The Dallas Stars welcomed Connor McDavid and Co. to American Airlines Center tonight for a face-off with the Oilers, and it went... VERY well. The Stars came out hot and pretty much stayed hot through the full 60 minutes. They put together a convincing performance in all three zones to not only score a lot of goals (which is cool) but also to keep the greatest hockey player in the world off of the scoresheet for the first time this season.
The first period opened up relatively quickly but also in a normal way, with a back and forth transition game being the staple. The real story from the first few minutes of this game was the Dallas commitment to blocking pucks. The Stars ended the period with 10 blocked shots, which, in my humble opinion set the defensive tone for the evening. The Oilers offense (yes, that Oilers offense) couldn’t get pucks to Oettinger, who was determined to continue his impressive run in the Stars crease. All in all, Otter had a pretty easy first period.
You know what else was great in the first period? The Stars power play. The man advantage continued to roll for the Stars, as the power play led to two goals for the Stars in the first. Hintz scored the first on a deflection from a Klingberg (he shows up in here a lot) point shot. And then Jason Robertson net the second of the two after some #decent puck movement between himself, Hintz, and Klingberg. Yes, #decent:
And now, Owen with the first period stats.
Because we’re all friends here, I have to admit something to you all. I thought the Stars were going to blow it. It would have fit right into a particular narrative of which I have fallen captive. But I don’t think I’m incorrect to say the Stars tend to get a lead and then “park the bus,” “turtle,” “stop playing offense and just hope the other team doesn’t try to score” (this strategy goes by many names). And the Oilers (yes, those Oilers) are not the team to “turtle” against, because they have the two best point producers in the NHL in McDavid and Draisaitl.
I’m very happy to say I was wrong. The Stars continued to play the game that got them the 2-0 lead, and it paid off. By the time the dust settled on the second period, Dallas had been awarded 3 power plays. One of those was all but nullified due to a Roope Hintz interference penalty, but both abbreviated penalties and the intermediary 4-on4 were uneventful. What wasn’t uneventful was the tail end of the first of the three power play chances for the Stars. With mere seconds left on the Stars power play, Klingberg collects the puck behind the Stars goal, dances around some forechecking, and sends a nifty pass to a streaking Denis Gurianov, who does the rest:
Right after this Gurianov goal, though, the Oilers would add one of their own. Heiskanen joined an offensive rush, none of the offensive players filled his gap (presumably, it was Seguin’s job to cover as the last of the three forwards to join the rush), and a two-on-one for the Oilers ensued. Draisaitl dished a pass over to Ryan McLeod who beat Oettinger to break the shutout.
Although the point differential was net even, the Stars played a fabulous period overall, especially given their tendency to “turtle” with the lead. This chart of expected goals from moneypuck.com sheds a little bit of light on the offensive pressure generated by the Stars. A great period.
There isn’t as much to say here. The offensive pressure favored the Oilers in the third, which could be a combination of (lighter than usual for the Stars) “turtle” and a team that is down by two deciding to go fully offensive. The bright spot was a beautiful deflection goal from Luke Glendenning to put the Stars up by three with about half of the period remaining. That lead would prove to be too much for even those Oilers.
The Stars would hang on win by a final score of 4-1, and for that, I’m very thankful.
McDavid vs. Heiskanen. Look, I’m not going to say Miro Heiskanen is a better hockey player than Connor McDavid (I’ll think it; just won’t say it), but some people have the nerve to say McDavid is on a totally different level than Miro. I think that’s absurd. But what is undeniable is that the talent displayed by those two guys tonight made for a captivating night of hockey. My personal favorite moment from the game within the game:
Trending Up. The Stars are now 8-7-2, and won their fourth straight home game.
Thanksgiving Foods, ranked. You didn’t come here for food opinions, but you’re getting some. Dressing is essential to a proper Thanksgiving feast. If you forget the cranberry sauce, simply don’t mention that you forgot the cranberry sauce, and nobody will notice that it is gone. That said, here is a list of Thanksgiving side dishes ranked by order of importance when you are hosting:
- Greenbean Casserole (this should also be the only green item)
- Mashed potatoes
- Rolls (crescent rolls and yeast rolls are acceptable)
- Sweet potato casserole
- Cranberry sauce
Happy thanksgiving, Stars family. Stars win a good one.