The Dallas Stars played a solid team game for what felt like the first time this season. They sort of needed it. Jason Demers was out due to an illness. Jason Spezza is out. Thankfully for Dallas, Chicago was kind enough to even the playing field with Artemi Panarin out. On the to the tweetdown.
1. Eaves of Destruction
"what’s it like to be rescued from the wilderness?" pic.twitter.com/zV2re00SEO— ♪ Amy ♪ (@DalSportsGal) February 12, 2016
The first line for Dallas has always had the truly difficult philosophical problem of figuring out who to compliment Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn on the same line. Do you want a shooter? Some random dude that can mop up Dallas' mess. A playmaker? Some dude that can dish it to them. A grinder? Some guy that can cough up the puck in the corners? Or maybe just Casper the friendly ghost?
Both do so much damage on their own, it's not an easy question. A playmaker might cramp their style. A shooter might feel too empowered. And a grinder may disrupt the rhythm and vision both have. Patrick Eaves may not be ideal, but he's definitely a nice, bearded blend of each.
2. First Period Pat-Trick
@Pat_Iversen pic.twitter.com/RYYE2kRGw4— Douglas (@ludosc) February 12, 2016
The only other Dallas Star player who would get some red light love in the first period was John Klingberg thanks to some nifty forechecking work by Mattias Janmark. Otherwise it was all Eaves, all the time. And thankfully, some of that time was on the Power Play where Dallas has been struggling. We can't say the Power Play is suddenly fixed, but rumors of its death were mildly exaggerated.
3. Sincerely, Eaves' Handleczar Beard
Patrick Eaves is 2nd in @DallasStars / North Stars history to score hat trick in first period (Bill Goldsworthy: Dec. 11, 1973) @EliasSports— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 12, 2016
The biggest change in Dallas' game was the steady stream of puck awareness in their own end. Everyone seemed to be helping out at all times, and it made a big difference in the kind of chances Dallas was allowing.
4. Thanks Chicago (No Really)
Watch the Patrick Sharp tribute video shown at tonight's #Blackhawks game: https://t.co/bGGcoOmC6B pic.twitter.com/CWj34JMjfR— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) February 12, 2016
Lost in the actual war on ice was Chicago's sincerely nice tribute to Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya.
5. Batten Down the Hawk Hatch
Last year Eaves really made the most of his opportunities on the top line with Benn & Seguin. He's done it again over the last few games.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) February 12, 2016
Once the third period rolled around, it was clear that Chicago would not be denied. They eventually ended up with two goals, scoring their first just seconds into the period. As an aside, I'd be curious at what percentage of goals Dallas allows within the first minute of each period. I get the impression that this happens way more than usual. In other words, it'd be nice if they avoided shooting themselves in the foot.
6. Loosely Appropriate Win Gif
The Wild won't fire Mike Yeo. They'll just feed him to this guy. https://t.co/6jXCkvI8Bp— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 12, 2016
Dallas fed on the Hawks in the first period thanks to Benn and Seguin beating the Jonathan Toews line. It was a good win projecting good vibes for another brutal game, this time against the league leading Washington Capitals. On to some stray Observations
- Patrik Nemeth played a solid game against the Hawks, which is a real breath of fresh air. He was activating as well, which has never been a real part of his game, but in Dallas, this is how we do it.
- Travis Moen was lost to a lower body injury. Be respectful, dear fans of Dallas. Needless to say, Radek Faksa will likely take his spot even though Ruff is having trouble inserting him in the lineup thanks to Dallas' center depth.
- Patrick Sharp isn't really slumping except on the stat sheet. Patrick Eaves will get his time with BennGuin. Can we please get a second line of Sharp-Janmark-Hemsky? Eakin and Sharp have zero chemistry.