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.
If you want the horrible, horrible details via the national media, here’s the Associated Press write-up courtesy of the CBC.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
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.