Part of the good thing about being a blog and being done both as a fan and writer? When I am really pissed about a game I can tell it like I want to and say what I wish. Today is going to be one of those posts. Don’t worry, I am not going to say anything that will upset too many, or that you would not say to your parents (although I know some of you say things I wouldn’t to your parents). But after a third period like that last night and the parade to and from the penalty box, I have a right to be pissed.
First, let’s get to the start of the game and the first period. Jamie Benn made a spectacular play in the first period after the Stars had gone down 1-0 on a goal by Dustin Brown. Ribs threw the puck out of the zone to clear the puck and Jamie never gave up on the puck. He goes flying through the neutral zone and catches up with Drew Doughty, lifting his stick right as he gets to it and then takes the puck right to the net and slips it 5-hole. Amazing one man effort and great goal. It shows why many think this 21 year-old can really be something special in this league as he keeps developing. Outskates one of the top defensemen in the league who is young also, and then finishes it perfectly. Gets Dallas right back in the game. The first ends with the physical play and scuffling picking up. James Neal lays a heavy, but clean, shoulder-to-shoulder on Stoll and then the Kings got pissed. Figured the refs would call something on Neal even though it was shoulder-to-shoulder and was clean, and I would have maybe given him two minutes at first glance. But they actually made the right decision by not calling anything on him. Greene comes in a tackles him, and somehow they both get five for fighting and Green takes an instigator. Crazy end to the 1st but the Stars have to like where they are at.
Then the 2nd period really is just the 2nd period. Some skirmishes, some checks, a little excitement but let’s get to the third period already. The Kings get a goal called off due to goalie interference as Williams comes into the crease as a shot comes at the net. The Kings argue it and want the goal, but it is clear as Williams trips over Lehtonen’s pad as the shot is on the way. Then Brown flops like a actor shot by a fake bullet late in the 2nd, leading to Skrastins getting a couple of minutes in the box and a fight breaking out. But it was clearly a flop/dive/pansy-move.
Then there is the third period. I am calling it “The period of the zebras.” There was a parade to and from the penalty box and time after time the Stars got shafted and cheated. The game went to hell in a hand basket and the devil was on the Kings side. Multiple calls were again given for flops by Kings and a couple of calls made no sense at all. Fistric tries to stand up Williams as he comes into the Dallas zone, and Williams just falls backwards and leaves his feet. Fistric gets called for a penalty and of course the Kings score on the powerplay. Kari Lehtonen gets screened perfectly and Williams get a goal. Let’s connect the dots here: Williams embellishes a call, Stars go down a man, Williams gets a goal. Wait what the hell is this? Okay the Stars have to realize it happens sometimes and just keep playing. It is still only a one goal game and they have plenty of guys capable of getting them back in the game. Just a couple of minutes later the Stars get another call against them. Brown again just flops as he and Ott brush against each other as both are headed to their respective benches. Brown looks like a freaking clown at this point, but again the zebras just go okay and go with it. Stars 0, refs somewhere between 2 and 3 at this point. Then Daley goes behind his net to clear a puck out later in the third. He is met by Richardson finishing a check, but driving Daley’s head into the lower area of the glass. Richardson could have easily been called for a major, but he gets a minor and the Stars at least get the call. I am pissed that they don’t get the full call, but at this point its better then being completely shafted again. The teams go on to exchange penalties and neither team scores, including the Stars missing a couple of prime chances and have 20 seconds of a 5-on-3. Then with under four minutes left in the game, the Stars are still attacking and are in the game. Then along the boards, Adam Burish checks Doughty into the boards but is going after the puck and it was not a serious hit at all. The call: 5 mins for boarding, and a 10 min game misconduct. At this point I am livid and pissed. What a joke! It really did look like one team was supposed to be getting an advantage. The hit was similar along the lines of the Richardson hit on Daley, except the Doughty was moving along the boards and Burish went after the puck. If anything, the right call was to give him two as well and call a freakin even game! Doughty got up and played on the PP right after. Aren’t the majors for injuries??? Instead Dallas is shorthanded for the rest of the game at that point and the Kings score.
Final damage, L.A. Kings and the zebras – 3, Dallas Stars – 1. A joke of a third period and the Kings get a gift of a game. The refs not only owe use a couple of calls, but they owe my about an hour and a half of sleep. Cause after that game I tried to go to sleep just about 30 mins after, but kept watching the replays and reading over discussion boards and I could not settle down. I was a little upset, if that’s how you want to put it. The Stars lost the game, they had their chances but failed to capitalize and did take a few penalties late. But a couple of those calls, if not three, made no sense and were unacceptable. And the Stars sounded upset too. Richards said after the game, “Penalty trouble got us in the end. You can’t that much time in the box in the third period on the road like that. What’s a penalty tonight sometimes is a penalty tomorrow and sometimes it’s not. … It’s a guessing game every night. When you get video of head shots and people going after heads and some of it’s called and some it’s not, that’s when you get confused. I know it’s a fast game, but it’s tough out there sometimes. The hooking, that’s on us. You can’t put your stick in people’s hands. That’s pretty basic now. Some of the other stuff makes you wonder, if you lay on the ice or if you don’t lay on the ice. I guess there are lots of different ways to draw penalties now.” Crawford said they couldn’t really comment but were upset with the officiating and had already talked with the league about it. So does the NHL owe the Stars a couple of call? Maybe a point? Do we get an “I owe you?”
Back to the present, the Stars have no time to focus on last night and need to use their frustration to get focused and prepared for tonight. The Stars play the second half of a back-to-back on the road tonight at the Anaheim Ducks. It could be big for the Stars to go into Anaheim tonight and grab two points before heading back to Dallas. Losing back-to-back road games already is not something you want to do, much less lose again tonight and let it become three in a row. If the Stars can gain two points tonight, then they have three straight at home next week and could string a few wins together or maybe at least get 6 of the next 8 points and regain some momentum. The Ducks are not a pushover, and they will be ready for Dallas tonight. Anaheim is 6-1-1 at home and has won 5 games in a row coming into tonight’s affair. The Stars need to snap that streak, figure out how to put the puck in the net with their current slump in scoring over the last few games, and come back to Texas with at least 2 points from this little trip to California. The Ducks won the first meeting of the season, 5-2 in Dallas in October. Tonight’s game is on FX-SW+ and always on 1310AM for radio, and the puck drops at 9:00 central time. Cheer on the Stars and maybe I will see some of you out at the Stars games next week!