Friday, February 4, 2011
Some thoughts and observations after the Stars lost 6-3 at Boston Thursday night.
A dismal start. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway – the Stars were rattled and on their heels early in this game. The three fights right off the bat obviously energized the building and the Bruins got some momentum off that. The Stars were a mess defensively and Boston took advantage by scoring two quick goals. Another fight and two more goals added up to a disastrous first 20 minutes for the Stars. Too big a disaster for them to overcome.
Give them some credit. The Stars deserve some credit for plugging away to make a game of it. They could have folded the tent, but they didn’t. Despite being down to nine forwards and using basically seven of them, they chipped away and got it to 4-3 early in the third period. Of course, the Tyler Seguin goal that made it 5-3 was a real killer. Looked like it caught Kari Lehtonen off guard. Getting nothing on that 5:00 power play in the second period didn’t help either. The power play is slumping and it’s one of the reasons the Stars are in this 1-4-0 slide.
Tough night for Raycroft. It was another rough start for Andrew Raycroft, who lasted 1:20 and was pulled after allowing two goals on two shots. I was surprised he got pulled, but Marc Crawford needed to do something. It’s tough for Raycroft, who could have used a solid outing after giving up seven goals on 19 shots in his last start, which was that 7-4 loss at Calgary just before the All-Star break.
The injury bug. After going most of the season without many injury issues, it’s starting to become a concern now. Adam Burish, Krys Barch and Ray Sawada all left the game with injuries Thursday night. All are officially listed as upper body, but they would all appear to be primarily above the neck. Barch and Burish were injured in fights and Sawada got hit in the head by Daniel Paille, who should be getting suspended. It’s a no-brainer. That was a textbook example of what the league is trying to get out of the game. As for the injuries, updates are expected in the morning. Expect Travis Morin to return to the team and some reinforcements from Austin.
Going forward. We’ll see how they respond Saturday in Philadelphia. They’ve lost four of five games, they are banged up and it will be a big test. The Flyers are one of the best teams in the league and have won 11 of 14 games. Over the course of a long season there a lot of ups and downs. The Stars are facing some adversity right now. It’s going to be interesting to see how they handle it.