You win some, you lose some. In the case of the Dallas Stars for the first seven games of the season, this cliché couldn’t be more accurate. Heading into Saturday’s tilt against former division rivals Los Angeles Kings, the Stars have lost-won-lost-won-lost-won their first six games. Seeing how Dallas just defeated the Sharks at home on Thursday, I guess it should have been no surprise that the Stars would fall to the Kings, and that they did by a score of 5-2.
The game started as well as any Stars fan could have hoped for as Tyler Seguin came up the middle of the ice and slid the puck to Jamie Benn as he stood on the high post. Benn skated down to the top of the faceoff circle to Jonathan Quick’s right and wristed the puck to the net. Seguin slightly lifted his stick and the puck caromed off the blade and past Quick’s blocker.
The momentum seemed to carry on in favor of the Stars as Kings until-recently scratched “tough guy,” Daniel Carcillo took offense to Antoine Roussel’s physicality and started jawing with the French forward. Immediately, the two dropped the gloves and Roussel did what he does, all the while having a grip on Carcillo’s chinstrap. The two continued to jaw back and forth in their respective penalty boxes, but nothing would come of their meeting.
From there, the Stars defense took over…and that’s where it all unraveled. The first period ended with Stephane Robidas taking an interference penalty with one minute left. Thirty-three seconds later, Trevor Daley’s skate prevented Dan Ellis from getting over to the near post to block Justin Williams’ 2nd goal of the evening.
Plagued by 14 giveaways, the Stars put an undue amount of pressure on Ellis, who was starting his 3rd game in a row for the injured Kari Lehtonen. After the game, head coach, Lindy Ruff stated no decision had been made who would start in net (referring to either starting Ellis once again, Lehtonen returning or seeing the debut of former first round draft pick, Jack Campbell).
The 2nd period showed glimmers of hope as Ellis was able to stop at least 3 breakaways, two of which were direct result of intercepted passes that were weak and ill-advised. However, the plethora of turnovers and going 0-5 on the power play were just too much for the Stars and their back-up goal tender.
The Stars can’t dwell on this game too long as they’ll jump on a bus and head to Anaheim to take on the Ducks for the first time this season. One thing is for certain; if the Stars don’t find some physical play from someone other than Roussel and the defense can support their net minder, winning some and losing some won’t be an issue for long. Winning some and losing most will be the phrase moving forward.