Let’s not act like the Dallas Stars haven’t been disappointing. Their 1-6-3 record in their past 10 games speaks for itself. No one wants to get caught holding out hope for a turnaround.
But that’s exactly what head coach Rick Bowness is doing. Indeed, Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika writes that the fancy stats for last night’s 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning tell the story of a team who got shut down by an elite netminder who stood on his head:
The Stars had a 28-19 advantage in shots on goal, and Natural Stat Trick had them with a 13-4 advantage in high danger scoring chances. So while they were foiled by Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy for the second consecutive game this season and third in a row stretching back to the playoffs, they did a lot of things right.
“We outplayed that team 5-on-5, we did,” said Stars coach Rick Bowness. “When you lose, you lose, I get that, but we’re losing because the puck is not going in. I’ll take the way we played 5-on-5 all day.”
Yes, it’s an improvement on Saturday’s 5-0 shutout, but does that help get more biscuits into the basket? Jason Dickinson doesn’t want to give Vasilevskiy that much credit – or take too much emphasis away from how the Stars need to respond as a team:
“He’s a good goalie. He’s big and he moves well,” Dickinson said. “We created a lot of good chances and there are moments where you see that we should be putting it in the net. We are missing the net on 2-on-1s, we are not getting shots, or I get the puck in the slot and I shoot it right in his stomach.
“It’s silly things like that that are in our control and has nothing to do with the goalie himself. That’s just us.”...
“I hate losing. It sucks,” Dickinson said. “I don’t think anyone wants to be doing this right now, so it’s pretty obvious it’s going to be frustrating. But it’s important that we stay together and we don’t let it consume us. Because as soon as you let the frustration take you over, then there’s no getting out of it.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Despite last night, Rick Bowness is still seeing more of what he wants from the team.
Rick Bowness: "The things we have worked on in practice to try to create more offense was evident tonight, and Vasilevskiy was the difference. We will try to build on this for Thursday night.”@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/WALdztXA37— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 3, 2021
Here’s what “building on this” will have to mean if the Stars want to make the playoffs.
The Blackhawks are on pace for 68 points this season. If the Stars are to catch that pace for fourth in the Central, they need to go 26-13-0 in the final 39 games.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) March 3, 2021
About that mask mandate...for the Stars, it’s still in place.
To add onto this for now no plans for Stars to change mask policy at games https://t.co/aD0O68VMYW— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) March 2, 2021
American Airlines Center’s other high-profile tenant will continue to enforce COVID precautions, too.
The Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars say they're not making any changes to COVID-19 protocols and attendance capacities following Gov. Abbott's announcement Tuesday. https://t.co/yFIaqazV2J— WFAA (@wfaa) March 2, 2021
Around The Leagues
- The return of 10-percent capacity to Nationwide Arena may have been good mojo for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1. [The Cannon]
- And Steven Lorentz’s first NHL goal was also the game-winner as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Nashville Predators 4-2. [Canes Country]
The Jackets’ win came on the same day that GM Jarmo Kekalainen publicly affirmed his support for bench boss John Tortorella.
The Athletic: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen says he’s standing by John Tortorella and #CBJ coaching staff despite club’s struggles.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) March 2, 2021
“I don’t believe in quick fixes, that you suddenly blow up something that you’ve been building for a while.”https://t.co/iz6OsBjyZS pic.twitter.com/lCkKdumpNv
And don’t look now, but Dougie Hamilton has finally found his forever team...if the Canes can keep him.
Rumblings notebook! Items on Dougie Hamilton, Dominique Ducharme, John Tortorella and what about the annual March GMs meeting?https://t.co/JPPe3dqX68— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 3, 2021
It’s a win Dominique Ducharme will never forget— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 3, 2021
His first win as an NHL coach. For his Montreal Canadiens. With his team snapping a five-game losing streak and offering a performance that had his fingerprints all over it.@EricEngels reports ⤵️https://t.co/ApBGzhuL3f
Sidney Crosby will be placed on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list and will not play for the Penguins against the Flyers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNW, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, https://t.co/yFcpGmLbfE). https://t.co/bf5PvToSZ0— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) March 2, 2021
Junior leagues have already conducted successful forays into bubble hockey. Now the WHL is set to try it, too.
The Western Hockey League is a go https://t.co/VJGncPCg2O— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) March 3, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars announce new sweater bling for forwards Nick Baptiste and Josh Melnick.
The T-Stars will need all the leadership they can muster: The rescheduling of the San Jose Barracuda rematch has created a bit of a scheduling crunch.
#txstars announce the reschedule of the SJB game from February 16.— 100 Degree Hockey (@100degreehockey) March 2, 2021
Game moved to San Jose's practice facility on April 14th. Texas will get last change, etc. as if they were the home team.
Will create 6 games in 8 nights sequence for Texas.
Remember the last time the Stars scored on Vasy? Larry, we hardly knew ye. Enjoy.
Andrei Vasilevskiy going for a third consecutive shutout of Stars tonight with one period to go (Game 6 SCF, Saturday). The Vezina Trophy winner hasn't allowed a Stars goal in 160 minutes of game time.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) March 3, 2021
Last goal was scored by Corey Perry (Tyler Seguin nearby). 2OT Game 5 SCF pic.twitter.com/QY5OS270xT