I don't know if the voodoo is officially gone, but the symptoms are finally weakening. It took the Dallas Stars an overtime period to do it, but it was totally worth it. Especially for John Klingberg.
Granted, it's Colorado, so even goods news has bad news. Jason Spezza will be out for "a bit of time" according to Lindy Ruff, which usually means "Hold on to your butts". But broken voodoo is broken voodoo, so let's tear down this wicker man shall we?
1. Mile High Business as Usual
Avs scored pic.twitter.com/jeBtJPggIY— Annie (@__spinelli) February 5, 2016
Annie Devine, who has some pretty cool Dallas Stars photos on her website, went to the game and played the role of belligerent opposing team fan in Colorado. Belligerence is acceptable given Dallas' history with Colorado. It seems like everytime these teams get together, it's some fashion of nip and tuck with the usual narrative; Stars outshooting the Avs, but the Avs outscoring the Stars.
2. Mile High Hatred
I think I hate Avs road games more than anything. Nothing good ever happens there.— Pat Iversen (@Pat_Iversen) February 5, 2016
After Jason Spezza opened up the scoring, Colorado would score twice off some really sloppy defensive play by Dallas. For as much as we jokingly harp on the "voodoo", there's nothing supernatural about the mental flatulence occurring in Dallas' own zone. Patrik Nemeth and Jordie Benn in particular took the brunt of the ire from fans. Neither one seemed comfortable or poised in their own zone despite Nemeth eventually getting out of the game with some points for his efforts.
3. Ruh Roh
Spezza hasn't played since about the 8:30 mark of the second. No word from the Stars on his status.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 5, 2016
Jason Spezza took a questionable hit from whatever Avs defensemen that gets more playing time than he deserves, which is the bad news. The good news is that this should free up a spot for Radek Faksa, who is not only playing his usual defensively coherent self, but is finding quite the scoring touch in Cedar Park.
4. Speaking of Officiating
Vernon Fiddler got called for talking back to the ref, which I always wished was dealt with in fines rather than penalties but whatever. I guess with the Wideman incident, officials need to remind players who's boss. As usual, there were some questionable calls, including a really bad call on Tyler Seguin for being next to an Avs player.
5. Demers to the Rescue
Demers ties it. Klingberg wins it. pic.twitter.com/21yDXJVhRP— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) February 5, 2016
This was a pretty bad goal on Pickard's part, but he was dealing with a ton of traffic. All throughout the game the Avs were getting hemmed in their own zone so it was nice to see most players get rewarded for their efforts. Ales Hemsky in particular continues to play a finely tuned version of what Dallas likes to play. Demers stood out to me as one of the better defensemen and not just because he was actually throwing his weight around. One of the talking points out of this game will be how Dallas was physically pushed around. Personally I think Klingberg will be fine; he's an adult. He knows how to make the most of these situations, and will relish an overzealous forechecker which probably helps explain why he was the highest shot differential player on the team (Jordie Benn was the only player who broke even, which is to say, nobody was in the negatives).
6. So Fresh and So Kling
Dallas' twitter page taking it away on another stolen subheading. Let the numbers speak for themselves: