Thursday, December 17, 2009
Some thoughts on Stars' 6-5 OT loss
By Richard Durrett
Here's what I'm thinking after watching Thursday's game. What are you thinking?
- That was a crazy game. Both teams scored on the power play. Both teams had a shorthanded goal. The Stars tie it on a goal off Loui Eriksson's visor with 1:12 left in the third. And then the Stars give up the goal in overtime. It sure was interesting.
- I would have bet my mortgage that the Stars would win this game after what happened Wednesday. I'm glad I didn't have to hand it over (no, honey, I swear that I didn't make that bet).
- The Stars are 6-2-11 in one-goal games. Wow.
- As Razor noted on the TV broadcast, give Stars coach Marc Crawford some credit for what he did at the end of the game to help Dallas get a point. The Stars got to the puck to force icing and that meant Atlanta couldn't change. So that's when Crawford pulled the goalie (with more than 1:30 left) and put the extra skater on the ice, hoping he could take advantage of some fatigue. It worked.
- Typically, I write this week about how the Stars are handling their goalies with the hope that Marty Turco will be ready for the playoffs and Turco struggles on Wednesday and Alex Auld can't make it through Thursday's game. I was a little surprised the Stars made the goalie change after Atlanta scored its third goal, but Auld didn't look like he was in the zone at all.
- The penalty kill is a mess right now. The Stars gave up three power play goals on Wednesday and gave up three more on Thursday. The timing of the penalties isn't great (the Stars took a 1-0 lead on the PP in the first and then gave it back by taking a penalty and giving up a PP goal). A late penalty helped Atlanta get momentum as well.
- Dallas, as you might expect after Wednesday's loss, came out flying. They sure did drive the net on Thursday and outshot Atlanta 46-24 in regulation.
- Stars have some defensive issues that must be figured out (it should be noted that Mark Fistric left the game, so they were short for most of it). Still, they had some rough giveaways that gave the Thrashers some good shot opportunities. Matt Niskanen had a tough final period and OT. He didn't get the puck deep enough when the Stars were on the power play, whiich helped Atlanta head down the ice for the shorthanded goal. And he didn't get back to cover on the OT winner for the Thrashers. He finished minus-2.
- Jeff Woywitka could get plenty of playing time with Trevor Daley out with the shoulder, plus Fistric's condition. I thought he looked OK on Thursday.
- Mike Modano was noticeable on Thursday. He's still very good in the faceoff circle and he was finding his teammates and setting them up for great chances. He had two assists in the game.
- Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec allowed five goals. And he played great. The Stars were all over the net, but Pavelec made some great saves to keep the game from getting away.
- Stephane Robidas had two power play goals, two blocks and three hits. He has eight goals this season, leading all defenseman. He's had a solid season and bounced back after a tough game on Wednesday.
- Stars only get a quick break before they are back on the ice on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Detroit. Not sure if that's good or bad for this team.