The Dallas Stars still ended up with a point against the New Jersey Devils. They're now 10 points over St. Louis, who lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 (can we please kill the "Loaves/Laughs" slurs?). It's not a bad place to be, but they Dallas lost, so we have to focus on the negatives for the time being.
1. Follow the Ginger Brick Road
Entering the third period, Cory Schneider has a 103:14 shutout streak, stopping all 55 shots he's faced during that span.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) January 3, 2016
I can't remember the Stars ever having much success against Schneider. Apparently the whole league has a similar affliction. That the Stars wouldn't break the game open in the first was pretty much anticipated. But it's a good work out for Dallas. The team needs to get used to opponents who will be content to disrupt Dallas more than initiate their own offense. Granted, this is typically how teams with minimal offensive talent have to operate.
2. Beer Break
Stars 0, Devils 0. Shots are 9-8 NJ.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) January 3, 2016
I don't mind teams that play defense oriented hockey. If you played the Super NES like I did, there was always the threat of losing your parent's hard earned money by letting frustration get the best of you, and having that frustration manifest itself in thrown and ultimately broken controllers. But no matter how hard that video game boss was on stage 8, you had to show him just enough respect to keep your mind straight. And that's New Jersey; frustrating, but hard to hate. They don't have a lot of talent, but they're plenty smart.
3. Perimeter Patrons
Eventually the Devils would get on board after several broken plays. One on a bad Goligoski clearning attempt, which led to a breakdown between pretty much everyone surrounding Bobby Farnham; Radek Faksa, Travis Moen, and Vernon Fiddler managed to transform into a confluence of ectoplasmic puck watching. Kyle Palmieri also scored for the Devils (thanks to a dreadful one on one play by the typically stout Jason Demers) who pretty much dominated. The big three didn't get much going, so off the line blender races Ruff went to start the third.
4. Klingbergian (Merriam-Webster)
Klingberg with a ridiculous set up of Sharp's goal pic.twitter.com/EeoiTlMiiT— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 3, 2016
If there's one thing Dallas is good at, it's being able to adjust, and capitalize on those adjustments with incredible speed. Credit to DBD reader Guerin03, who defined the word Klingbergian as:
klingbergian - adj. done with equal parts (and large volumes of) skill and nonchalance; often recognized by eliciting in the observer the stand-and-raise-arms reflex as well as the involuntary lowering of the mandible. First attested in the mid 2010's. Eponymous formation.
5. Synoptic Salvager
Our Lord and Sceviour!— Happy Tank Year (@BrandonBibb_DBD) January 3, 2016
Colton once again continues his string of calm, understated play when he would tie up the game late in the third. This time he had help from Jason Spezza, but still. The crazy thing is that he nearly scored another one with an absolute beauty of a sneaking snipe through the stick of the Devil defender. Schneider wasn't technically ready for it, but he was in position; any higher and that goes in.
6. Call the Inception Guys, Nill
Someone explain to me how the Stars, one of the fastest, highest scoring, highest possession teams in the league, are -22 penalty diff— Erin (@ErinB_DBD) January 3, 2016
In case you're wondering, this is what Erin is talking about. Jamie Benn would take a penalty that wasn't much of a penalty at all in OT, and a really bad clearing attempt by Jason Demers would allow New Jersey to maintain possession on the PP, giving Moore the opportunity to put Dallas away. Somehow, someway, Dallas has to correct that differential. It's insane how much offense they're leaving on the table. It's also just plain bizarre. There's no real rhyme or reason. I suspect that part of it is just Dallas' game; they're not cycle heavy, and they don't score a lot on rebounds. My guess is that this is where penalties of all different types, be it cheating (hooking, interference, tripping), or dirty (boarding, roughing, clipping, etc) tend to be drawn from. Whereas Dallas' game only garners specific types of penalties. But then again I see missed calls all the time, so who knows.
On to those stray observations:
- Good night for Dallas as far as MDK things are concerned. Pretty much everyone lost except for Winnipeg. Which doesn't even count at this point. Don't feel too bad for them though; they have a ridiculous prospect system, so their future really hinges on how they deal with the Ladd/Byfuglien contracts.
- Other than the second goal hiccup (which was a full scale breakdown rather than a singular one), I still appreciated seeing Radek Faksa. However, Fiddler and Moen aren't exactly playmakers. That is just not a good line by any metric. As you might expect, they had the worst 5 on 5 On Ice Corsi Differential of any forward group.
- As much as enjoy this 'doesn't lose consecutively' trend, I'd rather see a honest to goodness winning streak again.