The Dallas Stars continued their late-season collapse last night at American Airlines Center. Looking for two points that could have kept them in hailing distance of the wild-card race, the Victory Green gave up four unanswered goals to the long-ago eliminated Vancouver Canucks.
Now the team is in free fall, and the postseason discussions could get - well, intense, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika. John Klingberg didn’t mince words in the postgame interviews:
“We don’t deserve to win right now,” said [Klingberg]. “We’re doing all of the right things before games, coaches give us all of the information, we just don’t execute enough. We don’t have any confidence at all in the way we’re playing right now in the D-zone, the neutral zone, the O-zone. You can tell there’s no confidence right now, and it’s tough to play then.”
In the end, frustrated fans booed the team off the ice. The players didn’t blame them:
“I can relate to their frustration,” said defenseman Dan Hamhuis. “We’ve got great fans here in Dallas, I think they see the potential that this team has, and they’re frustrated. They know what’s on the line, as do we...I think we felt kind of the same way the crowd did tonight.”
Mike has more. [SportsDayDFW]
“We’ve got to find a way to regroup here.” Head coach Ken Hitchcock spoke to the media after the game:
With their eighth consecutive loss, the Stars set a team record for the longest losing streak since the move to Texas.
Stars 20/20: Boos rain down as Stars set record for longest losing streak https://t.co/ufZVzZXQbd— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 26, 2018
Stars players said they understood why fans booed and frankly they probably deserved it.— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 26, 2018
Heika was equally blunt in his postgame Cold Facts.
Cold facts: If you can't beat Canucks when season is on line, you don't deserve to go to the playoffs https://t.co/AgNaX6XRKT pic.twitter.com/oSyKnPieAI— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) March 26, 2018
If you want the horrible, horrible details via the national media, here’s the Associated Press write-up courtesy of the CBC.
Canucks' takedown of Stars puts damper on Dallas playoff dreams https://t.co/5zRfDDcWCf pic.twitter.com/IQoyq91Qtf— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) March 26, 2018
The Stars’ latest dream-crushing dry spell is taking its toll on everyone.
During their 8-game winless skid, every single game has been tied or within a goal in the third period. It has been so many emotional, crushing defeats.— Josh Bogorad (@JoshBogorad) March 26, 2018
Tonight they looked like a team - and they acknowledged postgame that they are a team - that is taxed from it.
“It’s tough to find words.” Hamhuis spoke to the media after the Stars’ second home loss this season to his former team.
There appears to be good news for at least one team member. Forward Martin Hanzal is doing well after spinal fusion surgery, and GM Jim Nill reports a “very positive” prognosis.
Jim Nill: Doctors are 'very positive' following Martin Hanzal's spinal surgery.#GoStars | @MikeHeika https://t.co/X6xfPTbqHq— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) March 26, 2018
And Tyler Seguin was bruised but otherwise unharmed (and probably really glad he wears a shield) after this near-disaster with Darren Archibald’s skate. [Sportsnet]
Also, it looks as if Segs won’t lose this particular bet with Brad Marchand.
It’s @TSeguinOfficial as the @DallasStars vs. @BMarch63 as the @NHLBruins – loser has to shave his head…— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 24, 2018
Enter the #NHLGWC at https://t.co/pqXuyLhLKV presented by @Honda pic.twitter.com/BCVqa6Mhmm
Around the League(s)
- The runway is clear: The Winnipeg Jets have clinched their spot in the 2018 NHL Playoffs with a 5-4 shootout victory over the already-clinched Nashville Predators. [On The Forecheck]
- And the Minnesota Wild gained a loser point, but fell short against the Boston Bruins in overtime, 2-1. [Hockey Wilderness]
Jets captain Blake Wheeler has taken “full responsibility” for yesterday’s practice slugfest with his own teammate, Ben Chiarot.
The #NHLJets captain started the altercation, pursued it, and if they were handing out instigators he would have gotten the extra penalty minutes. More from @SportsnetSpec:https://t.co/SF8rv7YhTa— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 25, 2018
But Winnipeg Free Press reporter Randy Turner suggests that somebody needs to have a quiet word with Patrik Laine.
Pfft. Forget the Chiarot fight. I'll believe Blake Wheeler is a real leader when he takes responsibility for Laine's beard.— randy turner (@randyturner15) March 25, 2018
The Western Conference wild-card contest is as heated as ever, and the St. Louis Blues have complicated it further. Jared Clinton examines the state of the race. [The Hockey News]
Tonight, the Calgary Flames will face the Los Angeles Kings without top scorer Johnny Gaudreau. Johnny Hockey has taken a leave of absence to handle an undisclosed family matter.
"Johnny is dealing with a personal issue. He's flown back out east to be with his family ... we're going to give him some time to be with his family right now." - Glen Gulutzan pic.twitter.com/zLtVuA6HjQ— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 25, 2018
Here’s a little context now that Connor McDavid and his 96 points have taken the lead for what could be his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy.
For the lazy: Connor McDavid has 77 even strength points. The next closest is Nathan MacKinnon with 62. It's the highest total since 2009/10 (Henrik Sedin, 82), and the only other player to hit 70 in the past five years is... McDavid, last year. https://t.co/fScJio9rB0— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) March 25, 2018
In the NWHL, the Metropolitan Riveters won their first Isobel Cup with Katie Fitzgerald’s 1-0 shutout of the Buffalo Beauts.
Metropolitan Riveters win first Isobel Cup on strength of Fitzgerald’s shutout, writes @THNJaredClinton https://t.co/m1p9zAJoe8 pic.twitter.com/P2nTHKzA9e— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 25, 2018
And in the CWHL, the Markham Thunder won the first Clarkson Cup in franchise history with a 2-1 victory over Kunlun Red Star.
The Markham Thunder make history with their first Clarkson Cup! ➡️ https://t.co/B5RdBgGKb6 #WeAreTheGame #ClarksonCup2018 pic.twitter.com/3GhBVmKXiX— CWHL (@TheCWHL) March 25, 2018
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
On Saturday, the Texas Stars lost the second half of a home-and-away with the San Antonio Rampage, 2-1. They still hang on to their playoff position in the AHL’s Pacific Division. [100 Degree Hockey]
The San Antonio Rampage returned the favor on the #txstars in a 2-1 loss Saturday night. Texas maintains their hold on fourth in the Pacific Division despite the loss.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) March 25, 2018
Read: https://t.co/0s4mtGQ9G5 pic.twitter.com/YyFtbFiQI0
The unintended highlight of last night’s broadcast turned out to be that NHL Shop commercial starring Seguin. Cheer yourself up with a few viewings of “Twinsies.” Enjoy.