The Dallas Stars are finally answering more questions about how they match up against the Central division; turns out, not too bad.
However, with Ales Hemsky week to week, and now Valery Nichushkin day to day with a lower body injury, the Dallas Stars are about to face another foe; the injury bug. In such a lengthy, grueling season, the injury bug is inevitable. Luckily for Dallas, the boys in Cedar Park are doing just fine in the goal scoring department, so any call up is welcome. Radek Faksa is officially with the club, but was a healthy scratch. Guess they just wanted to party with him.
1. DTM About Odds
MARC Prediction: Dallas Stars vs. Nashville Predators ~ Score: 3.72 - 2.49 ~ Win/Loss/Draw: 61.17 % - 24.03 % - 14.63 %— DTM About Heart (@DTMAboutHeart) December 31, 2015
Nashville is still a really good team. The fans of the mustard and yellow don't care to hear about how good their defense is when the forwards can't score off a tee-ball, but when you're successfully out shooting opponents, and outpossessing them, the odds of capitalizing on lucky bounces, and getting timely saves makes for one very difficult opponent. Throughout the first period, this was the story of the game; Nashville clogging the neutral zone, playing disciplined hockey and limiting the Stars chances. Dallas played a pretty tight game as well, to their credit.
2. Ruff Estimates
Turns out, Lindy Ruff knows a thing or two about hockey after all these years. I mean, besides learning that Cam Neely was as tough as he looked back then. After Nashville successfully slowed the game down in the first, Dallas began to hit the neutral zone pretty hard with patient passing, successfully opening the game up in the second. Smith, Wilson, or whatever interchangeably named winger from Nashville opened up the scoring only to have Dallas punch back.
3. Alas, Hockey!
Dallas is something like 10-4 when giving up the first goal. In other words, they'll get their chances and play with the kind of swagger you'd expect them to play with. First Jamie Benn doing Jamie Benn things after a bad Mattias Eckholm turnover, and then Jason Spezza would take over from there with a brilliant but patient pass to Janmark who deserves credit for that goal despite the layup; he had to corral that puck with his skates with Roman Josi in his grill (err, fish dancing on ice). Janmark is now behind only Tyler Seguin in goals scored for the month of December.
4. Seguin in Fulton Reed Mode
Seguin just shot Rinne's glove into the net.— Brandon Worley (@brandonworley) January 1, 2016
Seguin scored after what looked like a brilliant save by Pekka Rinne. It was a brilliant save if we're being technical. It just didn't prevent the goal. All the technology in the world up there in Toronto, yet it was the Stars' jumbotron that gave viewers (and officials??) the best look.
5. We Must Break You
Jason Spezza would continue making his argument for going to Dallas instead of Nashville. Then Seguin would score again because why not? Nashville is in the Central. There's no such as mercy in a division nicknamed after three different ways to die.
6. New Year's Punctuations
According to War On Ice, Shea Weber and Roman Josi cannot beat Benn, Seguin, and Sharp on their own. Good news for Stars fans. Bad news if they flip Jackman and Jones for Drasaitl and McDavid. Ho hum. Now for some stray observations...
- If you're Nashville, you have to wonder how much more active GM David Poile is gonna get when it comes to making those phone calls for that all important #1 C. They got beat by Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin, as if just one of them beating that blueline wasn't enough salt in the wound. However, I think fans are silly to want Seth Jones gone as its cost. Nashville's blueline is special right now. Once you start chipping away at that, all you're left with is a team that contributes to 'league parity'. Nothing more. Nashville needs a #1 C ++.
- Klingberg is slowly getting back to his magical ways. Oduya and Demers seemed to struggle in the first, but Klingberg was making deft moves all night. It makes sense that he'd match up well with Nashville; they aren't blazing fast, and so much of their strength comes from how the blueline threatens into the red zone.
- Jason Spezza just flat out doesn't get enough credit. He's not playing with top six wingers (though hopefully that's what Janmark develops into) yet he's putting up points like he is. Yes, quite a few of those points are on the Power Play, but that just means he's capitalizing on the opportunities he does get with top six forwards.
- New Year's Resolutions? How about we start with more ice time for Radek Faksa, less nachos.