With Pavel Datsyuk hobbled and Henrik Zetterberg focusing most of his energy on stopping Sidney Crosby, the Detroit Red Wing who struck The Fear of God into me last Stanley Cup Finals was Johan Franzen. Simply put, the man has ridiculous hands and – when he’s on his game – little fear of using them to destroy your team’s hopes and dreams.
That being said, Franzen’s playoffs didn’t jump out to me at first; I had to check his game log to realize that he’s actually had a point in each contest. To be fair, though, only two of those points were goals so last night was still an anomaly for the sniping Swede. He had a natural hat trick in the third period and one more later on, capping a ridiculous four-goal, two-assist performance and maybe forcing some Sharks fans to bite their nails a bit last night.
Did he change the makeup of this series?
Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty
Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.
Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”
It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.
The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.
This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.
Do you put greater blame on struggling goaliesKari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.