This game had all the makings of a the sad defeats that Dallas has suffered through many a night in the AAC this season, in the first period. By the end of the second, it certainly felt like we had it in the bag, but for some reason Stars fans have trust issues this season. Thank goodness for Patrick Eaves.
1. Too much man
So, after all of this chatter about how bad Detroit's road powerplay is, they're definitely going to score one with it tonight, aren't they?— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) January 13, 2017
This tweet is directly related to this tweet:
The Red Wings have the worst PP in the league and haven't score a PPG in six games. Stars have allowed 6 PPGs in the past 4 games.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 12, 2017
We’ve all had to come to accept that the Dallas Stars are a team of givers. I haven’t done solid math on this, but after allowing Connor McDavid to score the first goal of his probably incredibly storied career, it just seems like we see more than our fair share of first goals and goal drought breakings.
So when we were already down a man for a too many men bench minor (and seriously, y’all. seriously. I know you all have five fingers so this shouldn’t be that hard) and Radek Faksa takes a high sticking penalty it just felt like, not only was the inevitable about to happen, but we were literally rolling out the victory green carpet to assist.
And it did happen. We definitely assisted. Gustav Nyquist potted the first power play goal in six games, which is also the first in nineteen games on the road, and every Dallas fan watching just has to sit back and tell themselves that yeah, that was gonna happen.
Wings PP hadn't scored in last 18 road games (0-52) before tonight. Were 1-43 in last 13 overall. Stars PK has allowed 10 goals last 6 games— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) January 13, 2017
Because the Stars like to keep every streak alive but a winning streak, that’s the sixth game in a row where they’ve given up a power play goal.
2. Only the fanciest of fancy stats
That is a fancy stat. I didn’t actually have the opportunity to watch this game last night and before checking twitter, I went to the Stars snapchat story. I don’t know if you’ve looked at this, but it goes from a disappointing goal deficit in the first to 4-2 by the end of the second in maybe two snaps. My first thought was, “well that escalated quickly.”
Jamie Benn returned to this game after a four game absence. Maybe it was having him back in the line up. Maybe it’s just that the Red Wings have been struggling even harder than the Stars this season. Maybe it’s a combination of many different factors, but the Stars had a BANNER second period after a bitterly disappointing and embarrassing first.
Fancy stats don’t lie though, and yeah, if the Stars score in the middle frame it’s generally going to be a good night. (Because you know what wins games? Goals.)
3. Klingbae got his game back?
First 23 GP this year, John Klingberg had 12 points (2G, 10A).— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 13, 2017
The last 11 GP: 9 points (4G, 5A), 2 GWG. Obi-won is playing with confidence
It’s worth noting here that for the first 23 games of the season, Lindy Ruff had yet to settle John Klingberg with a regular d-partner. Following the loss of Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers over the off season and with four young guys competing for two spots, new chemistry had to be found up and down the defensive line up. The inconsistency certainly took a toll on Klingberg’s game.
Since the beginning of December, he’s been paired regularly with Esa Lindell. While that pairing still leaves something to be desired in possession and turnover rates, it’s still offering the consistency Klingberg’s been looking for this season.
4. This is becoming a habit
Nemo's save before the final break. pic.twitter.com/ukGCoPYatH— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) January 13, 2017
Oh look, it’s another tweet post where I compliment the goaltending, but it’s been well deserved. Despite a not-exactly-exemplary record on special teams, the Dallas Stars goaltending at 5v5 has been exactly what we were asking for last season when we had all the offense and couldn’t get the saves. Now we just need to kick the offense into high gear (see two of the last three games for example) and we might actually be able to make a run at it. (It being the post season.)
5. Captains gonna captain
According to John Klingberg, after the 1st period Jamie Benn rallied the team and that led to a big 2nd period. Captain leadership is huge— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) January 13, 2017
Can we credit Jamie Benn for the entire turn around between 1 and 2? Maybe.
The Stars were 1-2-1 without Jamie Benn in the lineup. Sure, they’ve definitely not been guaranteed a win with him in the lineup this season, given our record, but having strong leadership in the room will help whenever it’s available. Just ask the 2010-15 Oilers.
6. He has sounded from the trumpet that shall never call retreat
Listen, about 9/10 of the reason I am still holding out a candle of hope for the Stars to make the post season is that it would be a crying shame for the Stars to waste what is surely the banner year of Patrick Eaves’ journeyman career. He is currently on pace for 30 goals. THIRTY.
Do you know how many he scored last year? It was eleven. Fourteen the year before and that was actually his second highest total before scoring his fifteenth last night, in only a little over half the season. His first highest was 20 goals in his rookie year, when he was young and new and hadn’t been plagued by concussions.
Regardless, you know what it’s time for.
We are bivouacked near the front for a few days, and I have finally found some spare precious moments to write a few lines to you. We have taken the day, though the battle was not without contention nor a few moments of dark despair. Our regiment was taken by surprise. Capt Benn is only just returned to us from the medic’s tent, but rallied the troops tonight in our endeavors, that they would not be in vain. To hear his speech, Annabelle. The words still stir fervent pride and hope in me, all these hours later. Surely it was this that spurred our victory onward, I know I held it in my heart as I dealt the final blow to hold the enemy at bay. Please kiss the girls for me, and tell them I think of them often.