Dallas Stars and Some Not Very Special Teams Play Doom Stars 3-2: Six Easy Tweets

The Dallas Stars lost again. It was an excellent performance against the surging LA kings mired by a truly awful performance from the PK units.

Unlike in prior seasons, The Pacific division has not been kind to the Dallas Stars. Last night/this morning was no different. Despite some improved play, it wasn't enough for Dallas, who let their PK lose the game.

The answer to this dismal slumpage? Some would argue variance. Dallas is rocking an awful PDO this month. Their scorers aren't scoring, and their goaltending isn't superhuman. But perhaps there's something more.

1. Esaaaaa!!

It was pretty cool watching Lindell in the NHL. Should any reasonable Dallas Stars fan temper their expectations? Of course (especially when we get to the stray observations). But it's always nice to see a good player get rewarded with NHL playing time that they deserve. While he didn't stand out in a specific way in the first, his passing was tape to tape, he rarely got caught out of position, and even asserted himself in his own zone. Again, not overtly physical, but certainly not weightless. Ales Hemsky would score the first goal of the game with a very slick pass between the legs of a Kings player by Mattias Janmark.

2. Penalty Landfill

LA has a pretty good power play. But the best you can hope for is to avoid blatant mental flatulence like the above. Dallas' strategy is rarely the challenge the points (ironically, my impression is that they did a better job of doing this than they had recently in the first period). And this obviously bit them something fierce, as both goals by LA were functionally power plays (the second goal was technically not a power play goal, but it ended but a second after the power play expired).

3. Parry Sharp

The line of Valeri Nichushkin-Cody Eakin-Patrick Sharp is kind of a strange beast. Eakin scored a goal with around 30 seconds left in the first period. There's plenty of speed, and some finish, but they got hit pretty hard in the shot attempt sweepstakes after two periods with Eakin at -13, Nuke at -4, and Sharp at -3. It's clear that Sharp is doing his level best to keep them afloat, but it's pretty clear that this line isn't a long term solution to much of anything.

4. Close But No Corsi

John Klingberg was all over the ice, basically just teleporting himself from zone to zone like a street fighter character being controlled by a 7th grader being fed liquid Snickers.

He was effective, but it gave LA opportunities to counterattack. For the most part, Dallas did a pretty good job of keeping their pinches from biting them in the buttocks. Forwards backchecked, the reads were better, and this resulted in a game where Dallas didn't give up as many high danger scoring area chances as they have in many recent games.

5. Horsepower Maketh Man

Another failed clearing attempt after some magnanimous cycling by the Kings led to LA tallying the lead early in the 3rd. There's not a whole lot to say here. That Kopitar-Lucic line is impossible to defend aggressively.

6. Outrage Mode Engaged

Dallas opened the game up after LA's goal, turning the contest into a track meet. Dallas had plenty of chances, but part of it was the offense being very well defended by the Kings, and another part was Quick looking sharp throughout. The Dallas Stars have now retroactively lost all their road games, and are in the last wildcard spot. Or at least it feels that way.

Stray observations...

  • After all the punchlines, you knew it was gonna be Vincent Lecavalier to open up the scoring. He's been pretty solid for LA so far, so it's been a success for the Kings thus far. As if that team needed more weapons on offense.
  • I know this is gonna hurt some feelings, but Lindell was officially the worst player in shot attempt differential at 5 on 5. Now, does that actually mean anything? Not really. It was his first NHL game against one of the hottest teams in the league, and most of his playing time was split with the Seguin and Benn line (which was good), and the Eakin line, which got hammered. Not to mention Patrik Nemeth, who also struggled to find his groove. He deserves another shot, without question. Hopefully with either Oleksiak or Jokipakka.
  • Jamie Benn continues to struggle. Part of it's aggression, but another part is likely the frustration of not figuring onto the scoresheet like normal.
  • I've got work this morning. Goodbye.