Dallas Stars Lose To Sabres, Drop Another Important Two Points

It’s getting hard to watch at this point in the year. The Dallas Stars once again could not find the win column this afternoon, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Buffalo Sabres.

You should have just gotten back to work instead of tuning in. The Dallas Stars once again put forth a sloppy effort and fell to one of the worst teams in the East by a brutal score of 4-1. A recap and some final observations can be found below.

Game recap

The Dallas Stars started out just as slow as they did on Saturday night against the Minnesota Wild and Buffalo made them pay. Tyler Ennis scored just 19 seconds in to take the 1-0 lead. A Jake McCabe power play goal increased the lead to 2-0 a few minutes later. Radek Faksa somehow found the back of the net on a broken play to get Dallas on the board going into first intermission.

In the second period, Jack Eichel scored on the power play after a multitude of chances in front of the net to take the 3-1 lead for Buffalo.

Though the Stars had some semi-decent chances in the third, they could not find the twine. After giving up an empty net goal to Eichel with ten seconds to go, Dallas fell by a final score of 4-1 to the Sabres.

Thoughts and Observations

This one should not have been a loss

Coming into today’s game, the Dallas Stars did not have the best seat in the standings. They were still a handful of points out of a wild card spot, but still had hopes for a mid-season turnaround that would change it all.

Meanwhile, the Sabres were still doing what they have become accustomed to over the past half decade: sitting near the bottom of the standings with no hope. They were nine points out of the final wild card spot and were second to last in the conference.

The Stars had motivation after a hard-fought loss to the best team in the Western Conference (Minnesota) on Saturday. The Sabres, on the other hand, had just come off of a 5-2 beating from the Carolina Hurricanes.

This game should have been a shoo-in for the Stars. Dallas has a pretty dominant record in games following a loss and the odds seem highly stacked in their favor. But it just didn’t happen.

Slow starts lead to an early offseason

In the first 13 minutes of the game on Saturday night, the Stars surrendered a horrific four goals to the Minnesota Wild, leaving their fans bewildered and seeking hope. Though they pieced together a furious rally, they still fell just short.

It wasn’t as bad this afternoon, but the Stars’ slow start did end up killing them. A goal against in the first 19 seconds put Dallas behind for good in a game where they just didn’t have the motivation to push back.

These slow starts are contributing to Dallas tumbling in the standings and will most definitely lead to an early offseason for the team in green.

Sloppy

Daryl “Razor” Reaugh said it best during today’s matchup when he called the Stars’ effort “sloppy.” There really wasn’t a better word for it.

The Stars were slow to the puck, lazy on defense, and had little energy on offense. Even in the third period when they needed two goals to rally, the offense could barely keep the puck in the attacking zone and were caught chasing a Buffalo dump for the majority of the period. It could even be argued that the Sabres had the better chances in the final frame.

This is the wrong time to be sloppy. The Stars gave away too many points with their inconsistent play in the first half of the year. If they even have any hope of making the playoffs, they must now string together an incredible run down the stretch. That could have started today in Buffalo.

You have to feel bad for them at some point

Dallas Stars fans have entertained themselves over the past few years by condemning the goalie situation and constantly putting down the idea of a two-goalie tandem. Whenever the Stars are in the gutter, Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi always get the fingers pointed at them first.

But at some point, you have to feel bad for the two guys, especially this season. The Stars’ defense has been utterly horrific at times, leaving the two goalies to fend for themselves and put the team on their back. On nights when the Stars offense isn’t clicking and the defense is giving away prime chances, the two guys with all the extra padding are the only thing keeping Dallas in the game.

Today was another example. With the offense putting up only one goal and the defense giving away some amazing chances that most shooters will bury, Kari Lehtonen kept the Stars in the game as long as he could.

Turnovers, lack of energy, and careless penalties are leaving the two Finns out to dry and giving them no help. Of course, the one year that the goalies do well, everything else goes in the toilet…

Things are starting to get dim

The Dallas Stars are now 2-4-1 to start 2017. They are now below .500 (18-19-8) and have 44 points in 45 games. They are nowhere near having any games in hand against any of the teams near them in the standings and are starting to slip further and further down into the Western Conference cellar.

At this point, it looks like the Stars will be looking at April 8 as their final game until September, barring a crazy run or something along those lines. What’s that word? I think it starts with an “m” and ends with “-iracle.”

Looking ahead

The Dallas Stars will be back in action rather quickly, visiting the New York Rangers tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. The Stars are 0-1-0 against New York this season.

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