The Dallas Stars are in Ottawa to take on the Senators tonight, and in honor of the faction of Sens fans that speak a different laguage, I wanted to start this game preview with a famous quote of the Great One's translated to French:
Vous savez ce que Wayne Gretzy a dit - "le gros fromage est à la bibliothèque verte odeur"
Well, I typed "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" and I think Google spit it out "The big cheese is at the stinky green library."
Oh, well. I had my opportunity, but I missed it. It just didn't happen for me. But I tried hard, and that should count for something, right?
In a completely unrelated matter, let's talk about the Dallas Stars, losers of three straight in regulation and five of their last seven overall. They've lost three straight this season before. Repeatedly- but never in regulation like this.
At a time when the need every point they can get, you've seen them collect just two in the past fortnight thanks to the All-Star break.
Tyler Seguin was asked to describe what the Leafs did differently Tuesday night after surrendering just one goal to a team they'd allowed to score six times last week in Dallas-
"I think we had a lot of opportunities to score," Seguin said. "I don't know what our final shot total was but- we capitalized more when were at home against these guys."
""I'm sick of talking about it," he finished. "You look youself in the mirror. You dig deeper... We've got to all be professional here and hold each other accountable and get out of this together."
He'd echo similar sentiments on the Bob and Dan radio show on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket Wednesday- Sick of talking about missed opportunities. Tired of talking about it at all.
So are we. Let's talk about the Senators.
The Senators are doing quite well. Or- Wait. They have just two points more than do the Bruins, and they just fired their head coach. So maybe they're not doing so well. The East is weird.
Ottawa is second in the Atlantic Division with 60 points- Eight back of the Canadiens with four games in hand. (Four games in-hand on those Bruins too) So while they're in a four-car pileup (OTT 60, TOR 60, BOS 58, FLA 56) behind Montreal they seem to be doing quite well comparatively.
...Overall. Not lately. No, lately they've been out-scored 10-0 in back-to-back losses to the Buffalo Sabres and the St. Louis Blues, neither of which are portraits of NHL health these days, either. To repeat- they've been shut out in consecutive games, out-shooting those opponents by a combined tally of 67-56 in the process.
Still, second in their division- But nothing remarkable about them. Middle of the road in scoring. middle of the road in PP% @ 17.2. The best thing you can find is their PK @ 82.8% good for 10th in the league. Their leading scorers have just 44 and 39 points on the year.
Yet for all that so-called mediocrity, they have no glaring faults, either. Something our heroes in Victory Green can boast not.
Things aren't so bad there- Not compared to Dallas, but their media paints with a darker shade- Let the Ottawa Citizen tell you about it-
“We’ve had a little lull in the last two games and it’s maybe because we’re not sticking to what has made us successful in the past. I want to lead the way in sticking to the plan I had before the game. The reason why is we all know the first game after a long road trip is difficult.”
OK, that’s true, but the Senators haven’t been consistent lately.
At a time the Senators look like they’re falling apart at the seams, Boucher is trying to hold this group together to make sure it gets headed back in the right direction in the battle for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Coupled with an ugly 4-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, the Senators have been outscored 10-0 in their past two games. They haven’t scored a goal in 120:25 and have surrendered 21 goals in their past five games. Ottawa needs to put the brakes on this immediately. [Ottawa Citizen]
The Leafs had surrendered a bushel of goals just before the Stars showed up, too. Dallas had done one thing right before the TOR game- Feast on the East lately. If they cannot even get back on that horse tonight it’s going to be a long ride home to Dallas.
- Mike Condon
- Andrew Hammond
Injuries: Clarke MacArthur
From Stars PR:
THE SENATE IS OUT OF SESSION
The Dallas Stars and Ottawa Senators meet on Thursday night for the first of two matchups during the 2016-17 regular season. Dallas comes into Thursday's contest having recorded wins in seven of their last eight games against the Senators (7-1-0) and have points in nine of their last 10 games against them (8-1-1) dating back to the start of the 2008-09 campaign. The Stars have also registered points in seven-straight games at Ottawa (5-0-2), including posting wins in each of their last four games at Canadian Tire Centre. In the most recent game between the two teams on March 6, 2016, the Stars defeated the Senators, 2-1. Forwards Jason Spezza (1-0=1) and Antoine Roussel (1-0=1) lit the lamp and captain Jamie Benn (0-1=1) notched an assist. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 23-of-24 shots faced and improved his record to 6-1-0 over his last seven contests against Ottawa. The Stars went 3-for-3 (100%) on the penalty kill and 1-of-2 on the power play (50%). Forward Patrick Sharp leads all active Stars skaters with 12 points (4-8=12) in 15 career games vs. Ottawa.
IT'S ONLY THE SEGUINING
Forward Tyler Seguin lit the lamp for the team's lone goal (1-0=1) and posted a season-high nine shots on Tuesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. Seguin now has goals in two consecutive games (2-0=2) and has recorded points in six of his last seven games (4-3=7). With his goal against Toronto, Seguin now has 20-or-more goals in each of his four seasons as a member of the Dallas Stars and has reached the 20-goal plateau in five of his seven NHL seasons. The forward ranks 10th in the NHL with 51 points (20-31=51) in 54 games and shares 14th in the League with 31 assists. Among League leaders, the forward ranks third in shots (197) and shares fifth in power play points (20). On the road this season, Seguin leads the Stars with 23 points (10-13=23) in 25 contests. The native of Brampton, Ont. has 10 points (4-6=10) in 23 career games against Ottawa.