Dallas Stars 4 – Phoenix Coyotes 3
The Stars started their brand new season with a fantastic win over the Phoenix Coyotes. Jaromir Jagr carried the team on his (old) back with two goals and two assists and the other new guys played great as well. It looks like Jagr already has fine chemistry with Loui Eriksson and Derek Roy and that line was incredible throughout the game.
Obviously Jagr was the biggest plus in this game. He was all over the ice and it wasn’t just his points that were huge for the team. He drew the defense towards him wherever he went and cleared space for the other forwards. Ray Whitney and Loui Eriksson were able to score goals as a result of this and great vision from Jagr.
Most of the new guys on the team played excellent today. Whitney had a goal and an assist and Roy managed an assist as well. Roy was also an excellent 16 of 23 on face-offs to really help the Stars. Vernon Fiddler was also good in the face-off dot, winning 11 of 15.
The fourth line for Dallas was just a bundle of energy on the ice. Reilly Smith, Ryan Garbutt and Cody Eakin wrecked havoc on the ice and showed great pressure on the puck. Smith got time on both special teams units as well before leaving the game after he took a shot to the face.
Kari Lehtonen was very good despite allowing three goals. He was under fire the entire night due to the shaky defense and faced 40 shots. He made big saves in the third period and really had no chance on two of the three goals that he allowed.
The power play was pretty much amazing for Dallas. Whitney and Jagr brought the Stars dead power play to life and they looked dangerous on it all night and scored two goals as a result. If it looks like that every night, this team will is in good hands.
Brenden Dillon was pretty much the only defenseman that was solid throughout the night. He led the team in hits, had a couple of shots and played solid defense. He needs to take over Jordie Benn’s spot.
The place was sold-out in this game which was great for the team. The product on-ice was also great so hopefully the fans return.
Tom Wandell was just flat out invisible in this game despite centering the second line of Ray Whitney and Michael Ryder. Ryder and Whitney were pretty quiet throughout the game while Wandell was on the ice. Whitney was great on the power play when he was with Jagr and Roy. Wandell also only won 4 of 14 face-offs.
The lack of Jamie Benn will hurt the production of that second line a lot. Dallas needs to get him re-signed as soon as possible because they can’t count on Jagr to do that every night.
The defense. Oh boy was it bad. Stephane Robidas and Alex Goligoski got absolutely lost on the first Coyotes’ goal and left two of the Yotes’ players wide open right in front of the net. Jordie Benn and Trevor Daley got tangled up at their own blue line under a little bit of pressure and this led to an easy Radim Vrbata breakaway goal.
Jordie Benn was really bad tonight. He had some bad turnovers and was absolutely torched a couple of times. This defense is going to get the goalies killed.
Penalties penalties penalties. Oh my goodness was that second period ugly. Dallas took four consecutive penalties in the period that completely drained them of their first period momentum and led to two Coyotes goals. They had terrible penalty problems last year and the last thing they need is for that to happen again.
18:36 – Jaromir Jagr (1) Dal 1 – Pho 0
Assist: Loui Eriksson (1)
9:04 – Lauri Korpikoski (1) (Power Play) Dal 1 – Pho 1
Assists: Radim Vrbata (1) Matthew Lombardi (1)
11:53 – Radim Vrbata (1) (Power Play) Dal 1 – Pho 2
Assists: Keith Yandle (1), Martin Hanzal (1)
18:38 – Jaromir Jagr (2) (Power Play) Dal 2 – Pho 2
Assists: Stephane Robidas (1), Ray Whitney (1)
0:31 – Ray Whitney (1) (Power Play) Dal 3 – Pho 2
Assists: Jaromir Jagr (1), Stephane Robidas (2)
3:30 – Radim Vrbata (2) Dal 3 – Pho 3
13:05 – Loui Eriksson (1) Dal 4 – Pho 3
Assists: Jaromir Jagr (2), Derek Roy (1)
2 of 4 (50%)
2 of 5 (40%)
3 of 5 (60%)
2 of 4 (50%)