What Happened: The Columbus Blue Jackets attacked the Stars early, and their efforts paid off when Rick Nash scored just four minutes into the game. The Stars were fortunate to get an equalizer from Vernon Fiddler five minutes later, because the team played the first two periods at a sluggish and ineffective pace. The Blue Jackets regained the lead early in the middle frame from an Antoine Vermette goal. The Stars limped to the end of the period, generating no real scoring chances and looking uninspired. Things didn’t get much better in the third period. Rick Nash cashed in for his second goal of the night, and despite two power play opportunities in the final minutes the Stars could not get anything past Steve Mason. The game ended with an empty-net dagger from Fedor Tyutin.
What It Means: Pathetic. That’s the word that comes to mind. Kari Lehtonen? He played alright, made some big saves, and didn’t look all that rusty. The rest of the team? Pathetic. Passes didn’t connect, chemistry was nowhere to be found, and special teams continued to be a non-factor. Glen Gulutzan tried changing the lines in the second period to get something going. Nothing came of it. Brenden Morrow was injured in the third period, and didn’t return to the game. The Stars let down themselves and the fans tonight against the worst team in the NHL. There was no effort, no will, no want in the team. The Stars are facing a couple huge games in front of them and this is not the way they wanted to begin the home stand. Pathetic. That’s all there is to say about tonight.
What’s Next: The Stars return to action against the red-hot defending Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins on New Years Eve, Saturday night. The last time these two teams met was last year, and it was a bloodbath. Fights, goals, and even injuries were the name of the game and the Bruins came out on top, and the Stars lost Adam Burish. Many look at that game as the beginning of the downward slide that took the Stars out of the playoffs. The Bruins and Stars don’t meet often, but when they do it’s an emotional and fiery battle. The game is already sold out, so the Stars need to feed of the packed building to give themselves an edge against the best team in the NHL. If they perform against the Bruins like they did tonight against the Blue Jackets, well, prepare for an embarrassing game.
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