I’ll focus on the first three goals against. Three goals, that is, on 14 shots. In those three goals, we see a microcosm of the 2014/2015 Stars season. One (the first) sits squarely on the shoulders of goaltender Kari Lehtonen, another (the third) was the result of a "that-can’t-get-through" pass allowed by the defense, and the last (the second), more than anything just a solid play to setup an excellent tip in front. In those three plays we saw, to that point, the sum total of Colorado’s offense. Three chances against is excellent hockey, just not for the Stars, apparently.
"It’s officially last shot wins at American Airlines Center," said Darryl Reaugh, but only after two more goals had pushed the scoreline to 4-4. Only after the Stars faced capitulation to a single good period of hockey from Colorado. Hockey is a gruesome thing, sometimes. It certainly was last night.
Jason Spezza (4 GP / 3 G / 18:18 ATOI) - With Tyler Seguin on the shelf, Spezza has been asked to step up as the teams primary center. He's handled those duties with aplomb. The fact the Stars were able to resign the slick center in the middle of this mess is a huge win.
Cody Eakin (4 GP / 3 G / 56% FoW) - Eakin personally deserved a win against Colorado Friday night. The committee was particularly pleased by his versatility; Eakin produced goals with at least three different winger combinations.
Erik Cole (4 GP / 4 Pts / 3 H) - Mr. Trade Deadline had a productive, if oddly non-physical week for the Stars. He could help someone else, he could help the Stars, he'll need to be resigned. Weeks like this one make the move him/keep him decision interesting.
Jason Demers (4 GP / 10 H / 2 Pts) - No Star was on the ice for fewer goals against (2) than Demers this past week. No Star was on the ice for more goals for (7) than Demers this past week. He also played a ton (21:06 ATOI). I like the simple ones.
Shawn Horcoff (4 GP / 2 Pts / 64.7 ZSO%) - The other member of the 2 Goals Against Club, Horcoff had a productive week for Dallas. He's not quite as flashy as Cole, but the steady veteran is another piece playing his way into trade conversations.
Jamie Benn (4 GP / 4 Pts / 19:48 ATOI) - Dallas produced 11 more scoring chances than they surrendered with Jamie Benn on the ice this past week. That's good, as is the fact he continued his torrid, post-ASG pace. It's a shame to see his eight game point streak end. Hopefully, that's not a sign Benn is wearing down.
Curtis McKenzie (4 GP / 1 G / 5 SOG) - A goal! More than a shot per game! In the season McKenzie is having, both should be counted as very positive signs.
Jordie Benn (4 GP / +3 Goal Diff / 3 A) - Playing slightly less than his colleagues (16:42 ATOI), but playing slightly better. When Elder Benn isn't being overtaxed, he's an asset. That's a compliment, by the way.
Ales Hemsky (4 GP / 3 A / +11 Scoring Chance Diff) - Hemsky got back into the lineup, and the Stars offense seemed to respond. Too bad he doesn't play goalie. Credit to Hemsky for fighting through a rough season to get to this point.
Trevor Daley (4 GP / 3 Pts / 44.9 CF%) - A very Trevor Daley kind of week. Three points in four games, including a very nice performance in the chaotic Detroit game. With that said, the possession numbers aren't great, and his unit gave up four more goals than it scored. Production, but at what cost?
Colton Sceviour (4 GP / 1 Pt / 11:42 ATOI) - For once, Sceviour's ice time did not read like the results of a bad polygraph. Unfortunately, that's because, after 13:45 against Detroit, Sceviour settled into the 9-11 minute range. Seems like he's just not in the plan right now.
John Klingberg (4 GP / 2 A / 53.1 CF%) - Only Daley and Alex Goligoski spent more time on the ice than Klingberg last week (22:00 ATOI). It's possible that, just this once, that was a bad thing. Only one other player saw the puck wind up in Dallas' net more than Klingberg (11 Goals Against / -8 Goal Diff).
Ryan Garbutt (4 GP / 0 G / 0 PIMs) - It seems odd Garbutt wasn't more involved this week. Stranger still to see Garbutt was not credited with a single hit.
Alex Goligoski (4 GP / 9 Blks / 0 Pts) - The net he missed against Colorado was painful. Goose deserved that goal. It would have also pulled him into at least a tie for worst goal differential on the team (-9) instead of owning it outright. A bad week in a good season, sorry to say.
Vernon Fiddler (4 GP / 54.5% FoW / 34.2 OZS%) - This week the tough minutes took their toll. Fiddler was his typically sturdy self on the dot, but his lines couldn't quite manage to keep the puck out of the net (7 goals against versus 1 goal for). Another guy the Committee wanted to score in the Colorado game.
Kari Lehtonen (2 GP / 5.5 GAA / .814 SV%) - Ugly. Brutal. Without their best player, the Stars manage six against Detroit, and lose. Then, he coughs up that first goal against Colorado. His strong stretch of play at the start of the month seems like a distant memory.
Jhonas Enroth (2 GP / 4.5 GAA / .847 SV%) - Marginally better than his colleague, but still failed to make the difference in a pair of critical games (Minnesota and Winnipeg). No matter what happens over the next month and a half, the Stars have a very difficult offseason looming.
Antoine Roussel (4 GP / 1 G / -2 Penalty Diff) - By this point, you should know the Committee frowns on penalties. Maybe the goal against Colorado is what Roussel needs to get untracked. The skill is there, you have to think the lesson of this season is RELAX.
Brett Ritchie (4 GP / 1 Pt / 11 H) - Led the team in physicality, which is good because the offense still isn't there. Ritchie deserves full marks for a screen against Colorado, but Stars fans crave actual production, not the close-not-quite stuff.
Jyrki Jokipakka (4 GP / 46.9 CF% / 2 H) - A little bit of rookie this week. Jokipakka is taking steps forward, but they're small steps, and unfortunately, they're for a team that could really use a leap. Middle of the road, definitively.
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