Game Review – 10/19/09 (DAL vs LAK)

by Chelsea

Game:

Well, when I started to write this immediately following the game, the only thought I had was “Boooooo.”

It was a pretty disappointing loss for the Stars’ first game against a divisional opponent. We were at the game, and by the end of it, we were sitting there seeing if we could count all the players we weren’t annoyed at on one hand. We could. Easily.

So here you go:

  • Mike Ribeiro: Wore the ‘A’ with Lehtinen, Richards, Modano, and Ott out. He wore it well. His attitude about taking a step towards becoming more of a leader (as he told Razor about during intermission) was great.
  • Brenden Morrow: Nifty pass to set up Benn in the first. Some nice hits later in the game. It’s too bad the rest of the team didn’t pick up on his energy.
  • Jamie Benn: He had his share of turnovers, but without him, the game is another 3-0 shutout.
  • Alex Auld: Sat on the bench really well. No turnovers or anything!
  • Karlis Skrastins: Think about how you felt when Sydor came out to kill a penalty and compare it to how you feel when Skrastins is on the ice PKing. Yeah.

On the other hand, there were some not-so-pleasant things, like:

  • Stars power play giving us all a headache. Just because Toby Petersen rocked the point in Iowa forever ago doesn’t mean he works there in the NHL.
  • Ribeiro and Wandell totally forgetting how to win a faceoff.
  • The top defensive pairing sitting in the box together while the Stars try to kill off a 5-on-3. Then..
  • Getting scored on with only 7 seconds of penalty kill left. Ouch.
  • Matt Niskanen, Tom Wandell, and Fabian Brunnstrom’s -2.
  • Trevor Daley leading defensemen in giveaways. Brunnstrom and Benn are relatively new at this. What’s Daley’s excuse for making rookie mistakes?
  • Us going from “James Neal is a BEAST” to actually wishing the team could afford to bench him for a few shifts to try and wake him up. Zombie Neal is not effective.
  • Marty Turco’s handful of irritating moments, like every time he made us panic over his puckhandling on the PK.

All things considered, it was still only one game and they have a chance to redeem themselves Wednesday and Thursday.

One thing I was wondering about after the game though is why the team doesn’t seem able to win in front of Turco. In realizing that he is 1-2-3 (5 of 12 available points) compared to Auld’s 2-0-0 (4 of 4 points), and knowing they have almost equal stats, it is hard not to wonder what the difference is.

With a little investigating, I discovered this:

The average time between goals Auld has allowed is right under 17 minutes. In fact, he hasn’t allowed a goal in the first period of either of his starts, and the shortest time between two goals allowed was approximately 11 minutes. He also has not allowed a goal when the Stars had anything less than a 2-goal lead.

Not to say that all of his goals against were great or even okay, but there’s something to be said for timely saves.

In comparison, Turco’s average time between goals is barely over 12 minutes, a time that seems to be decreasing (down from appr. 16 minutes apart in his first 3 starts) with each game. He has not allowed two goals further apart than 10 minutes in his last two starts, the closest together being less than 3 minutes apart. He’s allowed a goal in the first period in 4 of his 6 starts.

Maybe most importantly, 14 of the 15 goals against Turco have come when the game is close (5 allowed the opposition to tie it, 6 allowed them to break the tie, and 3 gave them a 2-goal lead.) That’s all but the second Savard goal, which gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead.

It will be interesting to revisit this idea once Auld has more than 2 starts to consider.

Also: What is up with Richards being so delicate in Dallas? Mono, shoulder problems, a broken hand, a broken wrist, and now a sore groin? That trade must have irritated some hockey gods somewhere, because he’s had maybe 2 games here fully healthy.

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Smyth, Williams, Quick
  • Perttu Lindgren played in his first NHL game and, like Aaron Gagnon, did absolutely nothing and has since been reassigned to Texas.
  • Brenden Morrow led the team with 6 hits. Mark Fistric had 5 and Stephane Robidas had 4.
  • Jamie Benn might have had 2 giveaways, but he also led the team with 3 takeaways.
  • Ribeiro led the team in blocked shots with 3. The only other skaters to block any shots were Woywitka (1) and Skrastins (2).
  • Ribeiro also had 3 hits, including a rather impressive one on Matt Greene in the third period.
  • The Stars recap says this: “Defenseman Nicklas Grossman picked up an assist on Benn’s goal, extending his points streak to a career-high tying four games.” For anyone wondering how that’s possible given that the Stars got shut out 3 games ago… I don’t know either.
  • Conclusion: You don’t make it to the playoffs by losing important games. Hopefully we’ll see more of the Games 1-5 Stars on this upcoming road trip than the Games 6-8 Stars.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist but minus-one for the penalties; +1
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist and one for being totally awesome; +3
Jamie Benn: three for the goal; +3
Marty Turco: 🙂 but then :(; +0
Jeff Woywitka: minus-one because he’s done less in five games than decent players do in one; -1
Mike Ribeiro: one for being totally awesome; +1

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