Stars vs. Ducks Preview:
Hello all, and welcome to the first blog post by Brent Waggoner. I am a huge Stars fan in Abilene Texas and I've been with the Stars thick and thin since 97-98 when they made it to the Western Conference Finals. Ideally I will try to I hope that you find this blog informative and I hope to give you something to look forward too.
The Stars are coming off of a rough night at Los Angeles, with 28 penalty minutes in the final period where the score was 1-1 after 40. The period was frusterating to watch and the Kings were able to capitalize on their opportunities.
Back-to-back nights always scare me. Hockey is a taxing sport. If you watch intermission interviews, you know that the player being interviewed is tired. If they are being interviewed when they had the last shift, you can tell because they are sucking wind even after the commercial break.
Last week they danced around the Coyotes in a 6-3 victory and followed that night up with a plane ride to Denver. They didn't get enough rest due to the back-to-back night, and the Avs were as fresh as a batch of cookies out of the oven and walked over them 5-0.
That being said, as frusterated as the Stars must be, I bet we won't notice fatigue tonight.
The Stars are one of the better teams in the league when it comes to offense. Brad Richards is tied for 5th when it comes to points and tied for 4th in plus-minus. His trio are the tip of the spear in the Dallas offense. Mike Ribeiro for Dallas is tied for 2nd in assists, and he is the guy you have to have on the second line.
The Kings are sturggling but improving. They are 8th on the power play (Stars are 28 on the PK) and they win games because of success in that scenario. With 28 penalty minutes in the 3rd period in the game prior, would you want to take a penalty against a team that is finally building momentum this year and with a 5 game win streak? Defianetly not.
The Stars power play is 15th and the Ducks are 16th on the kill. Both teams have improved to their respected rating. Brad Richards is on the Stars Power Play for the first minute and 30 seconds everytime and he is the reason that we are at where we are.
The Stars, when even strength, are 6th best in the league. The Ducks are not as fancy when the sides are even, so edge to Dallas whose been a solid team all year at even strength. If the game were played 60 minutes 5 on 5, the Stars should win.
Goaltending is an interesting subject. Kari Lehtonen has been good for Dallas. I'll go as far as saying he is probably the most underrated goalie when looking at the stats. However, his stats are below average in most categories, but every Stars fan knows that he is not a problem. I already like him more than Turks. Jonas Hiller has the starts, but McElhinney recieved the first shutout for the ducks this season on Wednesday.
-Ribs to crack the goose egg by scoring a goal?
-Friday Night Fight Night Round 2?
- Stars to continue domination in the faceoff circle? 58% last night and richards going 86 percent on 14 draws.
-Sutherby to have a big night after a healthy scratch last night
-More disciplined Stars team