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10 Thoughts on the Second 10 - (Either move on or limber up you’re scrolling fingers cuz short this post is not.)

I wasn’t going to post this comment but what else are you gonna do on a Friday? Work? Start enjoying your weekend? Directly below are the instructions for those who want to get to the next comment and not read this one. You can either scroll down or hunker down and then we can continue living our lives.

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Every year, I forget what happened several games prior. For the first ten games, I catalogued the games with GIFs. Below are the second such set of ten games with GIF’s but this time with far, far, ummm, farrrr too many words.

STAR GAMES 11-20 (2018-19 Season)

11. Dallas at Montreal W 4-1

OK. This game was a while ago. Looking at the score above, it looks like this was a great win for our boys in green. Yeah, not so much. In the previous game, Dallas had just finished getting punked by Detroit who had no regulation wins in their first 10 games until the Stars were kind enough to visit the Pizza Palace in Motown. So, you’d figure the lads would come out ablaze in Montreal, looking to right the road-trip ship. Yeah, not so much.

The first period saw the Stars put two (2!) shots on net but shots-on-goal don’t tell the whole story so you can’t rely on just that. Their Corsi-For, or shots they took attempting to put the puck toward the vicinity of the net in the first period, were six (6!). The relentless team strategy to beat Vezina winner Carey Price was "try to get" six shots on him in the first 20 minutes. Don’t worry though, the rest of the game the Stars managed to whittle the Corsi-For (5v5) way down. They made such a push that by the final whistle it was super close with Montreal having only a 66.67% to 33.33% advantage. Our side ended up getting doubled on shot-attempts. Yeesh!

Below is coach Jim Montgomery, post-game, in the middle of his review of the possession stats above. He soon realizes Montreal was absolutely robbed and the Stars better get out of town before they’re asked to return the win.:

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{This is also the post-game footage capturing Alexander Radulov first hearing and then evading all Montreal reporters’ questions. If you listen closely, you can faintly hear Radulov mutter, "Ask Bergy", as he ducks out of the frame and into the trainer’s room.}

12. Dallas at Toronto W 2-1

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

(FYI: There is no galaxy in which the Toronto Maple Leafs exist that could be ‘far, far away’ enough.)

The galactic league is in chaos due to the darkness that is the Maple Leafs who play in what used to be known as Toronto. Despite their most recent Stanley Cup triumph taking place more than half a century ago, the hype surrounding the Narcissistic Empire continues to dominate all media bandwidths across the both the Uni- and the Twitter- verses.

Intergalactic relations have been fractured for decades, driven largely by the Sith’s support from the insufferable and monotonous clone army (aka jerk Leafs fans). Relations have been further strained by the chasm of dissonance between the amount of publicity the Leafs have received and the shit hockey they have played for over 50 years. Tensions continue to run high on both sides. The Empire’s last bastion of support is in their re-named home city of Jerkville, Ontario. Putting further pressure on peace in the galaxy, the preponderance of Canadians in the Sith’s home territory also despise those blue and white bastards.

The situation has become so unreasonable, some Jedi have prophesized a forthcoming wall-of-text in this post for the remaining summary of the Leafs game.

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{That’s you on the bottom right if you choose to make the poor decision to read all the thoughts about the Leafs game. --- If you are a Star Wars fan, you will either be OK with the summary or absolutely hate it because those are apparently the only two options available to you people.}

*** 1st Editor’s Note: Author has lost his mind and clearly lacks midi-chlorians. We strongly suggest skipping to just past the asterisked and bolded text before the next GIF, or, entirely scrolling past this "summary" to one below that didn’t go off the rails like a White House press conference.*** (No, seriously!!)

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This summer, our rebel Stars tried to bolster their fighting forces for the upcoming battles of 2018-19. The Stars’ Minister of Trade, Jim Nill, entered into fierce negotiations with several bounty hunters on the open market with a new hope of making the playoffs. This included negotiations with a combatant who fought alongside the enemy Leafs for several years. The team pulled off a major coup and sent shivers through Stars fans’ spines by pulling off the most unneeded signing of early free agency. Former Sith defenseman, Roman "Jar-Jar Binks" Polak, was now a Star. Since then, some Stars loyalists are beginning to believe the acquisition of Binks adds an element that will help our heroes become victorious over the long haul. Sadly, these loyalists lack considerable knowledge in the ways of the force. Teach them, Yoda must.

Another available and sought after prize was the most powerful knight in over a decade not affiliated by-contract with another regime. Nill’s negotiations did not go very well with freelance gunner John Tavares as with others. The Stars had hoped to have success similar to the signing of Binks whom some now feel is more useful than the similarly named Stars defender, Honks. Even amongst those seemingly on the side of good, the dark side continues to find ways to cloud rational judgment during times rife with uncertainty and poor puck possession.

Stardate: November 1, 2018. League-wide upheaval abounds! (I know, ‘Stardate’ comes from a different space-show, but upheaval still abounds!)

In a distant quadrant, dark times have beset last year’s upstart Golden Knights. Last season, Vegas made it to the finals only to go down in defeat to a bunch of bro’s who, immediately after learning you could drink from the Stanley Cup, began emptying the liquor shelves at that Cantina where Solo capped Greedo. The Knights already find themselves facing a seemingly insurmountable climb up the standings if they are to make it to the final battles in April once again. Last year’s Knights were the force to be reckoned with in the west and if the force awakens this season like last, they might be able to make a late push. However, the battalion from Sin City currently seems to be reeling through a sophomore space slump (sss – for the stat-happy) and their bitter disappointment of last year. Their bitter disappointment, of course, came from being forced to use the team-name Vegas Golden Knights after learning their preferred moniker, Vegas Jedi Knights, infringed upon galactic trademark laws.

Meanwhile, the forgotten Montreal Canadiens who hail from the planet Jacques-Who have fought fiercely. Playing from da outer reaches, Les Habitants (lays-ABBY-tawn for those who don’t speak Wookie) have the fifth most points in the league as of today’s date. Even in the face of being subjected to the self-sabotage that is the tyrannical lunacy of Supreme Leader Marc Jong-ille Bergevin, the Habs continue to win battles other teams have taken for granted. Unforetold victories have been stacked like Kings’ losses as the Habs unexpectedly rose like a Phoenix in the standings (no affiliation with the Coyotes, obviously). The Canadiens continue to win despite using tactical plans out of date by millennia, under the tutelage of the oft-fired Monsieur Julien, known throughout the galaxy as Commandeur Dump and Chase Extraordinaire.

There are stark disparities between the realities of November 1, 2018 and the envisioned fates of both the Knights and the Habs. Additionally, the Stars have been winning several games regardless of playing like poo and struggling to average eight shots-on-goal per night. This all lends credence an imbalance in the force and a belief the universe is kinda cray-cray right now.

Pursued by the Empire's sinister agents, Prince Montgomery races aboard his Stars-ship, custodian of the stolen plans (aka ‘The Process’) that can save his people and restore freedom to the galaxy.....

(Be honest, if that was the screen crawl before one of the movies, you’d have already left the theatre because of eye-strain and disgust. Now, on to our feature game.)

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With the bounty hunter bidding-wars far in the past, the Stars were scheduled to clash with the Jerkville scum for the second time this season. The team traveled to the Scotiabank Death Star Centre to take two points from a team that most often clashes with lesser foes in the weak eastern rim. The Empire previously conquered our heroes at the Stars’ home-base which is located on a desolate landscape where no halfway-decent professional sports teams have dwelled for years.

The previous battle was a high event affair with the might of the dark side overpowering the Jedi. That match served as Empire retribution for a mediocre Stars squad beating up on the Laffs for the last several seasons. Revenge was also on the mind of the newest Empire fighter, Tavares, who still laments Master Benn beating him out for the Art Ross Blaster-Point Medallion in the dying seconds of a long-ago season. It seems many long-time Sith soldiers were looking for payback and, post-game, their younger skill-players spoke about how the revenge of the Sith’s veteran players was a key motivating factor to their victory.

For tonight’s game, a subplot in the story was the return of the Jedi knight Tyler Seguin to his birthplace. A video of Seguin handing out Halloween candy to filthy clone children from his mum’s secret base was leaked to the Sith. Tyler had feared the clone adults would learn a Stars fighter was secretly amongst them being civil to their jerk offspring, provoking an attack of the clones’ parents on his childhood sand-cave. Thankfully, these fears were soon assuaged when resistance fighters learned the jerk adults were too busy lying prostate at a statue of their false god.

Every Halloween, season-opener and trade-deadline, thousands of clone jerks make a pilgrimage to the site of the thankfully demolished Maple Leaf Gardens where the Empire lost hockey games for decades and decades. The jerks go there on solemn occasions to handle snakes, punch babies and sacrifice the cutest puppies you’ve ever awwed at. They do this at the foot of a $50 million-dollar effigy of their false idol, a golden half-goat-half-Babcock statue commissioned by Imperial Commander Shanahan. This is not new. Since the 1960s, the jerks have obediently and mindlessly gobbled up anything told to them by the MSM (main-sith-media). The clones continue desperately to try worshipping the Empire back into relevance despite years of inevitable heartbreak while the rest of the hockey galaxy has looked on with disbelief and heartfelt joy.

As soon as the puck was dropped at Death Star on this night, our heroes were outgunned with consistent fire and were forced to batten the hatches. A strategy was formulated that the team should just bunker down in front of those who have been our best defenders this year, the goal posts. The besieged keeper of the posts, Dobby, also fought courageously to prevent any passage of the puck into the net. And this time, unlike the New Jersey game when his had broken, master gave Dobby a stick to help him do his job.

Our rebels took an early advantage when Jedi Squadron Leader 14 scored for the first time in what seemed like 3.7 parsecs. This was followed by a continued barrage from the armada of Empire attackers including Boba Tavares who wildly fired his blaster only to have the inanimate goal post jump out of nowhere to deny him, twice. In the third frame, Janmark emulated the mythical Tron with a pass to Shore who simply had to exist to tap the gorgeous feed beyond the reaches of rebound-drone Frederik Andersen.

The Stars had been completely outplayed and were able to somewhat stem the tide towards their goal when teetotaler Jason Dickinson took a penalty for tripping the charlatan Darth Cheaterus, the evil wretch they sometimes call Nazem Kadri. Instead of a trip, it would have been preferable if Kadri’s whiney, diving, cheap-shot taking nose was smeared from one bloody side of his deceitful face to the other. But sometimes the galaxy doesn’t let us have nice things.

There are three minutes left in the battle. Monty feels this is somehow the most opportune time to send in Brett Ritchie (who should be somewhere deep in the spice mines of Cedar Park shooting womp rats - and likely missing them). Ritchie then promptly takes his third penalty in seven minutes of combat time. Almost immediately, the Empire strikes back with a goal of its own, making the Stars Bench Generals pay for their insolence of putting too much faith in the grit side of the force.

After taking this late blow to make the game 2-1, the Stars go fully into STM (Stealth Turtle Mode) and weather an incredible onslaught of Sith shots for the remainder of the game. With less than one minute to play, Master Faksa tried to take a precise shot at the empty net but the shot turned out being a rogue one which missed the net completely, leading to an icing. With mere seconds left, the Sith Apprentice Marner bore down on the Stars goaltender, Khudobin, who was the last Jedi to beat. Dobby, however, again refused passage of a point-blank blaster attempt. The battle horn sounded with the depleted and completely turtled-out rebel defenders strewn across the icy barrens of the visitors' crease at the Death Star.

Once the horn sounded, I promptly signed an Executive Order, which apparently is as easy as waving a fake magic wand, to pardon all Stars fighters for their many transgressions committed during tonight’s campaign. All that matters is the jerk fans in Jerkville are less happy tonight and hopefully they feel great shame for the next 50 years like they did the previous 50.

This season, under new commanders, it seems the Stars are beginning to evolve into a different fighting force than last year. One sign of that is Jason Spezza, now unhitched from his carbonite freezing chamber, somehow finding his long-lost and never-to-be-seen again scoring touch. Although the creature is not physically present this season, the former despot leader of the Stars, Jabba the Hitch, still haunts the franchise in a looming consulting capacity. During winter months, the Hitch resides far away on Tattooine (some now call it Arizona). Unfortunately, even from afar, both his influence and the lunacy which undermined this franchise last season continue to dwell in the heads of current coaches and team management like some sort of phantom menace.

~~~~~~OK. Look, if you caught on earlier, we both always knew it was going to be tough for me to slip the title of ‘that’ Star Wars episode into this narrative without completely pushing it as I did with the other nine movie titles. As obvious as some of the other episode references might have been, the other nine Star Wars titles I tried to slide in above had a fighting chance. But this one was always going to be a stretch. Almost as much of a stretch as it was to have people go to a second viewing of Phantom Menace when it first came out in theatres. And, I don’t even want to talk about that silly Toronto Maple Leafs civil war between differing factions of cloned, jerk Leafs fans because nobody ever paid a lick of attention to the clone wars either. Regardless of how much we hoped both sides of that battle would wipe all the jerk Maple Leafs fans from the face of the galaxy, the clone wars were not something rational Star Wars fans even acknowledge. Ever.~~~~

***2nd Editor’s Note: The Jedi prophecy and the asterisked first editor’s note clearly forewarned you to skip past all that nonsense and just look at the pictures. If you didn’t, you have no one to blame but yourself. ***

After a fleeting Stars victory, balance to the force has been partially restored. Now if only Supreme Chancellor Bettman would stop doing dark-side shit like canceling seasons and ruining the Winter Olympics, the galactic league could live long and prosper.

Stars win - Sweet. Leafs lose – EFFING SWEET!

Below is the moment when Nill lost his marbles at the end of the John Tavares negotiations. This is when he realizes, full-well, there is no back-up plan and it is now too late to acquire depth-scoring for the Stars’ upcoming season. Here, we see a clearly flustered Nill quash any last hope of landing the free agent as he lets Tavares know the repercussions of his decision to follow his childhood dream in Jerkville:

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{You can also see the beautiful Toronto skyline in the background.}

BONUS FOOTAGE:

Here is Bishop, Ben (G) in his alternate jersey performing the ritual he conducted on the nets prior to this and several other games on this road trip. This might solve the mystery of the Stars’ lucky streak of getting saved by the goalposts every second shot.:

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{This clip also shows exactly what some DBD’ers imagine is happening on the other side of the screen when they get a Rec for one of their comments.}

13. Dallas at Washington W (OT) 4-3

The Stars traveled to the Capital to play the Capitals. How Capital of them. The game was an entertaining one where the Stars scored some exciting goals including the tic (43) - tac (90) - toe (14) goal of the year, up to that point. After that tally, the Caps tied it on their third seeing-eye goal of the game, none of which could be blamed on Ben Bishop. Thankfully, a fresh-faced Jason Dickinson was soon busy celebrating his overtime goal to seal a Stars victory.

Speaking of celebrating, Capitals players have built up an extreme tolerance to alcohol from partying all off-season after winning the Stanley Cup. They now suffer very few ill-effects the next morning if they go out for drinks after games as they did on this night. As proof of this, the Instagram video below shows an alert Alex Ovechkin, at his summer estate in Moscow, giving an articulate interview the morning after the overtime loss to the Stars. If you look closely in the background, you can catch a glimpse of the less alcohol-tolerant Jason Dickinson waking up after a night of partying with Ovie and the boys.

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14. Dallas at Boston L (OT) 1-2

The Stars got a point, which is good. The game ended when the Bruins scored an overtime goal on a 5-on-3 man advantage after Esa Lindell put an embellishing Bruins player I call Ratface-Poopypants into the boards (I don’t want to use his name because it feels wrong even typing it. He is the foulest sort the NHL has and his initials are B.M. which I only just now realized are the most apropos initials I could even imagine. Well, that fell into my lap! "B.M." it shall be then. Is it going too far if I make a reference about how B.M. might stick? Yeah, you’re right. l won’t go that far.).

Other thoughts from this game include: Khudobin not only had to set foot in Boston again after finally escaping, he was also bombarded with little defensive help all game, again; Boston’s announcers may be worse human beings than Leafs fans; and, pretty much everything about the Bruins organization should make us consider the use of nuclear options to rid the country of the entire New England region. Also, anger precludes me from further opining on how this contest ended with Boston on a 5-on-3 power-play, in overtime!

Video evidence of the entire incident is not available but here you can see the tail end of Lindell’s overtime penalty. The footage cuts in immediately after the Bruin’s forward, B.M., feels something brush against his repulsive, diving jersey.

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15. Dallas at Columbus L 1-4

This game came at the end of the team’s longest road trip of the season and the Stars had already taken a surprising 7 of the 10 available points before this last road game. So, it seemed somewhat predictable that there may be a let-down in this game. There was hope prior to the game when some outlets suggested the Jackets back-up goalie might start in net. The video below sums up the collective reaction of fans when it was realized the starting goalie, and twice-a-year owner of the Stars, would be Sergei Bobrovsky.:

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16. San Jose at Dallas W 3-4

This was a fun game to watch and the result was great for the Stars against a really good Sharks team. The only people who probably didn’t enjoy this game were any of the coaches on either bench who expected at least some veneer of organized defense to be played by either team at any point during this game.

From above the play, you can see the offensive player in the middle of the ice dancing into the slot for a high danger scoring chance. From this advantage point, you can also see the defensive strategy employed throughout the game by every Sharks and Stars defender to deter all such goal-scoring threats.

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{This is also the reaction of many readers when the guy in the middle acts like a lunatic and just keeps typing, and ranting, and blathering on like he owns the DBD comments section with disregard for both people’s time and the tendons in their scrolling thumbs.}

17. Nashville at Dallas L (OT) 5-4

This was such a great game to watch. Yes, the Stars lost in overtime but here’s just some of what else happened:

a. the Stars dressed four defensemen with a cumulative total of 44 games of NHL experience

b. Honka made a bone-headed turnover leading to a goal, but then, six minutes later, made a majestic play from the blue line to set a goal up, keeping both sides of the debate happy and full of ammunition

c. there were several scrums, including some adorable Swede-on-Swede violence when Mattias Janmark caved in Filip Forsberg in the crease before he tagged in his wrestling partner, Ben Bishop, for some post-whistle blocker blows to the face of Filip (who my father insists is the son of NHL hall-of-famer Peter Forsberg no matter how many times I pull up the Forsberg family’s Ancestry.com page)

d. PK Subban threw a tantrum and took a penalty immediately after wetting his pants upon the realization Jamie would snap him in two if not for the officials’ presence

e. our new, hot young prospect, Jason Spezza scored a one-timer on the ensuing power play

f. there were power-plays at both the end of regulation and during over-time

g. the action went back-and-forth all game and not a second of this contest was not entertaining

Here is how I feel about anyone who watched that thrilling game until the end and answered "no" when asked, "Are you not entertained?

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18. Columbus at Dallas L 2-1

During the Stars’ four power-plays, they had *ONE* shot on goal, *THREE* shots against.:

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{This is also the proper response to watching Blake Comeau on any odd-man offensive rush. Especially breakaways. - GIF Credit to ChrisChris127}

19. Boston at Dallas W 0-1

Both teams were hampered on the blue line with three or four regular defensemen for each team sitting in an infirmary somewhere. The game started once the defensive replacements for both teams were dropped off at the arena by their parents after middle school was let out. In addition, Devin Shore did not play because of a lower-body injury. Shore’s absence due to his condition meant that Jason Dickinson got to play full-time at his natural position as a center on one of the Stars forward lines.

Unfortunately, Ratface-Poopypants (heretofore known as B.M.) was not viciously murdered prior to game-time so he played a regular shift and several Bruins fans sobered up enough to make it to the AAC for puck drop. Thankfully, those same fans were shut the hell up when center, and all around good-guy, Jason Dickinson scored the winning overtime goal to beat those mouthy schmucks by a score of 1-0. Here, we see Dickinson, after the game, visiting the hospital to check on the recovery time for Devin Shore’s injured leg.

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VIDEO BONUSES:

Since I cannot bring myself to type another word about the silliness that is Boston Bruins commentating, I will leave you this little vignette of Jack Edwards’ reaction after B.M. gave Ben Bishop a completely unnecessary whack to the back of his knee and Ben flinched. There’s just too much to ponder and unpack here plus my nose is starting to bleed from the spike in blood pressure caused by thinking about it again. So, listen for yourself to his unbiased assessment of the play:

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNx0TNtZv2U - Jack Edwards Somewhat Disagrees with the Refs

Here is a video some fabulous human put together that shows how embellishment is ruining the game and echoes the sentiments of Jack Edwards on exaggeration and diving in hockey. The calls you hear from Edwards are actual calls he made against Bruins’ opponents dubbed over the audio to drive home how strongly he feels about the topic. (Note: This is only part 2 of 3 in this video series):

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftGo5FR6umY - Embellishment Has No Place in the NHL

20. Dallas at NY Islanders W 6-2

The Stars scored a season-high six goals in this game and came away with a big road win which is great. They did this even being outplayed by the Islanders for some longish stretches during the game. What was lost on some maybe overzealous fans was how the Islanders’ goalies combined for an .807 save percentage and let in some egregiously weak goals during this affair.

Below, wearing their home blue’s, we can see just how sharp Islanders goalies Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner looked in pre-game warm-ups on this night.:

Greiss:

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Lehner:

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TL;DR

If you didn’t read this, cool beans. Now you can keep scrolling and we can both continue living our lives.

This second stretch of 10 games was very taxing. Not for the Stars players, for Stars fans. Who would schedule the Stars to play both the nauseating Bruins and repulsive Leafs twice each in a 17-game stretch to start the season? Whoever did this obviously doesn’t care about the night terrors such a sequence can induce.

The next ten games might be the ten that send us spiraling towards the 12th lottery pick or they could be the ten games that keep us desperately clinging to the edge of a wild card race. We will, of course, lose the wild-card race, enabling us to capture the coveted 14th lottery pick. With the Stars playing the way they have thus far, this is the wide array of possibilities that await us faithful followers.

Upon looking and realizing this comment has 2.3M characters, this how rapidly a large chunk of DBD’ers moved on to the next post without reading this one (Can’t really blame them. People need to continue living their lives, you know?).:

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{This is also some people getting called to the Thanksgiving dinner table last week. And, in a rare case of one GIF capturing five things simultaneously, this is also footage of me the other day when I looked up and read some big hockey news on this site. (You already forgot this was the first GIF in this comment didn’t you? Don’t worry. Everyone did, including me.) Anyway, I have a dear friend who lives elsewhere and we talk hockey, at length. Above is my reaction reading Hitchcock was no longer being employed as a Dallas Stars consultant because Edmonton hired him as their new coach. After I read it, you can see how calmly I move to your left to get a bottle of Crown and the phone so I can engage in a long civil hockey chat with my buddy. Nothing pleased me more at that point than the opportunity to amicably discuss the end of the Hitchcock regime in Dallas with my hockey-loving pal who is an Oilers season ticket holder. True story. Thanksgiving, INDEED!}

Y’all continue having good holiday season and for those of us lucky enough, another turkey is less than a month away.

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