10.25.2009

Dallas Stars: Week 4 (plus a game)

Today's post is a day late due to the fact that the Stars played St. Louis yesterday. My only available time to write coincided with the game's start time. Anyways;

Dallas vs. Los Angeles: 4-1 Loss
The Stars certainly didn't have their game on Monday against the Kings. They seemed sluggish the entire night, and were unable to even stifle the one line they decided to focus on. Ryan Smyth, Anze Kopitar, and Justin Williams were all huge scoring threats, and all three capitalized on the mistakes that seemed to be made by every Stars player.
Jamie Benn appeared to spark the Stars towards a win, as he ended a first period scoring drought by pounding in a goal with 2:42 left. However, the Stars' rookie was the only bright spot.
In the second period, the Kings' top line knocked in three goals past Marty Turco, and they never lost momentum as they continuously hounded the Stars' defenders, and the forwards never really had time to play offense.




Dallas @ Anaheim: 4-2 Win
Wednesday was Dallas' redeeming night. They were determined to make up for Monday's painful loss to the Kings, and they did so in style.
Two of Dallas' most reliable scorers in Brenden Morrow and Loui Eriksson cashed in, while Trevor Daley finally got himself on the scoresheet along with Steve Ott. The Ducks attempted to mount a comeback in the third period, but the Stars never allowed them to tie the game, and Ott's empty net goal crushed whatever hopes they could possibly have had with 9 seconds left in the game.



Dallas @ Los Angeles: 5-4 OT Loss
Thursday was Dallas' chance at revenge against the Kings, and they almost pulled it off. However, Michal Handzus ruined those hopes 55 seconds into overtime.
Anze Kopitar had a hat trick for the Kings, and despite James Neal's two-goal effort, Jamie Benn's second goal in his second game against L.A., and Mark Fistric's first career NHL goal, the Stars could not pull off a win. Regardless, the game was much more exciting and intense than the first match between the clubs.



Dallas @ St. Louis: 4-1 Win
The Stars and the Blues had an intense rivalry begin last season. St. Louis, and particularly youngsters Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie, and David Perron, destroyed the Stars on several occasions last season, and headed into Saturday, another crushing defeat was feared.
However, the Stars did get to taste revenge. Thanks to James Neal and Loui Eriksson, the Stars were able to quickly crush the Blues' resolve, and Tom Wandell and Brian Sutherby potted goals in the third period to secure the win. St. Louis rookie Alex Pietrangelo did manage to score his first NHL goal, and to be plainly honest, I hate the Blues as a team but I love their young players, so it was pretty neat to see Pietrangelo finally rack up a goal.
Brad Richards was an absolute beast in the lineup, assisting on both Neal and Eriksson's goals. He turned the entire Blues penalty kill into a freeze frame from the point before firing the puck to Eriksson for a snapshot goal.



As a "side" note, the Blues game was chock full of nastiness. Krys Barch had his first big fight of the season, and everybody in blue wanted a piece of Steve Ott that night.


NOTES:
-Loui Eriksson, James Neal, and Brenden Morrow are all on pace for around 40 goals this season, which is pretty much a sigh of relief compared to having only Loui break 30 last year. Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro, and Jamie Benn could all easily be on pace for 20+ goals as well.
-Richards also has over an assist per game so far, and is the first Stars player in about 3 years to top the stats sheet besides Ribeiro. He's finally truly earning the contract that we acquired in the Tampa trade.
-Fabian Brunnstrom has yet to score a goal this season.