Power Play Mistakes Doom Dallas as Stars Lose to Colorado Avalanche 3-1
Offensive stagnation continues for the Stars as the month of January continues to bury them.
If Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers was a step forward for the Dallas Stars, Saturday night was two steps back.
The month-long stretch of woe has now seen them lose nine of their last twelve outings after the Avalanche shut them down by a score of 3-1 this evening at American Airlines Center.
It's the eighth straight time the Avalanche have defeated Lindy Ruff's bunch, Dallas' last win coming in December of 2013. The win adds points numbers 54 and 54 to Colorado's total, just 10 behind the Stars now, and it pushes them in front of the Minnesota Wild and into 4th in the Central.
If it seemed to you that tonight's presentation was one you had seen before- It's because it was. You have
- You saw it in January of 2014 when the Stars out-attempted the Avs 71-41, out-shot them 44-21, and lost.
- You saw it in January of 2015 when the Stars out-attempted the Avs 84-43, out-shot them 40-30, and lost.
- You saw it tonight in January of 2016 when the Stars out-attempted the Avs 106-32, out-them 43-15, and lost./
106 shot attempts. 32 of them blocked. 31 of them that missed the net as the Stars tried to pick corners with Varlamov living rent free in their heads. 43 of them found the net. Only one made its way past Varlamov.
And that would seem the lead story of this one- More of the same when these teams meet. Varlamov having their number. The Stars being the far, far, far better team in every single way except for where it counts.
This one had so much more, however, due to the nature of the scoring and what transpired in the second period. As much as this looks like "got out-goaltended" on paper, it was really more on the power play.
The power play scored. Jason Demers and the second power play unit jammed home a rebound goal in the second to tie the game and hopefully crack open Varlamov and a team, by the way, that played last night at home.
The power play scored. And gave up two short handed breakaways, both resulting goals. The first power play unit was on the scene for both and John Klingberg was close at hand in both gutting, gutting instances.
The Avalanche formed an absolutely conga-line to the box in the dying moments of the first and the first ten minutes of the second. Holden for hooking. Duchene for slashing. Johnson for hooking. Soderberg for a double-minor high-stick. And with the resulting 9:33 minutes of power play time Dallas managed to surrender two to Soderberg and Landeskog that Niemi could do nothing about.
Dallas' only shiny penny on the night was a perfect penalty kill- It only had to handle two minutes tonight, and that thanks to another mental blunder in the form of too-many-men when they were in need of a third period comeback.
So things continue to get worse. They played well, you'd have to say, but they made the errors that proved too costly. Colorado's game plan was not a secret. They were on the second night of a back-to-back. They were going to pack it in. They were going to block shots. They were going to jump on turnovers when the chances presented themselves.
32 blocked shots. Two opportunistic short handed goals on complete flubs by Dallas that the Avs did nothing to earn short of showing up on the right bus.
Dallas has now been held to a single goal in front of you at the American Airlines Center in three of their last four games.
Patricks Sharp has not scored in eight games. John Klingerbg has no points in six of his last seven games. Tyler Seguin has scored two goals in his last ten games. The "big boys", as Ruff put it, are not getting it done like they were in 2015, and as they go, so go the Stars.
Certain individuals get one last chance on Monday against Calgary to feel a little better about themselves before they get lavished with attention, and maye the kind they really don't want, at the All-Star game.
From the second intermission...
Hockey is stupid. pic.twitter.com/76CS2yY2X8— Brad Gardner (@bradgardnerDBD) January 24, 2016