We all want to keep things in perspective. So let's try, no matter how much our hearts and minds feel like they're drowning in despair.
Dallas is 6-3-1 in their last 10. That's better than the LA Kings' last ten, and the exact same as Chicago's last ten. They're still 3rd in the entire league. And their flaws shown tonight are the exact same we've known about since jump street. Tonight was just an Elm Street version of their problems. Let's tweet it down shall we?
1. Supreme Court Sapience
The first period was pretty good for Dallas. They got on board, Boston countered thanks to Brad Marchand, and then countered back in quick succession.
Their counters required some...council. The Roussel goal was strange because it exposes a philosophical problem the NHL has when it comes to goalie interference. If making physical contact with a goalie is not enough to determine the presence of interference, then how can the total lack of physical contact be sufficient?
It's as if the NHL is telling their goalies to "play through one situation" (an opponent disrupting your balance), but not another (making your own room for better vision).
2. From Pugilism to Prudence
Adam McQuaid vs Antoine Roussel from Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars Feb 20, 2016 https://t.co/0WwrxmVQDu— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) February 21, 2016
Dallas 3rd goal was legit, and Erin did a good job of breaking down why it was the right call. With Dallas up 3-1, McQuaid would ask Roussel to have a personal yard sale, and off they went.
Roussel did a lot better than I expected. He's a pretty good technical fighter despite his wide open style (ala Rick Rypien). After going cold for awhile, I've been impressed with how he deals with bigger, stronger fighters like Troy Brouwer, Shea Weber, and now McQuaid (who has fought heavyweights). If I sound enchanted by it all, forgive me. This is basically the only positive worth recalling from the fight on out.
3. Folder Geist
Another Dandy of a save by Kari, this time on Loui Eriksson from in close. That's three big stops since Boston tied the game.— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) February 21, 2016
Instead of breaking down missed assignments, broken plays, and all that, let's just look at one highly unusual, but highly alarming stat. When all was said and done last night, the Boston Bruins would tally 19 high danger scoring chances at even strength. Which is to say, they would threaten to score just close enough to smell the McDonalds on Kari's breath. Of those 19 high danger scoring chances, 15 of them occurred in the second period (!). 15? Yes. 15. Fif. Teen.
4. Not Bad for a Droog
Kiss me. https://t.co/wZ7c2Wz4Hc— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 21, 2016
Yea it's primal, and barbaric, but this should have been the main event. Eaves can chuck knuckle. Brad is often willing. What gives? Anyway, Marchand had a hell of a game. Say what you want about the guy, but he's the type of annoying pest every team would take on their squad every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
5. Kari According to Pascal
Kari Lehtonen now with a 90.7 SV% on the season. Sometimes it's impressive that the Stars win at all. pic.twitter.com/CoEoewJdoa— m g (@kikkerlaika) February 21, 2016
I gotta disagree with those that say Kari wasn't a problem last night. He was. Not because last night was on him. It wasn't. But because he still displays awful habits (going down too early on a shot) when it comes to positioning, vision, and letting in consecutive goals. Which he has.
Antti Niemi is not Hasek, but he does a far better job of looking through traffic than Kari. I get that both have different strengths and weaknesses. Kari is not a scrub. He's excellent at anticipation in one on one scenarios, taking away the bottom of the ice, and is otherwise serviceable in most other areas. But he's not paid to be just serviceable. And he certainly isn't paid to be praised for the goals he doesn't let in, and then absolved for those he does. At that price and that cap, it's not 'how', but 'how many'.
6. Soul Searching Stars
Most decisions, even great ones, have a singular catalyst. This was an embarrassing loss at home in which the defense hung the goaltender out to dry, the goaltender couldn't cover the defense's mistakes, and the special teams once again couldn't kill their way out of a cloud of cotton candy. The last component might be the most worrying because it simultaneously speaks to the flaws not only on the needs on the blueline, but to the needs from the bottom six forwards. Don't worry Radek. We miss you as much as you miss the ice.