Dallas Stars Led by Klingberg Beat Winnipeg in their First Street Fight 6-3: Six Easy Tweets

The Dallas Stars more or less took it to the Winnipeg Jets in a game they had to prove they could win given their weak record against the Central last season. The team displayed how different they are for the 2015-2016 calendar year.

There's a scene in the movie Rounders, where John Malkovich playing Teddy KGB displays what in poker is known as a 'tell'; a signal of information that need not be positive or negative in order to be dramatically revealing. The Dallas Stars could have been the mad Russian, cracking open a warm Oreo cookie for every made hand in Poker, showing the hockey world what they're truly holding as a team. Instead they're still carrying along, bucking the trend of what they revealed last season.

Easily coaxed broad narratives are what we call "hot takes" in the sports world. Dallas might have been the victim of a hot take from its own fans; "Dallas won't win until it learns to beat the Central; tonight they proved nothing has changed" or whatever. Granted, there's still plenty of hockey to be played. But the Winnipeg Jets are a solid team (shoddy run or not), and for the most part, Dallas was the better team tonight. Let's unpack this one:

1. He's Sure. He's Sudden. A hero until the end of the night.

Certain #fancystats don't get calculated until there's a broader range of data; not a small sample size, in other words. This explains why Klingberg was absent from Domenic Galamini's HERO charts; easy to use stats that help you visualize how a player's possession stats, and ability to turn that possession into production broadly define them by tiers (like a first line winger versus a fourth line winger, and so forth).

The first period, in which Klingberg scored the first goal of the game, helped visualize even further just what this chart means. In case you're wondering how Klingberg compares to some other really good defensemen, here's what Duncan Keith and Drew Doughty's charts look like (respectively, here and here).

2. Four goals in the first period?

It would certainly explain the first goal Kari Lehtonen gave up. But Pavelic beginning to leak? Kari letting in bad angle shots? Sounds par for the course on this side of the ice.

3. Stretch Hemstrong

Hemsky had a pretty monster game, particularly in the second period, compliments of Klingberg and Jordie Benn sending him the kind of stretch passes that would normally be reserved for the officials. Hemsky still looks kind of uneven, but he's been looking great with Vernon Fiddler and Colton Sceviour.

Eventually Tyler Myers would tie the game. Winnipeg mostly dominated the 2nd period, but only in spots. Dallas kept a pretty tight lid on things, all things considered, and got a critical toe save by Kari midway through the period. Klingberg, Sceviour, and Hemsky were on the board going into the 3rd period. Which meant it was time for the...

4. GQ Genius

O Captain! My Captain!

Once again Klingberg was doing his 'dangle everyone at the point and ignore the poke checks like they're whacking at you with a sock puppet' at the blueline. Seguin took a shot, Benn potted his 11th of the year, and Patrick Sharp made sure to fuse with him Quato style for the goal celebration.

5. Empty Net Invasion

Vernon Fiddler and Antoine Roussel would end up with some empty net goals for their efforts. This reaction by the Jets more or less reflected the night Winnipeg had.

6. As a raving lunatic once said, "I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me!"

Instead of sobbing over how tough Dallas has it, maybe we should be thankful; iron sharpens iron as the cliche goes, and Dallas is getting prime experience against the best in the NHL. So there you have it. Dallas beats Winnipeg, and now on to Minnesota, who is even better.

  • It's impossible to understate how important that 4 minute penalty kill was for Dallas in the 3rd period (from Tyler Seguin of all people). This has been their achilles heel all year. It's still something that needs to be addressed, but this was certainly a step in the right direction.
  • I'm not worried about Kari, but the first goal was incredibly soft. While he redeemed himself later, the Jets immediately starting attacking him from the same odd angles. The chances of these shots going in are slim, but when the opponent starts smelling goalie blood in the water, things can go south very quickly. They almost did, in fact.
  • The defense was alright, but still needs work. Jamie Oleksiak made a really bad pinch, and then lost the puck battle which led to the second goal. He looked fine and composed after the fact, but he's not quick enough to gamble on plays like this. I'd like to see him suit up again, but he just can't make plays like this if he wants to avoid getting buried on the depth chart.
  • The kids (Radek Faksa and Valeri Nichushkin) continued their positive possession trend, with Roussel surprisingly leading the way.
  • Dallas is still a mixed bag, but they're a mixed bag of high octane puck mongering. Thankfully the Central didn't hit this time out with Nashville losing in the shootout to our favorite team from Toronto, St. Louis getting blown out by the Rangers, and Chicago losing the New Jersey.