After the Dallas Stars’ 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last night, there was a running theme with the postgame conference: a lack of passion and fight from the Stars.
“You could tell the passion and the competitiveness just wasn’t there,” [head coach Rick] Bowness said. “It just wasn’t.”
“It just shouldn’t happen,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “You can be as talented and whatever in this league, but it doesn’t take much to work hard, and work hard as a group. For some reason, we didn’t do that tonight. … There is no excuse for not competing. It’s all inside — emotion, heart. There is no excuse.”
Of course, “passion” can only explain so much. The Stars’ have a clear problem of scoring at 5-on-5 so far this season, which was put on full display last night:
They created chances in the first period, ringing three posts, but passed up shots on prime scoring chances. The third period was fine after falling behind by three goals. But the second period was all Blue Jackets at 5 on 5, as they had a 9-6 edge in shots on goal and a 12-3 edge in scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.
“We have to be more consistent,” defenseman Miro Heiskanen said. “I think we didn’t play good enough tonight. The first was OK, but the second was really, really bad. We have to be a lot better than that.”
You can read more from Matthew DeFranks here.
Saad Yousuf attempts to be at least a little optimistic about last night’s loss:
Hello, fellow Stars hockey nerds. Let me share my pros and cons list from the 4-1 loss in Columbus with you!
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) October 26, 2021
If you (thankfully) missed the game like me, here’s a breakdown… kind of:
Coach calls timeout to tell his team to fuck off, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/xkhcxYSc3X
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) October 26, 2021
So we’re all on the same page:
This is an embarrassment to the whole fan base, and should be completely off limits. Taunt about play on ice, or even what someone wears to the rink, but you NEVER taunt someone about something as traumatic as losing a friend.
We are ashamed of that “fan”. The fuck man. https://t.co/CTuGGsxdOq
— DefendingBigD (@DefendingBigD) October 26, 2021
Around the League
Only a couple of other Central Division games from last night:
- The Arizona Coyotes put up a fight, but fell 5-3 to the Florida Pan — wait a second, have I forgotten to highlight Arizona games earlier this season?!? [Litter Box Cats]
- Meanwhile the St. Louis Blues stay undefeated thanks to a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings: [St. Louis Game Time]/
Speaking of undefeated teams: while the Toronto Maple Leafs are flailing, Freddie Andersen is doing quite alright for himself with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes began free agency not knowing who would be between the pipes in 2021-22.
“It was a nervous time,” said GM Don Waddell.
However, it looks like Carolina’s offseason goalie gamble on Frederik Andersen has paid off so far.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) October 26, 2021
Team Canada will be stacked for the Olympics… except possibly in net:
🇨🇦 Canada has narrowed its list of men’s goaltending hopefuls to six for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Who makes the team?
— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) October 25, 2021
Greg Wyshynski offers some advice if you’re considering taking a dip into NHL betting:
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) October 26, 2021
Finally, Sean Shapiro investigates lower-than-usual attendance numbers for the start of the 2021-22 NHL season:
Ticket sales are the most important financial pillar for NHL teams and account for roughly 50% of league revenues.
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) October 25, 2021