Tonight we will be replacing the traditional “Rapid Reaction” because multiple members of the staff were at the game. Instead this is just a standard post game review/opinion article. Expect Rapid Reaction to return this weekend!
After a tough loss last night against the St. Louis Blues on the road, things only looked harder tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. But despite being down two of their top players and playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Dallas Stars were able to bring a strong effort to the AAC tonight and at least pull out one point against the Red Wings. The 3-2 shootout defeat was hard to stomach, but in the end it showed exactly where this Dallas Stars team is right now. A team that can be feisty and pesky just like they want, but also a team that is offensively lacking without Jamie Benn and Mike Ribeiro in the lineup.
So while a win over the hated Wings would have been great, earning one point out of the game isn’t a bad thing. While it is hard not to look at the two games as one big effort, you have to take each game as it comes and sometimes just give it another go the next night. But in both games the Stars did get something that was promising. Richard Bachman again took advantage of his chance to play and kep the game tied at 2-2 through most of the 3rd period, following up Kari Lehtonen‘s excellent effort last night with another strong performance. In reality Bachman only gave up one goal tonight before the shootout as Detroit’s second goal was a bad bounce off of Alex Goligoski‘s skate that ended up as an own-goal. Bachman again showed great reflexes in close and almost single-handedly killed off a big penalty in the third period, earning the Stars that one point. So while the offense is struggling, both goalies are doing their parts right now to at least give the Stars a chance.
One thing I noticed tonight was the play of one particular defensive pairing. The pairing of Alex Goligoski and Mark Fistric was fun to watch tonight but also scary at times. Fistric on one hand played one of his best games this season. He multiple times did an excellent job of tying up Detroit forwards around the defensive zone and prevented what could have been some great scoring chances. He was active as always with the body and really is becoming one of the best checkers on the team. But even more than that, he looked sound all evening and again made me think he should be higher on the chart then 6th or 7th defensively. But Goligoski had an up-and-down game and still looks to be finding his game after missing so much time. While he let loose the shot that went off of Brenden Morrow for a Stars’ powerplay goal that evened the game at 1-1, things after that were shaky. He had a couple of bad turnovers or miscues in the game that made me wince and want to look away. And of course the own-goal wasn’t as result of him doing it on purpose, but it was a result of him trying to figure out where his liability was and not realizing the puck was coming his way. But at the end of the night I think they had a good night overall and Fistric seemed to step up playing with one of the top blueliners.
Next up for the boys in black will be the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. The Bolts will be visiting Dallas for the only matchup between the two teams this season. One bright note is that Philip Larsen could be ready to return from his concussion and adding a little more puck movement on the back-end could help the offense a tad. More on that as we get closer to the game.
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