For the Dallas perspective please visit Defending Big D
Ok, I think I picked a good night to not head down to the friendly confines of the Al Shaver press box. Good god, what an ugly loss. But, after a three game East Coast swing where they put forth some of the best effort of the season in wins over the Bruins and Penguins, a letdown isn't all that surprising, even though it is tough to have that letdown come against the hated Dallas Stars. After all, tonight's win was the seventh straight road victory for Dallas.
The Dallas Stars continued to show why they are leading the Pacific division. They applied pressure early and often, controlled the flow of the game. Played a solid physical game, created turnovers, drove to the net and took shots from high percentage areas and kept the Wild from developing any sustained offensive pressure. Frankly, they played about a complete game as possible.
Cam Barker and Marco Scandella, who were fabulous yesterday against the Penguins, were brutal tonight. Both were -3, and their misplays led directly to Dallas goals. Frankly, they might have been pushing a little too hard coming off a nice game, and found that they didn't have the legs. They wouldn't be the only ones. That was pretty much the story of the night.
Not much to say tonight. Jamie Benn, Brad Richards and Brendan Morrow were on top of their game, and pretty much did whatever they wanted all night long. The Wild had two great chances when Pierre-Marc Bouchard hit posts, but a tired team typically doesn't get those good bounces.
The Wild are now 1-6-3 on the second day of back-to-back games. Tonight was a perfect example of a team who was working out there, but simply didn't have the legs. All night long they were beaten to loose pucks, were chasing in the defensive zone and were missing passes because they simply couldn't get to them. Hopefully no practice tomorrow and getting into Nashville at a decent hour will help them rebound Tuesday night against the Predators.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
- Jamie Benn (2 G)
- Trevor Daley (1 G, 1 A)
Andrew Raycroft (26 saves, 2nd shutout of the season)
- Loui Eriksson impresses me every time he faces the Wild. Will they keep him off the scoresheet? Eriksson notched his 30th assist of the season on Trevor Daley's opening goal.
- Will Jamie Langenbrunner have an impact? 0 points in 15:03
- Can Jose Theodore keep it up? Tonight wasn't his fault. It was a team loss, but four goals against is never good.
- Cam Barker, is he going to continue to improve his game? After a great game against Pittsburgh, the Barker/Scandella pairing was an awful -3.
- Will the second-half of the season start with a win? Unfortunately not.