I thought about finding six tweets of just incoherent rage and/or screaming to encompass my feelings, but I don’t really feel like people need more of that right now. Probably.
So look at these tweets instead.
Actually, these tweets are probably just going to CAUSE incoherent rage and screaming.
1. You know what, I’m leading with this
Dearest Anabelle,— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) February 8, 2017
My protection for my skull has been the subject of ejection thanks to a rogue stab to the back.
I look to be fine.
- PE pic.twitter.com/IFMpJ9lO4g
Because everything else is depressing and I just can’t do 6/6 depressing tweets. Dearest Annabelle continues to be the best thing about this season, even though Tyler Seguin’s power play goal did knock Eaves down to second place in scoring. Enjoy your moments here, because trouble’s coming.
2. Truly baffling
Cody Eakin gets a lot of ice time— Josh Lile (@JoshL1220) February 8, 2017
Cody Eakin led all forwards in ice time last night, which seems like a baffling decision when he’s got 6 points in 32 games played, and only one of those a goal. Sure, he won most of his face offs last night, but as was pointed out in Robert’s Afterwords, Mike Babcock had some criticism for his team’s face offs, so it might have less to do with Eakin and more to do with the Leafs.
Either way, player deployment has been a point of contention among Stars fans on twitter. Ruff’s decision to stick with first line center Cody Eakin and with the defensive pairing of John Klingberg and Esa Lindell are both drawing a lot of criticism and undermining fans’ trust in Ruff as a coach.
3. I have a sneaking suspicion that Leafs fans won’t agree
I'm not one to blame the refs, and I'm not going to start now, but that was an atrocious series of calls.— Josh Lile (@JoshL1220) February 8, 2017
Okay yes, Cody Eakin did cross check Mitch Marner. But Adam Cracknell getting called for goalie interference?
Cracknell goalie interference penalty. pic.twitter.com/EZ2cVa8lop— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) February 8, 2017
This is the only gif of the incident I could find, but you can clearly see here that not only is Adam Cracknell angled away from Leafs goalie Curtis McElhinney, he’s pushed into him from behind by another Leafs player. The fact that this was called a penalty that led to a 5-on-3 that the Leafs then scored on is absolutely laughable. Or would be, if I weren’t so angry about it.
4. I know, I know but listen
Stars road record is now 7 - 14 - 4. Dallas is the only NHL team not to win a game this season when trailing after 2 periods (0-19-2).— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) February 8, 2017
Seven road wins. Seven. That’s ALL SEASON. That’s out of twenty-five games. Out of twenty-five games on the road they’ve won seven. And look, it’s actually pretty typical to not have as good a road record as you do a home record, which is why it was so atypical a couple of seasons ago when the Stars had a better road record than home. But even that season they had more than seven wins at home by February.
It was true in the first half of the season that most of the away games were played by Kari Lehtonen, but that hasn’t been true since Christmas. Not only has Ruff played Lehtonen more than his goalie partner Antti Niemi, five of Niemi’s eight games in 2017 have happened on the road. This, of course, is not taking into account the number of times they’ve relieved each other in net throughout the season.
Suffice to say, like years before, the goaltending is an obvious scapegoat when you’re looking for something to blame all these goals against on. But unlike previous seasons, that isn’t precisely a full picture. Niemi and Lehtonen’s save percentages at 5v5 are still league average, which is pretty good (all things considered). It’s their special teams goaltending that’s abysmal, and the fact that the Stars are towards the bottom of both power play and penalty kill percentages bears that out.
And to also be the only team that hasn’t won when trailing entering the third period is just yellow icing on a disappointing poo-flavored cake.
5. Outscoring your weaknesses?
Stars have 9 goals in last 5 road games (1.8 goals per game). Troubling, but more troubling if you recall they scored 7 in one of them.— Bob Sturm (@SportsSturm) February 8, 2017
This tweet is clearly counting last night, because if you go with the last five prior to this night, you also get to include the 6 goal night against the Kings back in January. With this game, you’ve got 0, 1, 7, 0, 1. Even if you get to include the game against the Kings, it’s clear the one thing the Stars are truly lacking this season is consistency. They CAN outscore their defensive deficiencies, they just aren’t able to do it every single night, or even most nights, or even half of the nights this season.
Interesting (maybe?) to note: that game against the Rangers also did not have Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the same line. As much as I clamor for a reunion of the Jamie Benn / Tyler Seguin / Patrick Eaves line, they’ve seen just as many losses as wins.
6. These are the deeper depths
This marks the first time all season the Stars have lost 3 straight games in regulation. It comes off the heels of a four-game point streak.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) February 8, 2017
When I say things like, “it could always be worse” what I really mean is, “we could be the Colorado Avalanche.” I would say Dallas is really close because they’re currently sitting 28th in the league, but the Stars do have twenty points on them, so really, it’s not as close as it looks. Perspective is fun, isn’t it?