The score didn’t reflect the effort. That seems to be the consensus, from both the Dallas Stars and those who cover them, about Sunday’s 5-1 road loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Did the team take something they can work with from a pretty meh loss to a really good team?
Matthew DeFranks of The Dallas Morning News examined the Stars’ defeat, as well as the “upbeat” response that may have seemed a little odd out of context. He found that the Victory Green gang may have reason for a little optimism:
They did not play horribly, and the four-goal differential was not indicative of their performance. At 5-on-5, Winnipeg had two more shot attempts while the Stars had two more shots on goal. Scoring chances and high-danger scoring chances were about even. A Josh Morrissey empty-net goal and a Bryan Little power-play goal in the waning minutes inflated the score. The Dallas power play scored for the fifth consecutive game.
But they lacked finish and mustered only four shots in the third period. Ben Bishop was beaten on a wraparound goal by defenseman Tyler Myers at the end of the second period. (“Second one, he makes a pretty good play,” Bishop said. “Maybe would like to have that one back.”)
And a failed clearance from captain Jamie Benn resulted in a Kyle Connor goal that built a two-goal lead for Winnipeg. The initial shot was blocked, and Bishop said he didn’t find the puck until the last second. (“You come out in the third and don’t execute on a little, simple play, and it’s in the back of your net,” Benn said. “That’s unacceptable by myself, and it’s tough to win on the road when you don’t do the little things.”)
Yet the Captain echoed head coach Jim Montgomery’s downbeat post-win comments about sitting back:
“I think we start feeling pretty good about ourselves, and it’s something we can definitely work on,” Benn said. “You never can get too comfortable in this league because the standings are so tight and there are so many good teams. You’ve just got to take it one game at a time, regroup and look forward to the next one.”
There’s more under the DMN paywall. [SportsDayDFW]
In more Matt content, he caught up with Mattias Janmark and finds that improvement the Stars are looking for.
Monty liked the compete level, but not the result in yesterday’s loss.
But Tyler Seguin made sure he won this ongoing competition with Mark Scheifele:
Tyler Seguin and Mark Scheifele were at it again to see who gets to be the last one off the ice.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) January 6, 2019
Don't show this to Scheifele... pic.twitter.com/E24y7wxPDg
Segs also racked up his 300th NHL assist with his point on Alexander Radulov’s goal, so he has that going for him....
Around The League(s)
The Stars aren’t the only Central team that needs better from forwards who aren’t on the top line. Nathan Kanter examines the struggles of the Colorado Avalanche.
Elias Pettersson could be back from a sprained knee within two weeks.
The 2019 World Junior Championships men’s tournament ended with a thriller. Finland beat Team USA 3-2 in the final minutes.
HIGHLIGHTS: What a dramatic medal day that ended with Kaapo Kakko's championship-clinching goal for Finland in the dying minutes of the game to beat Team USA 3-2. Don't miss the highlights from the #WorldJuniors final! @leijonat @usahockey— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 6, 2019
Read more: https://t.co/7VnOT6sjMU pic.twitter.com/yE21VUtrVd
But the silver-medal result was a great sign for the national program.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Nicholas Caamano got bumped up to the top line, and it paid off with a great goal on a Manitoba block.
It could always be worse. You could have a penalty shot called back because the arena lights flashed at the wrong moment. What do you think?