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Stars Lose To Themselves: 6 Easy Tweets

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How else would you describe it?

NHL: Dallas Stars at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Well, a game was certainly played last night.

1. A prophetic tweet

This was tweeted in the first period of last night’s game, but it held true for the entirety of the evening. There was not one point last night that the Ottawa Senators possessed the puck more than the Dallas Stars. For proof, a graph:

From corsica.hockey

The Stars ended last night’s game with 59% of the possession over three periods at 5v5.

You know that classic line from the NRA: “guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” Eddie Izzard, in his Dressed to Kill show, had a great follow up: “the gun helps!”

Possession doesn’t win games, goals win games. But possession helps!

Had Jiri Hudler not scored an own goal on an empty net, they’d have been tied after two. Had Jamie Benn not hit a crossbar, had they not had the worst power play in the first . . . The possibilities are endless.

But at the end of the day, the official Defending Big D account is right. Goals win games. Keeping goals out of their own net wins games. All the positive possession in the world won’t help that unless their shots find the net.

2. Spoilers: I was right

Nine times this season, the opposing team has scored on the Stars while the team has the man advantage. Nine times. That, friends, is good for first in the league for goals allowed while on the power play. For a while the Stars were tied with the Philadelphia Flyers with 8 goals, but they’ve done it, friends. They’ve pulled ahead to first.

At least they’re leading in something this season.

3. Can you believe this happened

At first, I couldn’t figure out how this had happened. The Stars have an empty net on a delayed penalty, how can the Senators score? They touch it and the whistle gets blown, right? Why is this goal standing?

And then, the awful truth is realized. Jiri Hudler with the drop pass to the defenseman who just wasn’t ready or expecting a drop pass at all.

No one is tracking own goals that I can find, but I feel like any list that accounted for style and sheer level of horror would have to include this one.

All I know is . . .

This is all her fault.

4. We should be used to this by now

It’s certainly a very Starsy way to lose and Micah Blake McCurdy at hockeyviz.com confirms Owen Newkirk’s eye test:

From hockeyviz.com

Even the raw counts of shots on goal for the second period favor the Senators at 11-14. The Stars maintained positive possession because corsi also counts missed and blocked shots.

It’s true that the Stars win games they should win and lose games they should lose, but it also feels true that they win games they should lose, based on all measurable metrics, and lose games they should win. This happens to every team but it feels like it happens more to the Stars.

5. Something’s gotta give

Twelve straight games. In seasons past, it could be depended on that if the Stars could just keep the opponent to three goals against, they could win the game by outscoring their opponent. We’ve talked about this before, you and I.

Unfortunately, the one thing the Stars could always depend on in seasons past it failing them this season, and that’s their arsenal of offense.

The highest goal scorer on the team right now, Tyler Seguin, is just at 20 in 55 games, which is a .36 repeating goals per game average. The last two seasons his gpg average was .46 and .52 respectively. That’s a significant drop off in production.

Jamie Benn has 17 goals in 51 games, which is an average of .33 goals per game. The last two seasons he was .50 and .43.

The top scorers aren’t getting the job done every night, and the rest of the forwards remain in flux as the team deals with the rotating roster of injuries.

There’s also the matter of giving up that many goals to address, obviously. The first goal came on an abysmal power play, the second goal was on an own goal. Two goals that could easily have been avoided, probably, by actually having a good power play unit and, you know, not drop passing into their own net.

The third, well. Clean up your rebounds, boys.

6. Just a hint of irony

The way Alanis Morissette means it. Miss you, Goose.