In a sloppy effort from the Stars, somehow they pull out a win and decimate my estimations of a excellent effort in my pre-game musings.
But they did win and while it wasn’t the blow-out a lot of fans expected from a Stars team on a surge, it was a 3-2 victory that was just as important as it may have been otherwise. What we have been able to see this game and the last couple prior was the reason Brendan Morrow was given the “C” on his chest. Something that I personally was beginning to forget after the last season or so, wondering why someone else wasn’t being promoted to the position after 2 sub-par seasons from the Captain who wasn’t scoring and didn’t really seem to be playing with the normal passion. But, this season is seeing a resurgence of the old Morrow and this game epitomized that.
Scoring the game opener and then taking the team’s passion on his back and dragging them into the game over and over again throughout the game. After Jamie Benn scored another goal-of-the-night quality tally, I was sure the Stars would tighten up their play and come into the third period with a fire inside, focused on winning the game and playing the rest of the game like the team they normally are. But again Edmonton stormed the castle per say and ended up tying it 2-2 with two quick strikes. However, a goal in question was scored only moments later by James Neal as he puts in his 16th of the season and seems to be building his game back after a long streak of mediocrity. The goal took a review as it was such a huge and fast shot that nobody but the goalie seemed to know what exactly happened. As it would turn out, it was a perfect shot that hit the back corner putting the Stars back on top.
It seems to me that the Stars have talent to boot. They’ve had much of this talent since last season as well. The difference being that they tended to ride on their talent last year which won them games like this, but didn’t earn them a playoff spot. This year they are using work ethic and team-work to win games and every now and then get by in a shotty effort like tonight based on talent. The combination of the two naturally equates to a first place spot in the Pacific.
Over all it was an entertaining spectacle however, as we got to see flashes of an Edmonton team that could turn out to be the next Hawks/Penguins if they keep developing their group the right way and don’t jump the gun too quick trying to make a quick flash in the pan playoff run next season.
The most delightful part of tonight’s game was the end where tempers flared and the Oilers showed that the next two meetings this season should be games that remind us all of the Oilers/Stars rivalry of the past when they seemed to meet in the playoffs every year.