It took them until the new year to do it, but the Dallas Stars finally managed consecutive losses. Is the team in full fledged roller coaster mode now? Should we expect more losses? Is Dallas finally getting "exposed"?
Not really. A lot of problems have been problems since jump street. But they've been smoothed over in recent weeks. Tonight was just an aberration like that SUV parked near the goalie crease. For whatever reason, anytime these teams get together, the goalies get burned in effigy so that they can't stop a curling stone.
1. Anthem Anhidrosis
Stars hoping for a faster start. They've been held to just five 1st-per goals in the last 12 games, & have allowed first goal in 3 straight.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) January 3, 2016
For whatever reason the Stars don't exactly break a sweat in the first period. I spent the last 'Tweetdown' lamenting the Vernon Fiddler-Radek Faksa-Travis Moen, so naturally, they were the first forward line to produce a goal. Not the line with two forwards competing for the Art Ross. The line is still needs a makeover (how is Moen beating out Patrick Eaves for that spot?). But they had their moments despite losing the shot attempt differential war. Still, it was great to see Faksa get on board. Especially after his comment the other day about wanting to be good defensively, but needing to compete for the Art Ross like everyone else on the team (paraphrasing).
2. We're going Streaking!
Sharp extends his point streak to nine games with the redirection goal. Six goals and six assists during the stretch.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) January 3, 2016
The Isles would answer back on a PP, which would be the story of the night. And then Patrick Sharp would tally one off a deflection to beat Greiss. Sharp is on pace for a potential career year. It would take a little bit of luck to outdo his 78 point campaign, but as long as he's on Seguin's wing with Jamie Benn on the other side, he won't need too much luck.
3. Ru(ff) 'Roh
this feels like an appropriate Ruff GIF pic.twitter.com/KUhwIh3IAe— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 3, 2016
It was 2-2 after one period of play. It was clear from the get-go that defense was optional. Like last season, it was a mixture of broken plays, and questionable goaltending. Because goaltenders exist in their own snowglobe of sorcery and eccentricity, I won't pretend to understand how the position works. But is there ever a reason for a goalie to suddenly extend their glove toward the sky like they're in a Village People video with an attacker barreling down their short side? As Kari did on the Anders Lee goal? Really weird body language. The Clutterbuck goal revealed the awkward (but already seen) lean over for the shoulder catch that Kari has not quite perfected over the years. This game wasn't on Kari though, even though he didn't exactly play great.
4. Paternal Malfeasance
Daddy will be sleeping on the couch tonight.— Jason (@damnitjason) January 3, 2016
Jason Demers would get a game misconduct for attacking Cal Clutterbuck on the Power Play (!). Regardless of whether or not the officials made the right call, it was just a silly time to go for that hit. It was like watching Jake Virtanen's performance at the World Juniors all over again. Once again, Dallas, after losing Demers suddenly, imploded like clockwork. Yes, part of this is coincidence. But part of it is the lack of composure.
5. Nuke Duplex'Em
two for Choo Choo. #DALvsNYI— Jeff K (@jeffk_stars) January 4, 2016
With the Isles up by three, naturally Dallas would make a game of it with just 20 minutes left to play. Valeri Nichushkin was gift wrapped a goal in the third, but he'd score the pretty one soon after. Nuke is another player, like Faksa, who it was good to see back in the lineup, looking sharp.
6. Road Rash
The road has not been kind to the Stars lately. They are 1-3-3 in their past seven games away from home.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 4, 2016
Who doesn't have fond memories of listening to Soundgarden's Rusty Nail while playing your favorite violent bike and run video game? Fun times. Just not fun times for the Stars right now, who probably feel like those 16 bit characters getting pummeled over the head with 16 bit bats.
Dallas won't have much time to reflect on their loss, as they're still on vacation on the east coast. They play the New York Rangers next, who should be a favorable matchup given their awful underlying possession numbers, but favorable matchups are what the Stars don't do best. The Dallas Stars are much better than last year, but they still have their moments that remind you why they can footnotes on a pharmacy label about when to consult with your doctor.