Stars Out-Work Kings

 I am very happy with the win in Los Angeles . I am always happy when we win but how we won was the most important part . We out-worked the Kings and out-played them all over the ice . I must admit that we did not seem to get off to what I would say was a fabulous start but we improved quickly and dictated the way the game was played .

 We may have had a few defensive break downs , but only one was capitalized on . We , on the other hand , took advantage of the Kings mistakes and won the game . Our overall game-play was much better and made us look like the team who had the higher seed in the standings .

 What we did right ;
  Powerplay scoring – Without this essential we certainly would not have won this game . Morrow , Ott and Richards (twice) earned powerplay goals . I cannot even remember the last time we had four powerplay goals .  This was an enormous part of our win . We must continue to score when we are given the man advantage . Our team is too good to go zero for six on the powerplay in any game .
  Defending – Lehtonen never really looked over-taxed even when there were dangerous plays in front of him . Our defensive play allowed us to scoop up rebounds and allowed Lehtonen to see most of the shots he had to deal with . We did not struggle for extended periods of time in our own zone . This made things much better for us all around .
  Forecheck – I cannot possibly convey how important this is in our game . Without it , we lose , with it , we win . We had it going full force in this game and we won . Players get tired of being smashed into the boards and start making sloppy plays in order to keep from being “tenderized” into the boards . That is exactly what happened in this game .
  Penalty killing – We did not allow the Kings to capitalize often on the powerplay like we have allowed in recent other games . Our penalty kill has been a weakness for too long now and I am glad we seem to have fixed the problem . We are killing penalties smarter and we are covering up for any individual mistakes that teammates may make without trying to do that player’s job outright . 
  Net presence – Morrow or Segal or somebody was either driving the net or had dropped anchor right in front of Quick . This has been absent far too often . We did an excellent job of it in this game . We need this in order to win regularly . This is just as important as getting the forecheck going . They are both necessities we cannot survive without .

 I did think it was sad that the Kings’ “fans” booed them in the final two minutes . No true fans should boo their own team . I did think it was funny that I saw an incredible amount of Dallas Stars jerseys in the audience though – but I don’t think they were the ones booing .

 MY STARS of the game ;
If you want to point fingers despite this being a fabulous team win then it is easy to pick the following players out for their hard work .
 1. Brad Richards – Welcome back to the top spot , Mr. Richards .
 2. Brenden Morrow – Two words – “net presence” .
 3. Kari Lehtonen – Although not overly troubled , he made saves that kept the Kings frustrated enough that after a while the Kings did not seem to believe they could beat him .

 In The (Penalty) Box ;
 The entire group of officials – I could fill up all of the internet with their poor calls and missed calls but I will not . This had to be one of the worst officiated games I have ever seen . Our Stars AND the Kings were both victimized and often . Not that I wanted the Kings to get more powerplay time , but we got away with more than a few things and I know that the Kings did as well . The calls that were made were often phantom ones . I do not have any idea of how they could have called things the way that they did but I am sure that a trip to an optical clinic would certainly improve the next game they officiate .  Let us all hope that we do not have that same crew call our game against the Ducks on Monday .

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~ by Adam on March 28, 2010.

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