Sturm Blog: Stars/Panthers

Saturday, 10.31.2009 / 1:20 PM CT / Bob Sturm Blog
By Bob Sturm
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Sturm Blog: Stars\/Panthers\r\n
Bob Sturm

Again, no shortage of excitement at the AAC on Friday night, but there was  a shortage of sound, fundamental hockey from the Stars at enough times to sacrifice a point in the standings to an Eastern Conference team that will likely not be in the playoffs this year.  To me, that represents wasted opportunities that may haunt us when they tally up the totals in the spring time.
 
Don't get me wrong:  Florida has some nice players who can do some  nice things.  But, they should not be taking a 3-0 lead in your barn.
 
And surely, you don't want Steven Reinprecht's natural hat trick being scored in the span of under 6 minutes, with all 3 goals coming against your top line of Ribeiro, Morrow, and Benn.   Reinprecht, Nathan Horton, and  Cory Stillman surely were on the right side of things in that 1st period, and from then on out, the Stars are behind the 8-ball and chasing the game.
 
Alex Auld, who has looked very good in his first 2 starts, has now had his last 2 not look that great.  He surrendered 5 in Los Angeles, and 5 more against Florida, with 9 of the 10 goals being of the 5-on-5 variety.  And,  f you watched these 2 starts, you will join me in admitting he was not really  helped by the Stars D-men.  Remember Robidas vs Kopitar?  Well, here  was Rostislav Olesz dancing around Skrastins in the neutral zone and then firing  a wicked backhander high against Auld.  We all know part of solid goaltending is help from those in front of you, and there is not a consistent tightness about the defense as the calendar switches to November after tonight in Nashville.
 
James Neal scored another wonderful goal, and truly appears to be on an even higher level than his rookie season.  I can't stress enough how great  he looks, with his determination to go get that puck and then bury it in the twine.  There was one moment last night where he burst through the crease to chase the puck into the corner, with defenders flying to the ice in his wake.
 
In the end, the game went to overtime, and then a shootout.  There we  see once again that this team - for all of its outstanding offensive talent -  are really struggling to score on shootouts.  Now 0-4 in the quest for the bonus point, it is starting to raise some valid concerns about losing too much  ground in that department.  Jussi and Zubie are gone.  Time to figure out a new plan in shootouts.  Do we need fresh options?  Loui?   Fabian? Brenden? If the guys doing it are not doing it, let's seek  alternatives.
 
But, points now in 11 of 13, so let's get ready for Nashville  tonight.

Email him your thoughts to Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan




BOB STURM STARS BLOG ARCHIVE


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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 77 47 22 8 220 188 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 CGY 76 41 28 7 224 201 89
9 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 76 28 44 -4 72
T. Seguin 66 34 35 -1 69
J. Spezza 76 16 41 -3 57
J. Klingberg 59 11 27 6 38
C. Eakin 72 17 19 -2 36
T. Daley 62 16 19 -9 35
A. Goligoski 76 4 31 0 35
A. Hemsky 70 11 21 -6 32
S. Horcoff 72 11 17 8 28
V. Fiddler 74 12 14 -6 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 34 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
 
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