For our last installment of six easy tweets, I got to write about the Stars breaking their overtime curse. Last night, the Stars went into the game against Vancouver without a single win when the other team scores first. So it looked grim in the first period when the Stars went down one. Thankfully, that was not to be our ultimate fate.
1. Here’s a sad stat you can scratch off
Tough start for Dallas. The Stars are 0-7-3 this year when allowing the first goal.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) November 26, 2016
The Dallas Stars have never been amazing at playing with a lead. Their defensive play doesn’t exactly lend itself to turtling. But, this season they also haven’t been amazing at coming back from a deficit, even one as little as a single goal.
Here’s the good news though, friends. That was Thursday’s Dallas Stars. Friday’s Dallas Stars did, of course, let the first shot on Antti Niemi find the back of the net, but it’s cool, it’s cool. We got that one back and now we’ve got one in the win column on this whole scoring first deal.
2. Goal so good he had to score it twice
Rookie defenseman Esa Lindell has played exactly 17 games in the NHL so far and scored in precisely none of them. It looks like he’d finally netted his first in the second period but the goal was eventually deemed to have been redirected by Radek Faksa, who had also not licked the gravy in a while.
Later in the second, Esa Lindell threw a shot on net that was thought, at first, to have been tipped in by Patrick Eaves, but it was, again, eventually deemed to have been Lindell’s goal.
Maj. Eaves was so happy, he wrote his nightly letter to Annabelle with a song in his heart.
3. Niemi is our king
Niemi has made two big saves in the 3rd. At home this season Niemi save percentage is 93.3%.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) November 26, 2016
Antti Niemi has become the clear favorite of Lindy Ruff at home, with good reason. Out of 205 shots against at home, Niemi has stopped 191 of them for a .932 save percentage.
For contrast, Kari Lehtonen’s save percentage at home is only .894, though he’s played 3 games (and some change) to Niemi’s 6 (and some change).
I would not have predicted this to be the way that goaltending duties get divvied up this season and obviously it doesn’t always work, but I’m happy to roll with it when it does.
4. Big Rig in Big D
Important thing to mention about that last 1:00 for Dallas: Jamie Oleksiak out there defending.— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) November 26, 2016
Big Rig was great tonight. He earned that
I feel like I just talked about Jamie Oleksiak having a good game on Monday night when he was one assist away from a Gordie Howe. It was anyone’s guess what Lindy Ruff would do with the defensive scratches going into the rest of the week. What was eventually decided was to send Stephen Johns down to Cedar Park for some rebooting and playing time and pairing Jamie Oleksiak with Jordie Benn for two games straight.
And you know? It’s actually been working? Okayish?
Their possession numbers haven’t been great, Oleksiak tends to drag down his partner. But Oleksiak did display good decision making tonight, enough that Ruff trusted him out on the ice in the last minute of play, when it was 6-on-4 with a power play and an empty net and only a one goal lead. That’s some trust, y’all. And I think Oleksiak earned it tonight.
Jamie Oleksiak led all Stars players with 22:13 of ice time. On Wednesday he played 19:51. Prior to that his season high was 15:08.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) November 26, 2016
5. The Other Benn
Dallas had 24 blocked shots, led by Jordie Benn's six.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) November 26, 2016
Oleksiak’s partner Jordie Benn also had a good night tonight. Neither of them led the charge in possession, hence Jordie Benn’s six blocked shots, but that wasn’t an area that any of the Stars particularly shone in tonight.
6. It’s Raining Tacos
And here’s where I leave you, friends. Dancing with the taco lady and our two taco goals.