Well, good news for Kings fans is that with a Stars loss vs. Anaheim next game they will clinch a playoff birth. Bad news for Stars fans: It is likely to happen at the current rate.
Another loss as the Stars travel to Anaheim after a 3-1 loss against a team with its top 2 scorers on the shelf. There isn’t much to say at this point in the season – they largely out-chanced the Kings for most of the game and like most of the games in the last month or so, they found a way to lose. If you’re searching for good news to pull from the wreckage: Brad Richards looked somewhat like himself for the first time since coming back from the concussion.
A side story is the Ribeiro hit in the last minute of play when he laid what seemed to be a headshot on Handzus as Handzus stood in a crouching form with the puck caught in his clothing. Ribeiro flew by and knocked him for a loop. It could be argued that he put himself in a vulnerable position, but its more likely that Ribeiro thought what he was doing was lame and put his elbow to the dude’s neck by looking at the video. Either way we will see if one of the few top players on the team who seems to be playing for the win the last 2 weeks will get any disciplinary actions put on him by the league.
Going into the Ducks game tomorrow the Stars are pressed against the wall and will need a win-them-all mentality to even think they have a chance now that they have lost vs. the Kings and the Flames are now in between them and the 8th place Blackhawks…
In the off-season we will probably be analyzing whether or not the team could have perhaps maintained their hold on first place in the division if they could have used their empty cap-space for a top defenseman to take some of the pressure off of their weak back-end. And if the blame can be placed on Crawford’s head for never giving Lehtonen a break; he’s been letting in some Turco-esque slip-through’s as of late that could have meant a win. 18 straight starts, one sit in the last what? 28… that’s pretty nuts since he hadn’t played an entire season since coming into the league for the most part.
We all hope they can pull off a miracle, but it is a bleak future and a hard fantasy to swallow even for the most delusional of Stars fans at this point.
Either way, Go Stars! Right?