Another one of the many, many (many, many, many) divisional match-ups that flood the month of March. The second-half of a back to back and the Stars are coming off of a heartbreaking OT loss to the Ducks that saw their 3-1 lead disappear in the third period and their hopes of taking 2 points away disappear with a hat-trick from Visnovsky (ranked 3rd in defensemen scoring).
Don’t expect the back-to-back to cause too much in the form of tired-legs and minds. The Stars know that they need 2 points against the scolding hot San Jose team that have won 8 in a row. That’s the good news. Well, it is in my sadistic mind. When I judge the outcome of a game prior to puck-drop I always take a look at the last ten games played for the upcoming opponent. In my skewed mindset, the better they have been doing the better the chances the Stars will win based on the law of average. No team can win all of the games, and as the wins stack up the odds of another win goes down. It’s math… or something. So what are the odds the Sharks go 9 in a row? Well, how many times have we seen that long of a streak happen this year? Only a few times and those types of things decrease as a season winds down due to tough play from even the teams below the playoff threshold. This year even the worst teams in the league are challenging for a playoff birth (see Toronto and New Jersey).
Math aside, the Sharks are playing great hockey against good teams and winning games handily. Detroit twice, the Penguins, the Caps, the surging Flames. All beaten at the hands of the Sharks on their way to an 8-game winning streak. It’s up to the Stars to take the numbers by the horns and the Sharks by the fins and put their streak to an end like we know they can. With a 2 point win in a 4 point game it puts them not just deeper into the top-8 of the conference but that much closer to reclaiming their division lead, which is still very much in their grasps if they can keep getting points in games, divisional or not.
It seems that the rumors of Richards coming back were optimistic, so don’t expect to see him or Grossman back in the line-up for the game against San Jose. However, the good news is Goligoski is proving that GM Joe is just as smart as we all thought he was halfway through the season and Benn is on the tear that we could see coming since he came back from the shoulder injury. So here’s to the Stars putting a stop to a streak and digging 2 more points into the playoff hunt. See you for another late night game at 9:30pm for the first of 3 meetings between the two teams this month.
And I’d like to start ending these warm-ups with something to rival Mr. Heika’s prophecies: my game-day prediction. I’d love to see the readers comment on these posts with their own predictions and musings as well!
Stars win, 4-2
1st Goal: B. Morrow 14:37, 1st Period