Well. There's not much to say here. Probably because for Stars fans there's been a lot to process. Everybody's talking about the Russell trade, which I'm not sure actually helps this team's problems. And then there's the special teams. And then there's goaltending. And then there's singular plays like the many tonight in which lazy passing, and bad theatre converged to call into question this team's actual merit.
That's the reptilian part of my brain talking. The Russell trade is it's own thing, and I'll talk about in due time. Dallas played a solid game for the most part, and got a solid amount of quality chances. However, it was all for naught. Just not without a point.
1. Fiddler Hopefully Rustproof
Congratulations to Vern Fiddler, an undrafted pro currently playing in his 800th career game! pic.twitter.com/DgFHurI85O— Annie (@AnnieDevineTX) March 1, 2016
Fiddler has actually been pretty good with Radek Faksa and Colton Sceviour. Granted, against two solid possession players, he'd better. But still; the team could do a lot worse on their 4th line than playing Vernon Fiddler who still has just enough jump to be. There wasn't much to report early on. Neither team could get much going, though Dallas was clearly dictating the play, and would throughout the game.
2. Role Prayers
Yup 3rd shift of Glendening vs. Benn - someone clearly wants this matchup. 2 have been off faceoffs so I think it's Dallas orchestrating it— Prashanth Iyer (@iyer_prashanth) March 1, 2016
You'd think something would come of this, but alas, Dallas could beat Glendening but they couldn't beat Jimmy Howard. When games come down to goaltending battles, Dallas is rarely equipped to handle them and tonight would turn out to be no different.
3. March Sadness
Stars dominating game. Red Wings up 1-0. Athanasiou scores in 2nd. SOG are 26-14 Dallas.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) March 1, 2016
It's hard to be mad when you get to see such incredible talent on display. Athanasiou would end up shredding the Stars again, but it seemed like Jason Demers and Johnny Oduya in particular took a beating against some of Detriot's hot young upstarts. They were the only defensemen that had a negative possession impact and it showed in the most visceral, highlight reel ways. Demers' Penalty per Game average lately is quickly becoming a fatal drinking game.
lol. Now we're even for the Abdelkader interference last year, Stars.— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) March 1, 2016
Colton Sceviour would tie the game (four points in his last four games) in the second thanks to a very generous bounce off his skates. Yes Red Wings fans, 'generous'. A word that is pretty simple, right alongside terms such as "distinct" and "kicking motion". There was no controversy, and the play would stand.
5. Without Defense
Andreas Athanasiou just abused Johnny Oduya pic.twitter.com/BmNRv342R1— Shane O'Donnell (@shane1342o) March 1, 2016
Demers' hyper-aggressive play to keep the puck going the other direction from his knees didn't help Johnny Oduya, who had to then handle Andreas Athanasiou one on one. This was the end result. Not to pile up on Oduya, but he had probably his worst game of the season. Getting pick pocketed while casually skating it out of the zone with zero mindfullness for the Red Wing behind him was actually worse, in my opinion. Here Oduya is just getting danced by a more talented player. On the turnover in front of Antti Niemi it was just lazy thinking combined with lazy footwork.
6. Gut Check
Mattias Janmark took a fairly questionable penalty in Overtime after Vernon Fiddler sent it to Overtime and otherwise intelligent hockey minds would call out Dallas fans for crying over it, instead of discussing it with much nuance or depth. To be fair, if you're looking to explain why Dallas lost, this isn't the hill to die on. They got zero going on the Power Play which is still content to just impatiently blast shots from afar, and any penalty committed in Overtime always ends up being the sound of their death rattle. On to some stray observations:
- What's with the crackerjack indecision coming out of the zone? One play where Zetterberg had an hour to get to Goligoski was embarrassing. Goose just took his sweet time, and eventually got pock picketed. Does no one talk to each other on the ice? Couldn't a forward scream "on your six!" or something. You could forgive singular plays, but when it happens at least three times in ridiculous fashion? The Oduya giveaway right on Niemi's lap might be the real "winner", but he wasn't gonna be outdone by Cody Eakin in Overtime.
- The chances were sort of there for Benn. Not so much for Seguin. As they go, so does the team.
- It's the Predators today. I consider myself hopeful. Dallas in particular matches up a little bit better against Nashville now that the Predators have sacrificed their all world blueline depth for a first line center. But if Forsberg scores a hat trick, and Dallas gets shut out, I wouldn't be surprised. Dallas is just not looking like a good team recently. Getting the edge in shots is nice, when you're getting the edge in shots yet are still neck and neck in high danger chances both ways, all you're doing is gambling. Difference is, Dallas' high stack of chips is quickly dwindling.