There are some games when everything goes perfectly right – all your stretch passes become tape-to-tape breakaways, all your shots from the high slot go bar-down, all bounces off the back boards land flush on someone’s stick, all your defensive reads are perfect, and all your opponents are just a step out of position. Well, the Dallas Stars had one of those games tonight. The Vancouver Canucks did not.
The game was over before it really could get going, as Dallas capitalized on seemingly every single chance they had, potting six goals before the game was even halfway finished, en route to a 6-3 win. Read past the jump for a recap.
Things started going sideways basically as soon as the puck dropped. After a short burst of Canucks pressure, the Stars broke out of their zone and made their way down the ice. Ryan Garbutt sent a centring pass towards Cody Eakin, but Alex Burrows deflected the puck into his own net, giving Dallas an early 1-0 lead.
Jannik Hansen had a chance to tie the game soon after on a shorthanded breakaway, but unfortunately he’s also Jannik Hansen, so he couldn’t beat Kari Lehtonen with a backhand deke. This proved to be costly, as Erik Cole was allowed to walk into the Canucks’ slot and fire a shot past Ryan Miller to give Dallas a 2 goal lead.
Tyler Seguin added another goal for Dallas a minute and a half later, as Chris Tanev crashed into Ryan Miller, preventing the Canucks netminder from even attempting to make a play on the puck. Dallas took a 3-0 lead into the intermission, and things weren’t about to get better for the Canucks. The Stars two more goals in the first minute and a half of the second period, giving them a 5-0 lead. From there, it was just garbage time. Eddie Lack came in in relief of Ryan Miller, the Stars added another, and the Canucks managed to shovel these three past Kari Lehtonen:
Game over, Stars win 6-3.
Courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com
It’s tough to draw any sort of meaningful conclusion from this game since so much of it was just garbage time. The Stars got a couple of fortunate bounces, made no mistake on the grade-A chances they generated, and effectively ended this game early. What resulted was Vancouver just toying with a totally disinterested Stars team, carrying a 65% Corsi on the night.
Both Twins and Radim Vrbata added to their scoring totals, and were dominant from a possession perspective too. Daniel and Vrbata were on the ice for exactly zero shot attempts against at even strength, and Henrik saw just one against Vancouver. It was pretty thorough domination on their part, but it was helped by the Stars not caring for a good part of the game too.
It’s probably best to just file this game under “we must have done something to piss off the hockey gods” and move on. Most of Dallas’ goals against were either 5-star scoring chances that all teams give up over the course of a 5-game stretch, or just dumb flukes. How many times has Chris Tanev ate it and taken out his goalie leading to a goal? Not many. It’s not something we can reasonably expect to keep happening going forward. Neither is Alex Burrows scoring on his own net, neither is Ryan Miller catching the puck with the knob of his stick and batting it in after making the initial save. It happens. Oh well. On to the next one.
That “next one” is Thursday in St. Louis against the high powered Blues. They’ll be without Paul Stastny, who’s injured, but are still a strong club even though they’ve slumped somewhat to start the year. It’ll be another big test for the Canucks, as they look to avoid going 0-3 against the non-Alberta clubs. Hopefully Vancouver got all their bad luck out of the way tonight too.