The Dallas Stars game last night was a roller coaster of emotions. The first minute was horrendously bad, the first ten minutes pretty boring, then a lot of excitement, some Stars goals, a DOG, oh no we’re behind again, oh wow why wasn’t that called, IT’S TIED!!! and crap, we lost.
That’s it, that’s the game.
So here are some tweets about it.
1. You have six fingers on your right hand, someone is looking for you
Habs goalie to the Stars:— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 5, 2017
Hello my name is Al Montoya.
I've got puck luck tonight.
Prepare to cry.
I’m not going to blow smoke, the first ten minutes and the last period of this game were actually pretty awful for the Stars. The first two minutes of the game alone had roughly sixty million icings while the Stars struggled to get the puck out of their zone at all, let alone into the Canadiens’.
But it picked up a lot after that and the Stars obviously did actually score three goals at some point during the proceedings. The point here is, they could have (and should have, and probably would have, given another goalie) scored more. They just did not have the luck with them tonight, and Al Montoya certainly did.
The Stars have failed to score for a variety of reasons this year. Tonight's just a luck dragon kind of thing, though.— Brad Gardner (@bradgardnerDBD) January 5, 2017
(Don’t tell me you missed the puck bouncing off Montoya’s head, arm, shoulder, and instead of going backwards into the net, went sideways outside of the net. Or that time it just sat on the goal line for a heartstopping number of seconds before it was retrieved by the Canadiens.)
2. This was a decision, I suppose
Adam Cracknell on the ice but didn't take part in line rushes.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 5, 2017
Adam Cracknell has been my favorite off season acquisition the Stars made last summer, no qualifiers. If you look at his underlying numbers, he’s made every single line combination he’s played with one of the better possession lines of any given game. He’s regularly seen at the top of the possession charts and the fourth line is a lot more effective when he’s on it.
You know who’s regularly a drain on the possession of any line he’s on? Lauri Korpikoski. I know that Patrick Sharp and Antoine Roussel drawing back into the line up means Lindy Ruff has to do some shuffling, and I know that Jamie Benn being on IR means one of our #1 penalty killers is out, and that’s what Nill brought Korpikoski here to do. But this is still the wrong personnel decision for Ruff to make.
And now I’m going to share one of my own tweets.
Sure am glad we valued pk over possession in the line up decisions tonight.— AnnMerrinAnnMerrinAn (@merrinish) January 5, 2017
This is what it boils down to when Ruff makes the decision to scratch Cracknell over Korpikoski. And I’m going to share some hard truths about our penalty kill percentage right now, friends. We are currently 27th in pk% at a whopping 76%. So who’s more useful to our team on a nightly basis? I’m going with Cracknell every time. He’s been a solid fourth line possession player and makes our team better when he’s playing. Korpikoski is a possession drain that isn’t particularly helping the one thing he was brought in to do.
3. Nice to remember we’re actually on an upswing
Stars have points in 6 of their last 7 (4-1-2). But how recent losses transpire & fact they are chasing in standings creates the frustration— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) January 5, 2017
Here’s a ray of sunshine from Josh Bogorad. We actually are doing better right now than we have all season. Sure, we blew the one winning streak we’d actually gone on all year and sure, we still can’t seem to win in overtime. And we’ve gone and lost Jamie Benn to IR for a bit. But! We have been playing better recently than we have all season, and that’s a reason for hope.
4. Actually though
Did you know that "overtime loser point” anagrams to "2016-17 Dallas Stars"?— Holly (@holly_holl) January 5, 2017
Weird but true.
The Stars have been to overtime a total of ten times this season. They’ve gone on to win two of those games. That’s it. Just two. Mostly I’m just happy when we’re able to scrape a point out of this season, but winning at 3-on-3 would also be nice, even if it’s wildly against the Stars’ nature.
5. Unreal reffing, no really
Erin has already written an entire post on why Alexei Emelin should be facing supplemental discipline for this elbowing, which wasn’t spotted (for some reason) by any of the officials on the ice. Why am I piling on? Mostly it’s just in case you missed that post, mostly because I’m actually really disturbed by the fact that this was missed by all of the officials on the ice.
Taking a swing at the refs from the safety of your couch is a pretty standard sportsing pastime, but when it’s this egregious it’s hard to pass the opportunity up. The fact that Antoine Roussel was not only not seriously injured (as far as I can tell) and continued the shift and the game shouldn’t excuse the elbowing at all.
They also missed a holding call on the Canadiens that had Patrick Sharp fighting Torey Mitchell in the first period:
But let’s also talk about this culture:
Patrick Eaves taking numbers out there.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) January 5, 2017
First of all, Maj Patrick Eaves of the Victory Regiment has no business playing enforcer on this team. Given his previous concussion issues, his brain is just too delicate for that kind of nonsense. But given adequate reffing, there’s no need for anyone on the Stars to have to “take names” in the fashion that Eaves started to last night. The Stars definitely missed having Jamie Benn in the line up last night, as that’s traditionally been one of his roles.
I don’t think there’s any way to take this culture of “sticking up for your team” out of the game, nor do I think it’s necessary. But it’s tempered a lot of the time when the refs actually call these egregious penalties.
6. Other than the point, this was the brightest spot
The man in this gif is Nevada Grassie, air force veteran. His loyal companion is K9 Six. They attended their first Stars game last night, and I hope K9 Six liked it enough to bring his human back.
NESN got an exclusive interview from the pair: