In the modern world of instant gratification, Dallas Stars fans were not pleased with what they were left with as Tuesday's contests against the Maple Leafs drew to a closed.
"What have you done for me lately?" these days reaches back about 12 and a half minutes and the third period was, you might say, not exactly a model of what fans look for when seeking out indications of future success.
The team mustered a single shot in the third period, a backhand by Antoine Roussel with 91 seconds remaining.
Not a lot of thanks after their highest scoring period ever and a 6-3 win, despite the 43-20 Toronto shot advantage. Lindy Ruff acknowledged the late struggle, adding some context-
"We played a little bit scared, scared to make a big mistake," he told media after the game. "It's hard to play that way but we've had so many things go wrong that I think it's going to take a game or two to get out of that. You just continue to play."
That's an interesting point. He posits that the situations they've put themselves through this season have left them a little gun-shy- And that they need "a game or two" to build some confidence.
Consistency. Momentum. You know the drill.
They've a chance at it here this evening. They've won two in a row. They have points in four straight, and you could argue that the two OT losses in there were the two best games in the stretch. They're 3-1-2 over their last six.
The wild card situation... Well, it's better to talk about tonight. For now.
Enter the Winnipeg Jets. They got Ken Hitchcock fired Tuesday night as they poured five goals on the Blues in a 5-3 win in St. Louis. Those five goals were preceded by five more in Chicago- A pretty salty feat in consecutive games.
Scoring has not been a problem for them recently- 4.33 per game over their last six outings in a nice 4-2-0 stretch, but they've needed that to balance the other side of their game where they've been a bit leaky.
Like Toronto, Winnipeg represents another smelly mirror for the Dallas Stars- The Jets allowed 53 goals in 14 games played in the month of January, good for 3.79 against per night in that stretch. Scientists tell us that this is not good.
So it shapes up like another track meet, potentially.
Rookie sensation Patrik Laine returned from a concussion last week before making a splash at the All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. He scored his 23rd of the season despite the missed time on Tuesday, and must be kept in check tonight- And probably for the next 18 years or so.
The Winnipeg Sun notes:
Since Jan. 1, only three NHL teams scored more goals than Winnipeg's 3.71 per game: the Capitals (4.33), the Wild (3.92) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (3.91).
The outburst from this northern outpost includes 10 goals in the last two games, 26 in the last five.
Overall, the Jets have climbed into the top-10 in goals per game, at 2.89, rare air for a team that in its first five seasons of existence always lacked firepower and only once cracked the top half of the league in scoring. [Winnipeg Sun]
Injuries- T. Myers, M. Perreault, C. Chiariot.
From Stars PR:
The Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets meet on Thursday night for the fourth of five games during the 2016-17 regular season. The Stars are 1-2-0 against the Jets this season and lost the most recent meeting, 8-2, on Nov. 8, 2016 at MTS Centre. Forward Patrick Eaves recorded a team-high two points (1-1=2) and forward Tyler Seguin added a goal (1-0=1). Forwards Antoine Roussel (0-1=1) and Devin Shore (0-1=1) each added assists. In three games against the Jets this season, Patrick Eaves (2-1=3), Devin Shore (0-3=3) and Antoine Roussel (3-0=3) share the team-lead with three points. The two clubs meet for the fifth and final time this season at MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Feb. 14.
IT'S ONLY THE SEGUINING
Forward Tyler Seguin tied a game-high with two points (0-2=2) against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night and is now riding a four-game point streak (2-3=5) with eight points (3-5=8) over his last eight games. The forward has a five-game point streak on home ice (3-4=7) and has inked the scoresheet in nine of his last 10 games (7-6=13) at American Airlines Center. Seguin leads the club with 27 points (9-18=27) in 27 home games and shares eighth in the NHL in points on home ice this season. The forward is tied for seventh in the NHL with 49 points (18-31=49) in 51 games and shares 10th in the League with 31 assists. Among League leaders, the forward ranks fifth in shots (179) and shares fifth in power play points (19). The native of Brampton, Ont. has a nine-game point streak (7-6=13) against the Jets, with goals in four consecutive games (4-0=4) against them. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his nine-game point streak is the longest active point streak by any player in the NHL against the Winnipeg franchise. Seguin also has recorded a point in four-straight games (3-2=5) on home ice against the Jets. His 28 points (16-12=28) in 26 career games against Winnipeg is his highest point and goal total against any NHL club.
IT'S A SHORE THING
Forward Devin Shore recorded two points (1-1=2) on Tuesday night against the Maple Leafs and now has points in two consecutive games (1-2=3). The native of Ajax, Ont. skated in his first career contest against his hometown team on Tuesday and tied his career-high for most points in a single game. Shore ranks seventh on the club with 22 points (8-14=22) in 51 games this season and is one of two Stars skaters to appear in every contest during the 2016-17 campaign. Among NHL rookies, he shares ninth in points (22), and is tied for 12th in both goals (8) and assists (14). On home ice this season, Shore ranks ninth among first year skaters with 11 points (2-9=11) in 27 games. He has points in two of his three career games against Winnipeg (0-3=3) and recorded an assist (0-1=1) in the most recent meeting at MTS Centre on Nov. 8.