Dallas Stars Fall 2-1 to Calgary Flames at Home

Two in a row? Foiled again. By themselves.

The Dallas Stars have lost 17 games. They have won 10. They have won two-in-a-row only once. They have won six times at the American Airlines Center and have now lost six times at the American Airlines Center.

They lost tonight to the Calgary Flames 2-1.

I am just going to continue to state facts for as long as I can, because excavating a narrative out of that game or this season is quickly becoming an exercise in "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Though, Lindy Ruff seems unlikely to heed that axiom in his post-game presser tonight.

The Stars outplayed the Flames tonight by any statistical measure you'd care to observe, save the one that counts. They out-shot them by ten. They allowed only 20 shots on Kari Lehtonen. They won the attempt battle 68-50- And yet it's the same old story.

The Flames' shots were of greater quality, thanks largely in part to the fact that for four or five of them there were no Dallas Stars standing between the Calgary puck carrier and Kari Lehtonen, who was sensational in the loss.

After one of the more uneventful periods of hockey on record in the first the action picked up with earnest in the second, but the Stars' team defense did not follow suit, allowing wave after wave of odd-man rushes at Lehtonen, who stopped two breakaways by the best player in the game before a two-on-none break finally ended with a goal that knotted the game at one.

Somehow the Stars out-shot the Flames in the frame 10-8. Julius Honka left in the late stages with what the team is calling an upper-body injury, and his return was ruled out pretty quickly, setting the stage for a shortened bench in the third period.

Sean Monahan scored the game-winner on the power play when he was allowed unfettered into the slot, scooping up his own rebound and placing it neatly past Kari for the 2-1 lead. With half a period to play the Flames would attempt only five more shots having sewn up what they needed- And one of those was at an empty net.

The Stars thought they might have scored as the ridiculous affair wound down to its inevitable conclusion- But Antoine Roussel pushed the goaltender, kicked the puck, kicked it in after the whistle blew, and also I may have mentioned: He was Antoine Roussel. The officials were not impressed, and somehow managed to wave it off three different times.

The Stars thought they might have scored a minute later as the ridiculous affair wound down to its inevitable conclusion- But the puck that rolled over the top of the net and on to Chad Johnson's back didn't cross the line. They reviewed it and waved it off again for good measure. The officials like repetition as a dramatic device, you see.

Patrick Eaves hit the cross-bar. Jason Spezza failed on a breakaway attempt. And a wrap-around attempt. Tyler Seguin had a one-timer from his spot on the team's only real power play- but nothing connected, save Curtis McKenzie's spectacular individual effort in the first.

So they had their chances, not to mention the reviewed none-goals. Ruff may choose to spin it that way, but in the end it was the porous defense in the second period that sticks with us here tonight.

Very briefly-

  • One need only look at the NHL stats leaderboard to see the greatness that is Tyler Seguin. I do not wish to diminish or otherwise disparage. But the shorthanded breakaway when he was chasing- True he had been on the ice for a spell but, where are his wheels? They used to BLOW us away. Has the league just gotten faster as a whole? Just curious.
  • Fastest goal challenge/review ever on the offside Flame?
  • Where is Jamie Benn? Watching #13 for the other side dominate and threaten and threaten makes you wonder where the Stars' best players are.
  • 29 of the Stars' 58 even-strength shot attempts came with John Klingberg on the ice (to 16 against). I am just going to leave this here.
  • Cody Eakin saw just 13 minutes of ice time but the Flames managed just five shot attempts on the Stars' net while he was on the ice.
  • Have you ever seen anyone sit down in the penalty box and then get told to get back up and get out? That was weird./