Well, the opening game of the year for Dallas was quite the intense game, although slightly a let down at the end.
However, the team played really well, and showed that despite all of their troubles last season, they'll be able to solidly bounce back this year.
[Video Highlights soon to come!]
The most obvious standout was James Neal, who scored both of the Stars' goals in regulation and then hit the post in the shootout. He played outstanding, clearly returning to the level he was at last year. He'll be at the top of the charts offensively for Dallas all season long.
Marty Turco didn't perform nearly as awful as some people have said he would, but there were a few holes in his game. He still lets a few too many rebounds escape his reach, and wasn't at his best during the shootout. However, he didn't make any risky passing plays that he's usually known for, and made a lot of key saves that could've had the Stars in a much deeper hole and without the small gain of one point from the shootout loss.
The defense played way above the expectations of such an un-proven group. Newcomers Karlis Skrastins and Jeff Woywitka filled in seemlessly, and Skrastins especially proved his worth on the penalty kill.
However, that leads to the one issue I had: special teams. Now obviously anybody who watched the game will agree, the Stars need to take less penalties and take advantage of their power-play more often. However, James Neal did manage to capitalize on a power-play goal, and the penalty kill only gave up one goal in four Nashville opportunities.
Mike Ribeiro showed that he hasn't lost his niche in shootouts, of course. He scored a fantastic goal that kept the Stars in the game a little longer.
J.P. Dumont had an awfully scary moment in the second period, hitting his head against the boards after taking a particularly rough, although clean, hit from Stephane Robidas. He was pretty shaken up, and having not seen the exact moment of the impact, I panicked when I saw him flat on the ice unmoving. I was glad to see that he left the ice on his own though, and hopefully he won't be injured for too long.
The next Stars game is against Edmonton on Tuesday, and they'll be on the road. If you don't get to catch the game (and you don't have DVR like me) then be sure to check back here, I'll have a postgame review!