The Dallas Stars found a new way to give away a game in overtime last night. Worse, they gave it away to the Nashville Predators, who are storming back from a dismal start and have become the latest of several opponents who are blocking the Stars’ path to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
So, is it one damn thing after another, or the same damn thing over and over again? A little of both, writes Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika:
[In] the overall perspective of a 56-game season, one less point shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But the problem is Tuesday’s game was a refrain heard so many times this season. Dallas was the better team for large swatches of the game. Dallas received some big efforts from key players like Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and Anton Khudobin. Dallas simply didn’t cash in on enough great scoring chances to put the game out of reach early.
So a Nashville team that seemed to be swimming upstream found its breath, made some huge plays late, and forced overtime. Once in the extra session, the Predators made quick work of the Stars and sauntered out with a win when Eeli Tolvanen took advantage of a Denis Gurianov mistake and found his way into open ice for the game-winning goal just 1:29 into the overtime session.
Gurianov came in for a public dressing-down from Rick Bowness during the postgame interviews – but his high-profile screwup in extra minutes wasn’t the reason the Stars had to go to extra minutes in the first place:
One thing that seems to be consistent is the Stars failed to score when they had numerous chances early. Yes, Jason Robertson blasted in a great shot for his 16th point in the month of March, and yes, Hintz scored on a power play rebound for his 11th goal of the season, but Dallas could have had so much more....
Dallas simply can’t continue to waste opportunities like this if it hopes to make the playoffs. It can’t continue to play the way it has played all season.
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
How long will Gury be in the doghouse? Expect to see at least one healthy scratch, says Saad Yousuf.
It wasn’t the only reason they lost but it was the most glaring one. Denis Gurianov’s last shift in overtime was brutal, offensively and defensively.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) March 31, 2021
Breaking that down here + what’s next for Gurianov + Radulov latest + more! https://t.co/0QIYgZ5Une
Matthew DeFranks has another depressing statistic close at hand.
If the Stars were just average team in OT/SO and went 6-6 -- instead of 2-10 -- they would be in a playoff position. They would be ahead of Chicago, Nashville and Columbus on points percentage.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) March 31, 2021
ifs and buts ... merry christmas
Can this team learn to win in regulation? Maybe?
Around The Leagues
- The Columbus Blue Jackets broke their losing streak, and extended that of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with a 3-1 win in Amalie Arena. [The Cannon]
- But Carter Verhaeghe scored twice and the Florida Panthers redeemed the region’s honor with a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. [Winging It In Motown]
The four-point games giveth, and they taketh away. Tracey Myers discusses the outsize influence of divisional matchups in this season’s playoffs race.
In the latest #OvertheBoards mailbag, @Tramyers_NHL takes a look at whether the Hurricanes will trade one of their three goalies, how the Predators' hot streak will impact their plans for the NHL Trade Deadline, and much more.https://t.co/m6NdBveLWd— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) March 31, 2021
Remember when the Walt Disney Company got its own NHL expansion team? (Yeah, they’ve been this powerful since at least the 1980s.)
The IIHF World Juniors had a banner year in world broadcast numbers. Will pent-up demand create even more interest for the 2022 championship?
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
Texas scores in the final seconds to force overtime and Nick Baptiste nets the OT winner for the #txstars over the @IAWild.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) March 31, 2021
Texas and Iowa square off again tomorrow at 7 p.m. at @HEBCenter https://t.co/WTZjLQvl2o
And yet somehow, the Stars continue their streak in the John Klingberg Round. Enjoy.