The Dallas Stars have dropped the second game in a row on an important road trip against the Central Division, this time against the Winnipeg Jets. I wish I could sugar coat this for you.
Let’s tweet about it.
1. Some baffling roster speculation to kick us off
Remember when Seguin, Spezza and Faksa played right down the middle - the Stars were winning and flowers were blooming and sun shining and..— Brandon Worley (@brandonworley) February 14, 2017
Prior to the game, Lindy Ruff told Mike Heika that his strategy for not playing Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin at center in the same game is related to puck possession.
"The issue with having both of them (at center) is we spend too much time in our own end," Ruff said. "You need better, harder defenders, more physical guys to get the puck back. The numbers that support not having them down low are pretty good." (SportsDay)
This decision isn’t sitting well with Stars fans.
The last thing a historically generous defense should do is abandon the sound tactics that got it this far.— Robert Tiffin (@RobertTiffin) February 15, 2017
Is this true? Both Spezza and Seguin played center last season, when we made it to the second round of the playoffs. It’s hard to pin this less-than-stellar season on one roster decision, but it is true that the most effective line Jamie Benn has played on this season did not include Cody Eakin:
2. A milestone
With his goal in the second period, Jamie Benn became the second player from the 2007 draft class to hit 500 points. The first player went first over-all to Chicago. As Stars fans well know, Jamie Benn went fifth round of his draft and didn’t start full time in the NHL until 2010.
Benn joins a short list of players to reach 500 points in the NHL going in the fifth round or higher at the draft. Others on the list include Joe Pavelski, Jussi Jokinen, Henrik Zetterberg, and Pavel Datsyuk. So, he’s in good company.
Jamie Benn has 9 goals and 17 points in his last 13 games. He is tied for the NHL scoring lead over that span.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) February 15, 2017
And also still on something of a scoring tear.
Why do the Stars have more shots but not more goals? #wdtshmsbnmg <- It's going to be a thing.— Brad Gardner (@bradgardnerDBD) February 15, 2017
Dallas had more shots, more scoring chances, and more possession than Winnipeg did throughout the entire game. It’s becoming a common phenomenon.
That third period! Those two posts! pic.twitter.com/vOv2QZveUJ— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 15, 2017
But it was certainly not through lack of offensive effort that the Stars lost last night.
4. I know y’all are tired of hearing this
It seems to be more of a Pro Niemi kind of night.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) February 15, 2017
But Antti Niemi was actually pretty decent last night.
We could go through the goals one by one again, except for the two empty netters, but the truth is that neither goalie is getting the defensive support necessary to make up for any other deficiencies. Yes, the shots and the possession were lopsided, but the Jets led the Stars in takeaways and blocks by a pretty fair margin, and trailed in giveaways.
Neither Niemi nor Kari Lehtonen are the goalie of the Stars future, but they’re also not the reason we keep losing night after night.
5. Laine likes Dallas
Patrick Laine has six more goals against Dallas than Eakin has this season total— Josh Lile (@JoshL1220) February 15, 2017
Patrik Laine has 26 goals on the season (three of them last night). Eight of those goals have come against the Stars, and six of those were in two separate games.
That’s right, rookie forward Patrik Laine scored his second and third hat trick against the Dallas Stars. You’re welcome, Laine, if you go on to win the Calder.
The only game he didn’t score against the Stars in still got him two assists for his points total. He’s currently at 47 points. A much more reasonable 11 of those points are against the Stars. He only likes scoring in Dallas, not assisting.
"Some guys hands are cement. Others wrapped in angora." #Razorisms on Patrik Laine.— David Castillo (@DavidCastilloAC) February 15, 2017
6. The only actual good news
During the broadcast, Daryl Reaugh announced that play-by-play announcer Dave Strader would be back in the broadcast booth for the upcoming homestand. Strader has been out this season while battling cancer, his return to the broadcast booth, however long, will be special for fans listening and watching from home.