Yet somehow the team finally put the pieces together and scored four unanswered goals in the fourth to take home the win. And in the end, that’s what really matters:
“There was some small talk,” captain Jamie Benn said sarcastically of the first intermission dressing room. “We needed a kick in the butt, and we found a way to come back.”
Some bad blood was spilled as each team traded hit after hit, not all of which were legal (regardless of whether or not they were called as penalties). But the Stars didn’t let the Coyotes get under their skin, instead using that energy to fuel their comeback:
“They got some hits at us early, we didn’t like them, the penalty killing did the job, and we just kind of picked it up from there,” said Stars interim coach Rick Bowness. “We had a lot of guys that responded. No one was happy and we just responded. It’s as simple as that.”
You can read more from Mike Heika here.
Here are the full quotes from Rick Bowness:
Here’s Roope Hintz, who scored the game winner for the Stars:
And here’s Anton Khudobin, who was the only reason Dallas had a chance to win the game to begin with:
From pregame warm-ups — doesn’t this just warm your heart?
Around the League
T’was a decently busy Sunday night for the Central Division:
- In the sole inter-division matchup of the night, the St. Louis Blues had a decisive 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. [NHL]
- Elsewhere the Minnesota Wild fell 3-1 at home to the New York Islanders. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Finally, the Chicago Blackhawks came from behind to eek out a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the shootout. [Second City Hockey]
Speaking of the Chicago-Columbus game, national treasure John Tortorella made headlines due to his post-game rant about the NHL’s referees and review process:
John Tortorella rips into the refs and the NHL review process before walking out of his press conference pic.twitter.com/1USZBloGv6— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 30, 2019
(For context: Zack Werenski had a goal disallowed in overtime because the clock expired less than a second earlier. Later in the shootout, Joonas Korpisalo got injured and left the game.)
Moving on, here’s a feel-good(?) story for the day:
Say what you will about the Stars, but at least they don’t hand out albatross contracts:
The salary cap era has made every dollar spent matter that much more, but that hasn't stopped several teams from handing out dud deals that were regrettable before the ink was dry. @THNJaredClinton looks at the 10 worst signings of the 2010s:https://t.co/rtN8npPGr9— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) December 29, 2019
Conspiracy theory time: the NHL no longer lets players go to international tournaments because the U.S. would win it all, hurting Canada’ feelings.
Thanks to everyone who game out to Craft and Growlers last night for our meetup! For those of you who weren’t there...
For those that want a green version of the Jelly Strength shirt, a limited edition you can’t find anywhere else, here’s a link to order one. All money goes to Brayden and his family to aid in his fight against leukemia. They’re so soft!!! https://t.co/0nuVGYIc3t— DefendingBigD (@DefendingBigD) December 30, 2019