Game 2: Dallas Stars @ Colorado Avalanche

Well… The Stars certainly know how to keep things interesting.

Saturday’s loss to the Avalanche was nothing short of a chaotic mess. We’ll go ahead and be fair and say that of both teams. Combining to score eleven goals in the game, the Stars and Avalanche showcased their defense, or lack thereof.

For the first eight minutes of the game, things were great! Seguin scored, and on the power play, within the first minute, Shore got his first NHL goal, things were looking good. And then Colborne gets back to back goals to tie it going into the second. Okay, no big deal. No need to panic yet.

And then we gave up three more in the first seven minutes of the second. Including the third goal to complete Joe Colborne’s first career hat trick. So we have five unanswered goals, and we’ve officially broken the streak of ‘no one scores a hat trick on us’. Yikes.

Things look up when JaBenn and Seguin both score a goal to bring us within 1 going into the third. All right. We can deal with that.

Then the third we get one goal per team and we lose 6-5, despite a really solid effort in the third and a nice power play showing in the last two minutes.

So we’ll go ahead and skip all the negatives for a second because it’s the same old same for the Stars. (Penalties, lackluster defense, shaky goaltending) and talk about some of the more positive aspects of the game real quick.

Powerplay goals! Check those out. After giving up that shorthanded goal in the season opener, it’s nice to see that the Stars can, in fact, score on the powerplay themselves.

We’ve taken some cracks at the sloppy defense, but we had some pretty solid defensive plays in that game. (To be honest I can only remember the one instance where JoBenn sat on the puck to keep it out. And the whole Nemeth fiasco, which I think that goal shouldn’t have counted and Nemeth did a really good job at backing Niemi up, but hey, sometimes things don’t go our way.)

And Kari. Kari had a very strong showing and did indeed manage to stop the bleeding in that game after Niemi let in five. Even though he unfairly will get the L, he played a strong game.

All in all, it was certainly an exciting one. And while it’s a little frustrating to watch our team get outplayed in their own style (speed and offensive power to the extreme), have heart. We still have a pretty strong ability to play catch up. While that certainly isn’t ideal, and if we could stop blowing our leads in the first period (lol please and thank you), I think it speaks strongly about the tenacity of our team. They aren’t going to give up without a fight, and neither are we.

game-2
Landeskog (92) fights for position against Korpikoski(38) (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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Stuff is Happening! (or it will be, in a couple of days)

So lets take a quick moment to recap important dates that are coming up this month and early October. The hockey season is right around the corner! I’m so excited! I can’t stop using exclamation points!

  • September 17th: The World Cup of Hockey kicks off
  • September 23rd-25th: Training Camp in Cedar Park

– Caitlynn and I will be making the drive to attend, so hopefully we’ll have some interesting content, plus some new photos to share. We will also be attending the scrimmage the last day of the camp.

  • September 26th: First pre-season game against the St. Louis Blues at the American Airline Center.
  • October 4th: Pre-season game against the Florida Panthers at the AAC
  • October 5th: Pre-season game against the Colorado Avalanche at the AAC
  • October 7th: Frozen Fury in Las Vegas (against the LA Kings)

-We will be attending this (for my birthday!), and are looking forward to getting a good look at T-Mobile Arena, where the new Vegas team will be playing. You better bet we will be documenting everything we can.

  • October 13th: SEASON OPENER AGAINST THE ANAHEIM DUCKS!!!!

So really, once the final weekend in September hits, we’re going to be a bit busy. But it’s the best thing ever.

 

 

Game 52: The Revenant was good? I guess it was.

Due to having friends that don’t quite appreciate hockey in the same way we do, we had to miss the majority of this game in order to maintain friendships. Bummer. We saw The Revenant which was also sad. So please excuse our less than thorough review of this game, as well as the four game delay upon which it has been posted.

 

Italia’s fear of Varlamov was abated upon learning that, for personal legal reasons that are neither here nor there, Pickard started in net. Caitlynn still had no opinion of the Avs goalie. Notable going into this game was the fact that the Stars had not won in The Pepsi Center since 2013. It wasn’t a very promising statistic, especially considering our recent struggles against them. Fortunately we have broken the winless streak against the Colorado Avalanche!

 

As per usual, our break down of the good, the bad, and the so-so.

 

The Good:

-We won!

-Goals from Spezza, Hemsky, and Demers

-Niemi blocked MacKinnon’s penalty shot. Penalty shots are always stressful, so that’s a good thing. Thank you, Niemi.

-We won a goaltender interference challenge for once! Kept the deficit at the end of the second period at one, instead of two like it could have been.

-Klinger “goes full hero” in over time!

-Since we didn’t actually watch the game, we can’t comment too intelligently on how well they played, but since they won, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was beautiful. Everyone did great. They’re perfect. Everyone gets first star.

 

The Bad:

-Spezza. 😦 Upper body injury after getting checked into boards in the second period. He left the bench and did not return to the game. After the game, we were informed that his condition was week-to-week, and was later placed on IR.

-Janmark  was elbowed in the face and came away bloody. As far as we know, there was no call made for that. (In this case, it might be good that Italia did not witness this. She was stressed enough as it was.)

 

The So-So:

-Janmark and Eaves involved in a scuffle, and Eaves got a roughing penalty (even though it was clearly self-defense). It seemed like the entire Avs line swarmed Janmark. He was the lone Stars player in a gaggle of Avs bullies. (Italia caught enough of this to have her blood pressure rise slightly.)

 

And that sums up our less than thorough observations this game. We’ll try not to let friendship interfere with the important things in life.

 

Yup. Thanks!

-Caitlynn and Italia

Game 49: Featuring Varlomov the Bully

Going into last night’s game, we knew a few thing about the Avs: They were, and still are, ranked fifth in the division, Jarome Iginla is having a banner year reaching professional milestones, they had played the night before and won in their first shootout of the season, the Stars have previously struggled against the Avs, and Italia knew Varlomov is scary. To explain, he was the one who shutout the Blackhawks and ended Patrick Kane’s record breaking point streak. While Caitlynn also knew this, she has too much hubris for her own good. She was more occupied by the fact that Jordie is still out…

 

So between the two of us, we didn’t know what was going to happen during this game.

 

Sadness happened. 😦

 

But before we get to that, some good things that happened:

-The Roussel-Janmark-Hemsky line is still clicking nicely.

-Nichushkin was looking much more physically imposing this game (though the one check we saw, he ended up on the ice himself, but it’s a start).

-Eaves made some impressive moves to keep the puck in the zone, one after a well done poke check by Lindell, who seems more confident each game.

-Puck possession was strong

-Solid defensively for the most part (while even strength, or down a man…)

-No fights! (Despite Roussel getting close, being Roussel as usual).

-Only one penalty! (Too many men…)

-Demers scored his fifth goal of the season, on the power play! (And they played Sia’s “Chandelier” for him!)

 

Now, the sad things that happened:

-After scoring his fifth goal of the season, Demers was promptly whacked with a high-stick. (He went down the tunnel, leaving him unable to celebrate his goal or listen to the song played in his honor… but he came back and played strong!(Sans tooth…))

-Skille had a scary collision with the boards, and although he skated to the bench unassisted, he went down the tunnel and did not return the rest of the game (Possible back injury?)

-Klingberg ended up in the net twice? (Not on purpose, or so we assume.)

-He also turned over the puck… during key moments that lead to the Avs scoring… while we were on the power play. Twice. Two times. TVÅ. TWO SHORT HANDED GOALS. We don’t do as well on our power plays as the Avs do on our power plays, apparently. We’re not going to mention that one of those power plays was four whole minutes in which we failed to score.

 

General things that happened:

-Nichushkin got a stick threaded through his skates, but kept possession of the puck and passed it successfully, which was nice. He managed to successfully remove the stick (as the owner of the stick watched intently, but without offering help) and continue playing.

-Fiddler looked close to exchanging blows with an Avs player. They were broken up, but during the whole event, Fiddler maintained a smirk that dared the other guy to throw the first punch, just do it.

 

Some observations, whether good or bad:

-Eaves spent some time on the top power play unit, as well as on the Benn-Seguin line for a shift.

-Nichushkin also spent a shift on the Benn-Seguin line.

-Left net got dislodge twice, but only while behind Varlomov. (Coincidence? Italia doesn’t think so)

 

So at the end, the final score was 3-1 Colorado Avalanche. Shots on goal were an amazing and horrible 42-15… Impressive for our offense. Extremely impressive for their defense… Speaking of defense…Varlomov. Stay tuned for a short rant from Italia:

Where did this dude come from? Again, I knew this was the goalie that shut down Kane’s streak (thanks for that, by the way). So knowing that they had played the night before, I was hoping they would maybe give him a rest after winning a shootout. But no, that didn’t happen. The Stars certainly made him work. They peppered him with 42 shots. But he stood strong, frustratingly so. In my mind, I realize that he was not the only barrier preventing us from winning. But seriously. Screw that guy. Caitlynn and I have an understanding that goalies are immune from our blacklist. But as of last night, Varly is an exception and sits solidly at the top of my personal blacklist… (The list is fairly short).

Anyways, it was a disappointing loss, to a team that seems to give us issues each time we meet. As of last night, our series sits at 0-2-0 against the Avs. We have one more game against the Calgary Flames to finish this sad month of January. But we’re staying positive, because despite our special team woes, we are seeing a lot of good things from our guys. There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played.