1 Subban 9/2 Hedman 9/1 Suter 10/1 Burns 12/1 Doughty 12/1 Letang 12/1— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 1, 2015
And don't look now, but the ArtRoss Brothers are evolving into the HartRoss Brothers.
(1) #NHL Hart Trophy odds Kane 2/1 Benn 5/1 Seguin 5/1 Lundqvist 6/1 Crosby 12/1 Ovechkin 12/1 Tarasenko 12/1 Tavares 12/1— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) December 1, 2015
What do #HotlineKling, Ryan Johansen and Colton Parayko have in common? They all made Kevin Allen and Jimmy Hascup's list of 25 Things We Learned in November. [USA Today]
Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher left last night's game against the Arizona Coyotes with an apparent leg injury after a Martin Hanzal check sent him awkwardly into the boards. [ESPN]
Good news for a great hockey journalist. Congratulations, Bob!
Would you buy a Las Vegas Rat Pack sweater? If not, you can catch a glimpse of some pretty interesting Black Knight concepts under the link, too.
Last night's Blue Jackets-Canadiens game featured an incident between Nick Foligno and Nathan Beaulieu that led Eric Engels to examine the confusion that exists around the NHL's concussion protocol. [Sportsnet]
When has a player held on too long? Sean McIndoe picks out some NHL legends, from Brett Hull to Bobby Orr to "pretty much everyone who finished their career with the Detroit Red Wings," who played just a few games too many. [ESPN]
#GivingTuesday was yesterday, but the USA Hockey Foundation is working all month to raise enough money to buy 12,000 sticks for young players. You can buy one for $12.50.
Finally: This happened in Dallas yesterday.