Dallas Stars Suffer Bad Calls In 3-1 Leafs Loss
Another slow start and failed comeback attempt sealed the Dallas Stars’ fate in a 3-1 loss in Toronto.
After multiple post-rattling shots early in the first period, the Maple Leafs struck first and the Stars gave away yet another first goal. Antti Niemi, however, continued to play judiciously and well throughout the period.
In the second period, Auston Matthews added to Jake Gardiner‘s tally to make it 2-0 Toronto thanks to some defensive blunders. From there on, the Stars ran into some bad luck with calls against. Initially they made the most of the slew of penalties, with a PPG coming from Seguin in the third.
They weren’t given any other opportunity to catch up, though, and a few poor calls later, the Leafs added another goal to make the final score 3-1.
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Thoughts and Observations
No puck luck
The Dallas Stars did have some defensive holes in their play tonight and had sins to atone for, but the last period of the game was fraught with unfair calls and unnecessary penalties.
On multiple occasions, the Leafs benefited from 5 on 3 play, and even earned a goal from it.
Overall, it was the hockey equivalent of being kicked while down. And against the Leafs, who have one of the best home power plays in the league, well, those kicks are lethal.
Just a hint of Seguin
The Dallas Stars’ lone goal went to Tyler Seguin tonight, who scored a scorcher of a power play goal right out of the gate. He and Jamie Benn seemed to be having good nights, although Benn did not continue his 6 game point streak.
Seguin found himself on a line with Benn and Eakin tonight, and that change seemed to pay off. They made an intimidating trio, and the duo of Radek Faksa and Devin Shore also remained persistent all night, although the Stars ultimately were not rewarded for those efforts.
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Something’s gotta give
At this point in the season, one thing you don’t want to see- can’t see- if halfway hockey. It seems like that’s the overwhelming majority of what we’re getting from the Stars. Games in which they seemed to play well, but obviously didn’t want that win as much as their opponent.
There were multiple times when Toronto’s enthusiasm (and the Stars’ inability to match it) it was so visually obvious that it hurt. The Leafs’ power play made the Stars look like children playing t-ball. Those are technical things that need practice. But simple playing with heart and being determined to win, playing like rabid dogs in order to win, shouldn’t have to be taught in practice.
The Dallas Stars will keep right on rolling as they take on Ottowa on Thursday. Think they can muster up some desperation before then? Let us know what you think!