Some thoughts and observations after the Dallas Stars lost 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night.
I don’t think there needs to be a lot said about this one. The Stars were simply flat on this night. It was a collective failure. Not sure why. It wasn’t the schedule. They had Sunday off. But they were listless, seemed to be a step behind at times and it was a dud performance. They were flat from the start and it seemed to carry through for 60 minutes.
Quote from Stars coach Marc Crawford: "I thought we would have a little bit more energy than we did, but we didn't. The only consolation is the whole group didn't and there isn't one guy that can be satisfied with this game and that's coaches included. We're disappointed as well. We talked about the right things. We thought our preparation was good, but obviously we've got to look again and make sure we get ready for the next game in Ottawa."
Although they rallied the last two games to get three of four points, they can’t continue to put themselves in holes and hope dig out of them. Tonight was proof of that.
The road woes continue. The Stars have lost four straight away from home and five of six. They’ve scored four goals in the last four road games. They are now 1-27 on the power play on the road. Their road record didn’t do them any favors last year and it’s something they need to rectify moving forward this season.
It wasn’t exactly a pretty game from either side, but give the Maple Leafs credit. They were the better team. They worked hard, won puck battles, were better defensively. Their commitment to block shots was impressive. Jonas Gustavsson was solid in net. Luke Schenn had an impressive game. Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski teamed up on a couple of goals and that’s all they needed.
Monday’s game is just one of 82, but those are two points they’ll never get back. Wednesday’s game is a chance to get back on track, get some traction on the road and get some points. We’ll see what they roll out.