And now for something completely different, the Dallas Stars dominated the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs early, racked up a bunch of points, and then, this is crucial, didn’t let the other team score as many as they already had. It’s a novel concept, but I really hope it’s gonna catch on.
1. Listen, a lot of things were weird
That breaks a string where the Stars allowed the first goal for seven straight games.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) February 1, 2017
As the tweet says, for seven games in a row the Stars have allowed the opposition to score the first goal, two of those within the first minute of the game. In that stretch, the Stars were 2-3-2.
Kind of obvious here but it’s a lot nicer (if, like, just as stressful for Stars fans who don’t trust their team) to let the other team chase you on the scoreboard.
2. So you’re saying it’s been a while
Filed under “fun facts” and “it’s not just us,” this was the first time in Dallas Stars history they’ve scored five goals in the first period, but not the first time for the franchise. The kicker? Look at this tweet. The North Stars scored five goals on December 1, 1988 against the Los Angeles Kings, and went on to actually lose that game 8-6.
What a way to waste an effort, is all I’m saying.
3. He’s sneaky
Really liked this play by Johns in the corner. Clever use of reach and momentum to retrieve & exit. pic.twitter.com/aPid4cHFh1— Pat Iversen (@Pat_IversenSBN) February 1, 2017
And now in the new section where I highlight a single player, Stephen Johns had a pretty good night. Several good plays like the one highlight above. He led the team in ice time at 23:01 and somehow, though there were nine goals scored in this game, ended up only being on the ice for one of them, a Leafs power play goal. Just do yourselves a favor and don’t look at his possession stats. Or, if you do (I mean, I did) just remember that they were playing the turtle game.
4. That feeling when you get away with something you probably shouldn’t have
Overhead view of Nikita Soshnikov's disallowed "kicking motion" goal, isolated on the puck area. pic.twitter.com/ulhKQVaUy7— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) February 1, 2017
Is there a distinct kicking motion here? The war room in Toronto thinks so, but Leafs fans did not. There’s also no small amount of shoving coming from Stars players behind Nikita Soshnikov, which would certainly have an impact on the movement of his skates.
Ask yourselves, how much would this goal have mattered to the Leafs? Down 6-3 with (at this point) eight minutes left to go in the game, could this have been their come back? My guess is no, and that ultimately this goal wouldn’t have mattered one way or the other. It wasn’t a game winner or a tying goal. Could have been a momentum swinger, but the honestly the momentum was already swung their way by that point.
Of course, meaningful goal or not, you’d like the people making this reviews to get the calls right, and I’m not sure they did here.
5. Turtle turtle
The Stars ended the game tonight -26 in corsi events because that's what happens when you spend literally half the game turtling.— AnnMerrinAnnMerrinAn (@merrinish) February 1, 2017
I feel like I bust out this graph every time I do these tweets, but this one is both funnier and more tragic than any other one I’ve shared this season.
You can see exactly where the Stars stopped actually putting any effort in. Last night, during the third period, Stars play-by-play commentator Daryl Reaugh helpfully let us know that this is the eight straight game where the Stars have given up three or more goals. Craig Ludwig replied “that’s okay if you score five or six.”
Yes, Mr. Ludwig sir, that was true last year. That’s pretty much been the Stars model for the last four seasons. That isn’t something the Stars have been able to rest on this season, as we are 3-3-2 in the mentioned games. The shots were 20 to 43. Kari Lehtonen faced 43 shots and only let in 3. That, also, is another thing we haven’t been able to depend on, getting the goaltending and defense necessary to play a turtle game.
I don’t like to rain on happy parades when the team wins, but this was a dirty win that could have easily gone the other way in the score.
6. If I’m honest
How late in a game does it have to be before a three goal lead is safe for the stars?— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 1, 2017
I don’t know about you, but it’s the next day and I’m still a little nervous they might lose the game.