One of these teams surely had to lose, according to the rules of sports everywhere. You just hope, in the way of sports fans everywhere, that it isn’t your team. And then you deal with the inevitable.
Let’s tweet about it.
1. Let’s talk about Benn’s night
This isn’t even where Jamie Benn stopped. After this assist, he also assisted on Patrick Eaves’ goal in the second period. Meaning he not only helped the author of the Dearest Annabelle to further fame and glory, he also kicked Brendan Morrow off the top ten in assists list.
He also had a goal in the first, giving him a three point night against the Winnipeg Jets. He led the team in possession at 74% corsi for (at 5v5) and five shots and two hits. All in all, it was the kind of dominant performance by the captain that we’ve been waiting for all season. Could Jamie Benn be Jamie Benn again? We’ll see on Saturday night.
2. Killed by the penalty
Haha oh I get it, they call it penalty kill because it will kill your season.— Jordan Dix (@jordan_dix) February 3, 2017
We’ve done it, you guys. With a penalty kill percentage of 73.4 after last night, we have achieved the unachievable: we are 30th in the league. And lest you think it’s a tight deviation, the number one team in penalty kill is the Carolina Hurricanes at 87.8%.
I also feel honor bound to report that we’re still at the top of the standings in man advantage goals against with 8. High event hockey is well and good at 5v5, but if the Stars can’t staunch the bleeding on their special teams, the climb out of the bubble in the Central is going to be incredibly difficult.
At least we’re middle of the pack in time on the penalty kill, so that could be worse. If we’re going to be abysmally bad at something, I’d rather it be something we don’t have to do more than any other team.
3. Everybody’s writing Annabelle
Dearest Annabelle,— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) February 3, 2017
The journey is long, but I'm pleased to report that my efforts have been able to provide the men with ample sustenance. https://t.co/lTfEbpXssh
If Major General Patrick Eaves isn’t your favorite part of this sad season, then I’m sorry you hate fun. Eaves has again pulled ahead of Tyler Seguin to take sole possession of the lead scorer of the Stars and is only one goal back of his career high of 20 goals. With last night’s goal and assist, he tied and then passed his career high points total.
You don't score until you hug! https://t.co/g8SI6Wt9hy— RealPatrickEaves (@Patrick_Eaves) February 3, 2017
How can you not be happy for this ball of sunshine.
A surviving letter from Maj Eaves:
Dearest Annabelle, though hope remained high until the end and our attacks were numerous and heavy, we failed to achieve victory for the regiment. Our standard hangs in the enemy camp and our spirits are low. The special commendation I received from the general for achievements in battle means little to me when I look at the slumped shoulders of my comrades. Still, we must press on. Reinforcements for the enemy come tomorrow and battle will begin anew. I hold you in my heart, dearest Annabelle, and your love is a gentle balm to my weary soul.
4. Another one bites the dust
Lindy Ruff said Jason Spezza is going to miss some time. "It's probably going to be more than days," he said.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 3, 2017
I don’t really want to have to talk about this, but I suppose we must. Jason Spezza was flattened last night at the blue line by Adam Lowry. It was a pretty bruising hit, as this rather tasteless tweet shows:
I’m hoping they didn’t realize at the time that the hit had actually injured Spezza “for some time.”
As of the All Star Break, the Stars are fourth in the league for man games lost, minus retired players still on contract with other teams. If you look just at forwards, we’re a very close second to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and then there’s no one else for miles. The Lightning, by the way, are having a worse season than we are in what is currently a tougher conference.
Our penalty kill is going to kill us, if our injuries don’t kill us first.
5. No reward for the effort
Dallas had 83-43 advantage in shot attempts and 42-29 advantage in shots on goal.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) February 3, 2017
This really can’t be overstated: the Stars really should have won that game. Ondrej Pavalec had some monster saves on the Stars, not the least of which was a 1-on-0 shorthanded attempt from Jamie Benn in the second period. At 5v5, the Stars had 61% CF. The only player below 50% was regular leader Adam Cracknell, who had to deal with some line rotation after Spezza went down.
Yes, the Stars allowed four goals, and none of them terribly glamorous except that first Mark Scheifele goal, assisted by Blake Wheeler on that cross ice pass. Not a lot Kari Lehtonen could do to see that coming. And, as discussed, maybe don’t go down two men on the penalty kill when yours is so bad. The Ehlers go was just embarrassing.
Still, even with four goals against, it’s not like the Stars haven’t been capable, just Tuesday night, in fact, of scoring more than four in a game, and they had all the opportunity to here. If you’re going to sacrifice defense for the sake of puck movement, you have to move the puck into the net, and they just couldn’t solve Pavalec.
6. It’s the sadness graph, look away
All games are important, but given the brutal dogfight for the Western wildcard spots, the Stars need 2 points...and for Winnipeg to get 0— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) February 3, 2017
Winnipeg did not get zero, we did not get any, and now we’re three points out of a wild card spot with no games in hand on the wild card spots in front of us and our bye week coming up.
Too good to tank, to injured to advance, it’s more and more likely that we’ll get a late pick AND go golfing early.
Bring it in for a group hug, y’all. We’ll get through this. Here, listen to this and cheer yourselves up: