Stars coach Marc Crawford was not a happy camper after his team lost 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night at American Airlines Center. It was the third straight loss for the Stars and their second by a 5-2 score. Here are the postgame thoughts from Crawford, who took two questions from the media.
On the loss
“To be quite truthful, what I don’t like is that we beat ourselves in these last two games. I thought we learned the lesson in the last game and we didn’t. We have to smarten up. We have to learn the lesson that this is a league where you cannot even take a shift off. If we think that we’re so good that we think we can out skill teams and we can beat teams with pure skill, we are sadly mistaken. Our team has to commit to do the right things 60 minutes every game, 65 minutes if it goes to overtime. We have to be humble enough to do that on a consistent basis.
“You know what? We had another good performance tonight, but that rings hollow. Those kind of comments, as we told the team, are not what we are about. We are about being a team that doesn’t beat ourselves and plays a harder style of game. We have to be better than we were. We beat ourselves tonight.”
On the team not being able to score the last few games
“They have to be prepared to win the game 1-0. You don’t give away easy chances like we did. We were well in control and we got back to 1-1 in the game and when we were in control you don’t give up odd-man rushes. You don’t try to over extend a shift you’re 60 seconds into to try to get another offensive opportunity. You give the other team life. That’s how you get beat.
“Teams that end up being playoff teams, which we are going to be, they don’t beat themselves. We beat ourselves tonight. It’s disappointing because we did it the last game and didn’t have to come in here and rant and rave the last game because I thought we had learned the lesson. But we didn’t. We have to learn the lesson.
“On the positive side it’s a good thing it’s happening right now because we have a whole season ahead of us to fix it. But our guys have to get it through their thick skulls that they are not an overly super-skilled team. We’re a very good team that if we don’t outwork the other team we don’t give ourselves the best opportunity to win. And we certainly don’t give ourselves an opportunity to win when we are trying to gamble and we’re trying to play extended shifts.
“Goal scoring is a culmination of a bunch of good habits. You have good habits when you are not fatigued and if you do the simple things right all the time – that’s why those clichés are there because they work. We have to make sure we are about that because that’s the type of team we have. I like our team. They are a good bunch of guys, but they’ve got to commit to do it all the time, all the time.”