If you fast forward to :50 seconds into this Karate Kid clip, you'll notice a few things. One, say what you want about the Cobra Kai, but they teach flawless technique. That's a solid spinning roundhouse kick that William Zabka throws. Excellent economy of motion. No wasted movement. Two, the look of the wounded. When it lands, Daniel has time to show the audience all the emotions connected to being kicked in the face as his broken body slides down the fence molasses like; despair, misery, regret, et cetera.
1. If Only
Prediction: St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars ~ Score: 2.43 - 2.91 ~ Win/Loss/Draw: 33.29 % - 49.29 % - 17.39 %— DTM About Heart (@DTMAboutHeart) December 26, 2015
Pretty close, all things considered. The Stars were still riding high off their win over Chicago, so perhaps the Christmas Holiday hangover was to blame. Because lord knows the St. Louis Blues don't have families, friends, and potential hangovers to blame for a lackluster outing.
2. Dial H For Hockey
0-0 after 1 period in St. Louis. Stars lead in SOG, 7-6.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) December 27, 2015
It's hard to mistake Hitchcock hockey. But Hitchcock has the blueline to play a throwback style with modern sensibilities. A lot of people talk about how good Nashville's blueline is, but with the emergence of Colton Parayko, there's no question who has the best blueline in the Central. That top four of Bouwmeester-Pietrangelo, Parayko-Shattenkirk is actually kind of unfair.
Blues have an 11-0 shots advantage so far in second period.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) December 27, 2015
Part of the problem in the game was the inability of the Stars to once again deal with the Blues' forecheck. Ok fine, that's the refrain of every team's blueline. But unlike most teams, the Stars have real trouble exiting the zone in these instances. This is where size really does matter. Dallas doesn't have super quick defenders so they're less likely to win races, and because nobody is especially tall, they can't take shortcuts retrieving the puck with their sticks. Forwards don't have to panic to pressure the points as long as they can threaten for the counter rush, but that assumes they can retrieve their own rebounds, which they couldn't do.
4. Donuts! I Got Donuts!
Seguin puts the Stars up 2-1 late in the 2nd period pic.twitter.com/JFqkfN6lnP— Stephanie (@myregularface) December 27, 2015
That's a Tyler Seguin goal alright. The Stars were in this game because Antti Niemi was absolutely stellar. That's great news. What's not great news is that the best players couldn't even break a positive differential in shot attempts.
5. Shootout, as Directed by Terrence Malick
Come on, one of these teams needs to let the goalie shoot in the shootout— Jen LC (@RegressedPDO) December 27, 2015
As great as Niemi was, he seems to struggle during the shootouts. Which is fine. A shootout is something he won't have to worry about in the playoffs. But I wouldn't be completely averse to watching Ruff switch the goalies in the shootout.
6. No Rest for the Wicked
Nice of Allen for the two boo boos in regulation but other than that STL in a diff class altogether. Stars have a Blues problem.— Brad Gardner (@bradgardnerDBD) December 27, 2015
Make no mistake. The Blues are for real. They have a much better blueline, goaltending is finally there for them (even if the goaltender isn't in net apparently), and their scoring touch is much better than given credit for (especially with the emergence of Fabbri), not even counting the injured Jaden Schwartz.
The Stars have been able to play the Blues tough in the past. But unless they can find ways to work on their zone exits (not being assigned Tim Peel would help too), at least this writer can't help but be skeptical that St. Louis isn't the team to beat in the Central.