After a painful 2014-2015 season that most fans would like to forget, the Dallas Stars are back in the saddle again. The Minnesota Wild are a depleted team and it showed as the game wore on. There's not much to unpack other than that everyone roped. Everybody rode. Or something.
1. In Fak'Em We Trust
The story of the first period was Dallas' calm play. In the 2013-2014 season, you could tell they were nervous. They didn't get off to much of a start, took some silly penalties, and never found much of a groove against a superior team. Last night they played like the favorite, making smart plays yet playing with their trademark aggressiveness.
2. Mild Expectations
Everyone was saying the Wild didn't have a shot in this series, but they went out and got two just to show you what's up.— Robert Tiffin (@RobertTiffin) April 15, 2016
The Dallas Stars were the much better even strength team. Especially if their play on the man advantage was any indication. They kept their shots on the perimeter with zero chance of any proper rebounds against a worse than mediocre power play. As you can tell, I wasn't happy with the utterly efficient, dominating first period.
3. Radek Bonk 'Em
Radek Faksa (@RadekFaksa) April 14, 2016
The second period began to flow like the first, with Dallas getting more chances, and keeping the Wild out of their own zone. Finally Radek Faksa broke through with a great defensive (well, a great poke check really) play to counter attack. Antoine Roussel functionally assisted on a quick to the bench hop to avoid the too many men penalty. As an aside, Faksa and Benn have played all of two seconds together at even strength, and goals were scored both times. Eventually, these two will be joined at the hip. Just saying.
4. Mobster Giggles
Jason Spezza would continue his nice little (well, vast at this point) scoring streak to make it 2-0. The goal was his usual Spezza magic, as he did the pump fake high side thingy once again. It's impossible to understate his value to the team right now. Especially with Seguin, err, Eakin at 1C. I still think he misses Mattias Janmark a little. Janmark in particular played a pretty solid game as well. Once Seguin comes back, it'll be interesting to see how the lines get shuffled.
5. Captain Imperious
As I've said before, Jamie Benn is a red light performer. His game was visually quiet from an offense standpoint. As in, there weren't any highlight reel goals, but the shift at the end of the game was the real capsule of Benn's value; he's already racked up three points. The game's in hand. But he's still there digging in the corners, throwing the body. What more could you ask for out of the captain?
6. No Rest for the Gifted
Game 1 recap: pic.twitter.com/3cJLeFok91— Obscene Alex (@ObsceneAlex) April 15, 2016
If Nino Neiderreiter wasn't such a head shot loving scum, I probably wouldn't post this tweet, but he is, so I will. I counted at least two head shots on the night: one to Cody Eakin (3rd worst Corsi For on the team), and one to Radek Faksa. And he's done it before in previous Dallas games. Dallas should have Seguin back for game 2, so we'll see how this changes the dynamic. Either way, it's a great start for Dallas despite the not so great starting time explaining the by the number brevity of this tweetdown. I still got work! Go Stars!