Razor with an Edge: Take 5 (And Shove It)
I view myself as a ‘colorman’ but my role also involves being an analyst (or ‘anal-ist’ if you will) and as such I am implored to explain the how and the why.
Let’s take a look at the Stars last five games. Four of them played on the road, four of them finishing in a loss.
I’ll winnow each individual game down to its tipping point(s) so think of them as little 60 minute canoe rides. Yes I agree, some trips were up Feces Creek but they did have at least one paddle. ;)
Oct 12 @ MIN 5-1L
The dreaded second game of a back-to-back set (at Winnipeg the night before). Turnover (Dillon) 12 seconds in – bang. Turnover (Goligoski) after faceoff win 11 minutes in – bang. No saving grace in pipes (Ellis). There was just one assist awarded on two Wild goals. Ugh!
Down 2-0 ten minutes into game, 4-0 ten minutes into 2nd, Two PP goals against. Lights out.
Oct 15 @ COL 3-2L
Up 1-0 twelve minutes in and, you guessed it, TURNOVER, (Gonchar) – bang. Seven seconds left in 1st period a point shot is uncontested after Stars fail to win 3 or 4 board battles – bang.
Avs goalie Varlomov plays like Pat Roy in 93’ Playoffs for next two periods, 41-26 Stars shot advantage overall. The better team lost.
Oct 17 vs SJ 4-3W Shootout
Allow fastest goal against to start a game in franchise history (9 seconds) but rally to erase that and two other Shark leads. Played hard on boards and at both nets. Matched Sharks top line play. Ellis made 6 saves in OT and stoned all 3 Sharks in Shootout. Showed what they are capable of.
Oct 19 @ LA 5-2L
Up 1-0 allow two preventable goals in final 3 ½ minutes of first period: turnover (Robidas) – bang. PP goal (Robidas in box) – bang.
Tied 2-2 early in 3rd Nichushkin chases the laser pointer dot (puck carrier) and allows his check (Doughty) to sneak down back door – bang. With seven minutes to go Kings 4th line caught tired on icing, win draw, get puck up ice as they change and Clifford flutters a 50 foot wrist shot short-side high on Ellis – bang
Oct 20 @ ANA 6-3L
Another back-to-back non-compete. Stars build a surmountable 3-1 first intermission lead then play vacant in the 2nd (terrible coverage in slot, take penalties, lack desperation, allow Ducks a record 23 shots, a PP goal, an even strength goal, and a Shorthanded goal). Go on to get crushed in rookie goalie Jack Campbell’s NHL debut. (He set a Dallas Stars record for saves in 1st NHL game, 41)
So to summarize: Stars passing decisions, D-zone coverage, energy level and intermittent clutch netminding when leading seem to be at the root of this 1-4 stumble. Fixes? Kari (saves). D reads (coverage without the puck). Take what is given in transition (turnovers). Two home games in next seven days (energy).
Remember its just 5 of 82, people.