Monday, April 16, 2007
The following are observations from another painful overtime loss:
• The margin for error in the NHL playoffs is razor thin. And the Stars are on the wrong side of that margin right now when it comes to overtime playoff hockey. 6 Straight overtime losses for this team means that they cannot and will not win a series until this changes.
• The arena was so loud last night. I think the Stars fans have done a great job raising their game in the last few weeks (thank you, Havoc Fanatics). But, as the game went on last night into the third period and overtime, the place fell quiet for long stretches. Why? Because Vancouver found a new gear on the ice that the Stars weren’t matching. The majority of play was in the Stars end, and if you combine that with the Stars recent track record of playoff failure you have what happened: A crowd that appeared to have a fatalistic view of what was about to happen. I can’t blame them; as I was right there with them. There is an unmistakable feel to the Stars right now, and it is not a good one. And then, the red light goes on behind Marty. Game over.
• You want to blame Marty? Go ahead. But, 2 goals in 10 periods is not too shabby. I, on the other hand, plan on focusing on Mike Modano, Jere Lehtinen, Brandon Morrow, Mike Ribiero, Lad Nagy, and Jussi Jokinen. Why should Stu Barnes, Jeff Halpern, and Joel Ludqvist score all of the goals? Would it be too much to ask the stars of the Stars to score an occasional goal? I seem to remember a very poor playoff last year from #9 and #26, and here we go again. Marty Turco and Dave Tippett are going to be blamed for everything, but I would like to take this opportunity to blame the goal scorers for not scoring. I know Roberto is solid between those Canucks pipes, but c’mon.
• Give Alain Vigneault some real credit for finding the right line combinations in the 2nd intermission. When he put Naslund on with the Sedins, the game changed. Bulis joined Morrison to score the tying goal, and the Sedin line was dangerous the entire 3rd and OT.
• The Stars power play simply has to do better.
• Roberto Luongo is very, very good. But, you simply have to bring more pressure. In the 3rd period and overtime, with the game on the line, he went through very long stretches of inactivity. The Canucks play a very solid positional game, and as far as I can tell get away with nearly every defensive zone turnover. If you won’t make them pay, then you won’t beat them. And you can’t be out-shot 15-4 in the 3rd in your own building in a game you hope to win.
• Dan Noxon of the DMN Stars blog wrote this: Say what you will about Marty's failures the last four playoffs (including this one) but the Stars have scored two or fewer goals in 11 of their last 18 playoff games. They're 2-9 when that's happened.
• So, in this era of Dallas Stars, they have exactly one overtime game in 9 tries. And that goal scorer was Steve Ott. Steve Ott? Where does he rate amongst Stars’ snipers? Where does his rate amongst Stars’ paychecks? Not. Good. Enough.
• After responding so well after Game 1, and making us proud in Game 2, we now
get to see how this next roller coaster hill will turn out. It is obviously time to label Game 4 as a “must win” if you have hopes of winning the series.
• Things get chippy when Alex Burrows and Steve Ott are on the ice. I like that.
• What will this team’s legacy be? When the going gets tough they fold? Or, do they rise above and figure out a way. Place your bets now. See you Tuesday night for Game 4. And, Stars, don’t be afraid to score a goal.
Posted by Sturminator at 8:46 AM