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Afternoon Delight: 6 Easy Tweets

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Well they didn’t dominate the stat sheet but they won the game, so that’s fun.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

1. Just need some insurance goals

If there’s any team that is well acquainted with how quickly the tide can turn, it’s the Dallas Stars. If there’s any fan base that can’t rest easy on a multi-goal lead, it’s Dallas Stars fans.

Looking solely at games they went on to lose, the Stars have blown a two goal lead a total of four times this season, but that’s the biggest margin. They haven’t lost a game in which they were leading by more than two at any time, which, hopefully, is cause to breathe a little easier when they get up 3 goals. Don’t though, that’s probably not safe.

2. Milestone game, milestone goal

Yesterday marked the 600th career game of Patrick Eaves, beloved war hero. His tally in the first period equaled his previous career high. His goal in the second passed it, and also again gave him sole possession of the #1 spot on the Stars leaderboard.

He also is in a four way tie with Alex Ovechkin, Mike Hoffman and Wayne Simmonds for second place in power play goals for the season, behind only Brayden Schenn. And, he leads the team in taco goals by a considerable margin.

This letter from Maj Patrick Eaves survives:

Dearest Annabelle,

It is with glad heart that I pen this missive to you today. As you have no doubt heard in reports from the front, yesterday afternoon marked a resounding victory for our regiment, aptly named once more the Victory Regiment. I had no small part myself, tallying two decisive blows that rallied the men. We routed them, Annabelle. I doubt they shall recover enough to attack again for many months. There is always attack from another regiment waiting on the horizon, but tonight we feast like kings, we sing songs of glory and victory, and we thank providence for our loved ones back home.

3. Those fancy stats though

This was tweeted after the first period, but let’s look at those stats. Dallas actually had more shots on goal than the Hurricanes did. They had more hits, more blocks, and more takeaways. They did not win more face offs and they also gave the puck away almost three times the amount that the Hurricanes did.

And there’s also their CF%:

From corsica.hockey

Which was actually pretty abysmal. If I’m a Hurricanes fan, I’m pretty sad their defense and goaltending couldn’t keep them in the game. But since I’m a Stars fan, I’m pretty okay with it.

This came up last game, and I feel like it’s come up on many occasions this season, that the possession stats didn’t match the score. If the Stars want to keep winning games by the skin of their possession numbers, I’ll cheer for it, but It’s probably not something they should continue to depend on.

4. That Lindell/Klingberg pair

Esa Lindell had one of his better games yesterday. He opened scoring on an odd man rush and displayed better decision making skills in the neutral zone, leading to fewer giveaways to the opponent.

That said, the pairing of Lindell and John Klingberg has been mismatched from the start.

From hockeyviz.com

Lindell probably needs some more time on the second or third pairing. Dallas is trusting him with big minutes with John Klingberg, and his defensive numbers aren’t living up to the trust Lindy Ruff has placed in him. It’s hard to see Klingberg on this graph, but that’s because he’s buried in the “bad and dull” zone. What’s pretty evident here is that almost every defenseman plays better defensively without Lindell than they do with him, and that Lindell hovers in that zone no matter who he plays with.

Which is fine, not every player on the blue line will be the best shut down defenseman in the league. Teams want better than that on their top line though, and it’s odd that this is the pairing Ruff has settled with.

5. Special teams still not very special

The Stars scored on one of four power play opportunities. I tend to think of any power play goal positively, so even though that’s only 25%, my brain automatically thinks of the power play as being good right now.

I’m not generally as optimistic about the penalty kill. Though their % for the game was higher there at 50%, the goal they allowed while on the penalty kill was, well, a little embarrassing.

See, Kari Lehtonen thought he had it in the glove, but he clearly didn’t, and then he got scored upon.

But more than that, it’s the fact that they’ve allowed a power play goal in 16 of the last 19 games. It’s the fact that their penalty kill percentage is now worst in the league. Something’s gotta give and I just hope it’s not the season.

6. I’ll take it!

I like resounding victory better than nail biting and I like both better than losing.