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Julius Honka Scores Beautiful Overtime Goal

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Oh, and it was his first career NHL goal. That’ll be a story to tell your grandkids one day.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In the course of an 82 game season, it can get a little stale trying to figure out a way to express the meaning within the game. It gets even more challenging when the games don’t mean a whole lot more than playing for pride.

So tonight, I’m going to spice things up a little.

The following is basically my notes as written throughout the game. Think of it as a stream of consciousness. The instant reaction to the game instead of the dialed down, more formal style of recap we often present here.

Especially appreciate that I did not include the emojis I may or may not have drawn in Taylor’s Notebook (trade mark pending).

FIRST PERIOD

· Does Jamie Oleksiak communicate with his partner on ice? At times, it feels as though he’s dancing to a different beat than his blueline pal, going to the same areas and missing the fact that his partner has someone already covered.

· Brett Ritchie made a smart play to pass back out of the zone when he realized his team was offside. (This will not be the last time Ritchie’s name appears in Taylor’s Notebook.)

· Jamie Benn backchecks could have love notes written about them.

· Tyler Seguin had a nice chance that drew the first power play of the game. Teams have a tough time handling his speed.

· On the ensuing power play, was that the first time we’ve seen John Klingberg skate the puck into the offensive zone instead of a making a drop pass zone entry?!

· OMG I SMELL PIZZA. (I’m getting hungry up here.)

· One thing we will continue to observe is how much Seguin’s defensive play gets overlooked at times. He makes some great plays in his own zone. His speed helps him in that regard too.

· Devin Shore sometimes shows patience well beyond his NHL experience with the puck.

· Anxiously awaiting that first Jamie Benn – Julius Honka goal connection, not gonna lie.

· ::Insert gift emoji:: Christmas came early for Ritchie as he gets a turnover right in front of the goal and snipes one past Mike Smith. The thank you card will be in the mail tomorrow.

· The Stars continue to buzz the net. Jason Dickinson finally gets rewarded for his puck hounding abilities.

· …and good feeling gone, the Coyotes score 10 seconds later off the ensuing faceoff. The 2016-17 season in fine form still in game 80.

The Stars are winning 2-1 heading into the second period! But wait, I’ve seen this movie before…

SECOND PERIOD

· Dan Hamhuis was winding up for a nice slap shot chance but gets called for a hi-sticking penalty. In other games, that has gone uncalled. It’s one that’s hard for the referees to be consistent on at times.

· Luckily, the Good Penalty Kill showed up for Dallas so no goal allowed on the ensuing power play for Arizona.

· Antti Niemi had a couple of nice pad saves in the middle frame.

· Julius Honka: so smooth, such passing, many wows.

· Funny moment when Ritchie was going into the zone and got his stick all tangled up. He wasn’t able to score on the rebound Adam Cracknell created off the shot that followed because of it. It’s kind of important to have a stick to score, you know?

· This period was kind of snooze-worthy, TBH.

· Spoke too soon! A corner pick chance by Dallas somehow doesn’t go into the net. My guess? Wizadry.

At least they were winning still? Yeah, I’ll go with that. Positives!

THIRD PERIOD

· Smith has been down and out in his crease at least three times this game and the Stars have not been able to take advantage. This season, man…

· Klingberg, completely unintimidated when a Coyote got up in his face. Thought they were going to square off there for a second, but no dice. Jamie Benn came over to give the guy a bear hug and let him know if he tangles with Klingberg, he’s going to get the bear instead.

· Arizona used a drop pass on their power play entry. How many of their fans hate that too?

· Do we have a new shorthanded scoring threat in Dickinson? He had a nice look.

· Luke Schenn completely wiped out along the boards in his own zone, completely untouched. I would have laughed out loud if I were you.

· The habit of distinguishing between Benns in writing is hard to break, apparently.

· Benn gets a penalty for playing with a broken stick. I’m not even sure he realized right away that it was broken. You can almost see the moment when he realizes it and throws the stick to the ice. Unfortunately, it was a long enough delay for it to be called a penalty and negate the

· Cody Eakin, going bowling for goalies since 2012.

· One of the goalmouth scrambles by Dallas is going to bust past Mike Smith, surely.

· …and after the numerous chances against, Arizona takes it down the ice and Anthony Duclair slips one past Niemi. Tie game.

It seemed like one of those close games destined to go to overtime, so that’s not surprising.

BONUS HOCKEY

· Hello, old friend. You haven’t been so nice this year. What version of overtime Stars will we see – the ones that can end it quickly due to their speed and offensive power, or the ones that get scored on because they like turning the puck over?

· Benn with a nice chance to end it, doesn’t get past Smith. Common theme much?

· Niemi saved their bacon after a big turnover. Stars are much better playing the attack in 3-on-3.

· Klingberg’s shift to start OT? Roughly 1:45 long.

· HOT DAMN IS JULIUS HONKA MADE FOR 3-ON-3 HOCKEY. His first career snipe ends it in overtime with a win for the boys in Victory Green.