The puck and player were both in the neutral zone. Let's get that straight right now, it was a BS call.
And the game was fu-ugly. The scoring chance count is shocking - check it out yourself but prepare to lose your lunch.
But as the adage goes, "we'll take the two points". Because if we're not getting points in these games while the forwards get their biznaz together, then we're hooped.
EV Shots On Goal: 4-6
EV Shots Toward Net: 7-11
EV Faceoff Starts: 2-2
EV Shots On Goal: 8-11
EV Shots Toward Net: 18-18
EV Faceoff Starts: 6-3
EV Shots On Goal: 4-10
EV Shots Toward Net: 14-16
EV Faceoff Starts: 2-4
EV Shots On Goal: 0-0
EV Shots Toward Net: 0-0
EV Faceoff Starts: 1-0
EV Shots On Goal: 16-27
EV Shots Toward Net: 39-45
EV Faceoff Starts: 11-9
In the practice prior to last night Sutter was trying some wacky line combos involving Iginla and Jokinen. Looking at the Dallas roster and from prior experience, I figured Richards would be their primary difference maker, so the game would probably be won and lost in the matchup vs. Richards.
And that was almost how it turned out (but for the late-minute heroics of one Daymond Langkow). Early on Richards was playing mostly against Iginla's unit (although Iggy got double-shifted away from that gig a few times) with smatterings against Glencross and then Langkow. In the third I noticed a shift towards Langkow and Bourque's unit. I haven't checked the shift charts but that's how it shook out in my mind. And the results were disastrous. Not a single unit looked like they mustered any traction against Richards (who was +6 Corsi and +1 for the night). Yikes.
Iginla had an alright game. He had a fine hit against Robidas (granted the dude is a dwarf) and the first goal he scored was fantastic. Also just a lovely shift in the third where he took the puck from behind the Calgary net and safely moved it to behind the Dallas net, where some pressure ensued. Granted that must have been against lesser opposition. Still, he ended up 3-9 in EV chances and made a few bad decisions in his own zone. But he looked willing to battle, perhaps for the first time all season.
Jokinen... ugh. What else is there to say?
Regehr and Bouwmeester had fine games:
- Bouwmeester is so patient defensively, his stick checks perfectly timed. And his defensive awareness is uncanny - on the Eriksson goal, he switched from chasing Richards to covering the pass 2-on-1 style the moment he realized that Eriksson was uncovered. Eyes in the back of his head, that one.
- Regehr did what he does best in the defensive zone - muscle players out of the play. He was a force, esp. on the PK where he prevented sure bang-bang plays with sheer strength.
And McElhinney. What a night for him. He still has stylistic aspects to his game that just scare the shit out of me (ill-placed rebounds, awkward save recovery) but tonight he was full value and then some. The penalty shot save, all of the saves on the PK, and a couple in-tight chances that he just played safe by closing the five-hole. Huge win for young Curtis, even though (once again) the team didn't give him nearly enough support.
On the subject of McElhinney: the nickname "BackElhinney" popped up in last night's thread. A fine nickname, but I prefer the CP creation "McElWinney" myself.
The delay-of-game penalty was clearly a missed call. The Stars did have several instances of non-called interference - which kind of evens things out, but kind of doesn't really - 4-on-3's have much higher scoring rates iirc. We caught a break folks.