What Happened: The Dallas Stars kicked off their five game roadtrip in a less than stellar fashion from San Jose tonight. The Stars entered the contest with Brenden Morrow, Alex Goligoski, and Trevor Daley coming back from injuries and a big few days off. But before the Stars could even start anything, they were down 2-0 to the San Jose Sharks. A 3-on-2 right away resulted in a Logan Couture goal just past a minute into the game, and then the Sharks made it 2-0 seconds later after Andrew Raycroft could not control a bad rebound and Jamie McGinn puts the puck in from a sharp angle. After that the Stars did succeed in fighting back, and the return of Morrow made a difference. Morrow threw a puck at the net and the puck bounced off Niemi and it went in off Mike Ribeiro. Then early in the 2nd he got a great pass from Ribs and one-timed the puck to make it 2-2 with a powerplay goal. But as soon as the Stars turned it around and evened up the game, things started falling apart again. The Sharks scored three times in the last ten minutes of the second period, and again the Sharks controlled the game for a little bit of time but on the scoreboard dominated the Stars. Raycroft took a lot of heat tonight from fans and media members alike, and he deserved it. He was overly-aggressive on shots and angles and he was spraying rebounds all over the place tonight. While I thought he should have been pulled earlier, Glen Gulutzan kept him in there and the goals kept coming. So Richard Bachman got into his first contest this season and he definitely made a case to get a start soon. Bachman stopped all 11 shots he faced and his movement looked far superior to Raycroft’s. With “Razor” giving up five goals in two straight games and his play looking worse with each start, the Stars have to consider starting Bachman on Saturday or very soon. But no matter what he did, the score was already 5-2 and both teams just seemed to settle into that for the final minutes of the game.
What Does It Mean: While the return of Morrow looked great and he played his best game of the season, things are still off offensively. The Jamie Benn/Loui Eriksson like has not been producing lately and no matter who is with them, they just have been smothered for the last couple of weeks. If Morrow is back and finally healthy again after some back and elbow issues, then he and Ribeiro might be fine. But the coaching staff might have to look at moving things around to attempt to find something with the other lines. Most nights recently, the 3rd line is the best line. While that’s nice to have, you shouldn’t have to rely on your 3rd line to score like 1st liners, play 3rd line defense, and bring energy. Someone in the top six needs to start something and bring some fire back to those top two lines. Maybe Morrow being healthy can start that. In net, we got a decent glimpse of what Bachman might be able to do. He has now come into a bad situation twice in his two-game NHL career and both times has looked great. He might be a little small, but his movement is great and he has obtained success at every level so far in his career. While the defense needed to play more physical and help Raycroft out, he also just looked horrible tonight and a goaltender playing badly will change the game in front of him too. After the Sharks took back the momentum and piled on goals in the 2nd, the teams just looked like they were in a hurry to get out of the arena. It’s a five game trip, but this is not how they wanted to start it off.
What’s Next: The Stars play the L.A. Kings on Saturday night in another late game. The Stars haven’t had success against the Kings this season, and playing in L.A. has been rough to the Dallas over the last couple of years. Gulutzan said tonight that he will decide tomorrow who will start in the net for the game, but I hope and believe the Bachman should get the chance to start. He might not be a top goalie, but he is a solid looking young man and he could be a better option than Raycroft giving up four or more most nights.
Follow Blackout Dallas on Twitter:
Austin Waldron (@BlackoutDallas)
Andrew Monrreal (@_ammon)
Topics: Alex Goligoski, Andrew Raycroft, Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars, Glen Gulutzan, Jamie Benn, Jamie McGinn, Logan Couture, Los Angeles Kings, Loui Eriksson, Mike Ribeiro, Richard Bachman, San Jose Sharks, Trevor Daley