Dallas Stars Must Make Sure The Numbers Match The Effort

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Apr 16, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey (39) celebrates after a Ducks goal in the second period as Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) and defenseman Patrik Nemeth (37) react in game one of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams.

The Stars went 1-6 on the Powerplay in game 2. The Ducks were 0-3 but had the Stars scored at least one more Powerplay goal the game goes to overtime and anything can happen. More importantly they surrendered a short handed goal while whining they didn’t get a call they deserved when Sergei Gonchar was slashed behind the net. Instead of staying focused on the play all five Stars on the ice let up and allowed Andrew Cogliano to walk in free and put one past Kari Lehtonen. Kari was already crouched too low and the shot went over his shoulder. His counterpart on the other end was however nearly perfect.


Frederick Anderson is playing in his Rookie season. He finished the regular season at 20 wins and 5 losses. Very impressive numbers for any goalie. He won the starting job from veteran Jonas Hiller who struggled down the stretch and the decision to make him the starter has so far looked to be a good move for Head Coach Bruce Budreau.

Kari Lehtonen has been good but not great. For the 8th seeded Dallas Stars to knock off the #1 seed Anaheim Ducks he needs to be the best player in the series and that has just not been the case. He has made some key saves in some big moments but overall he has not made the right save at the right time often enough.


Entering game one the Stars had 9 players who were playing in their ever first Stanley cup playoff game. The captain Jamie Benn being one of them. The Ducks won the cup in 2007. Their power pairing of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry being key contributors. Those two have carried that confidence with them in to this series and have helped to make sure that when the Ducks have had their chances to score they finished them. Scoring chances are not an official NHL stat but I can guarantee that the Stars lead in that category as well. What they did not lead in was goals scored from those chances.

Apr 18, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Erik Cole (72) attempts a shot defended by Anaheim Ducks left wing Pat Maroon (62) during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

What’s next.

The law of averages hopefully equals out. The Stars have been very good at home lately and if you look at some larger metrics the Stars really were the better team in the first two games.

The Stars won 6 of their last 7 at home this season and made the ACC a really difficult building for a visiting team. The crowds should be very enthusiastic after so many years without a playoff game and the team should feed off of that energy.

At some point Anaheim’s inability to control pace will catch up with them and the results on the score board should change.

Dallas has for extended periods of time been in full control of puck possession, pace of game and their transition speed has caused fits for the Ducks backcheck. The difference so far has been the Ducks ability to finish quality scoring chances and that relates directly to experience. The Stars must realize the difficulty of gaining a quality scoring chance in the playoffs and capitalize. The Ducks have been here year after year and understand the difference in intensity and quality of play required to win in the playoffs.

One more stat to think about.

Moneyball brought advanced metrics to the archaic and institutionally rigid metrics of baseball. Most, including myself thought they were ridiculous and unnecessary. I was completely incorrect.

Hockey has its own version of advance metrics. Corsi and Fenwick are designed to measure a player’s effectiveness based on the # of shots not only registered on goal but that are blocked or missed the net while a players is on the ice. When these stats are compiled they can be broken down in to many different values. From average with another player on the team to relative score against every other payer in the league based on zone faceoff placement.

I have not quite bought in to the measure of Corsi and Fenwick just yet but I can tell you this.

Over two games despite being down 0-2 the Stars lead in both categories.

So my question is… Numbers, Numbers, The numbers say the Stars should be leading. The numbers say the Stars should have won both games. The Numbers, the numbers.

You can add them all up and the only one that really matters is still 2 games to none.