While the Dallas Stars are having trouble killing power plays, the Florida Panthers have killed all eight chances against them. That is one reason why the Cats have played as well as they have. The other reason is the brick wall known as Tomas Vokoun who is riding a two game shutout streak after back to back blanks of Calgary and Tampa Bay.
Dallas had started the season at 4-0, but lost the other night to the Lightning 5-4 and will be looking to rebound from that. Despite a 4-1 record the Stars have given up 10 power play goals which is an ugly stat this early in the season. Tonight however might be the night that Dallas gets it right as the Panthers have scored only one power play goal in 15 attempts.
Brenden Morrow leads the Stars with 5 goals and Brad Richards leads in points with 10 on two goals and eight helpers. In goal for Dallas and following in the shadows of Marty Turco is Keri (Let Them In) Lehtonen who was acquired last season from Atlanta and is being counted on as the number one netminder. His back up? Andrew Raycroft. Yikes!
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Since we’re on the subject of goaltending, TomasVokoun who has started 24 games against Dallas has a dismal record of 6-17-1 with a 2.54 GAA. Regardless, Vokie seems to be in mid season form and has had solid defensive play in front of him. While nothing very exciting is happening on defence the one thing you can see already is the shots against are down in the past few games. Credit that to the new assistant Gord Murphy? Maybe so. Also I think you can credit the coaching staff for making the forwards realize that forechecking and backchecking are part of their responsibility. Finishing checks is something that the forwards seem to be doing, which is something we haven’t seen in quite some time. Except for Little Stevie.
Hey, Weiss, I’ll give you Five Bucks if you check someone!
Speaking of Weiss the first line production is, well, missing. While I would confidently say that we have two second lines and a third and a fourth, if Little Stevie and his mates don’t start to find the net they will truly find themselves playing on the second line. Hopefully they get going soon.
Should be a good game, but we need to have a solid first five minutes and establish the forecheck, and create some scoring chances. The only thing that concerns me about tonights tilt is that we’ve had a few days off in the sunshine. The weather here has been absolutely great, and while it’s hard not to take advantage of it, I can only hope the boys have concentrated on their game. Working on the power play would be something that I hope was part of practice.
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