But even with that post in the bag, we still felt compelled to highlight this exchange between Dallas’ Steve Ott and Philly’s Claude Giroux.
[WARNING: Salty language ahoy, matey]
1) At one point, Ott might’ve been fifth in faceoffs (he’s currently 10th, winning draws at a 55.7 percent clip) — but that Philly game didn’t help his cause any. Ott had trouble against the Flyers’ French-Canadian forwards, going a combined 4-11 against Giroux, Maxime Talbot and Danny Briere.
2) I can see guys bragging about how many goals they’ve scored or how they’re leading the league in points. But faceoffs? And how you’re fifth in the league in faceoffs? I didn’t know that was an acceptable chirp, but am glad it is. It totally opens the door of possibilities for other players, like Travis Hamonic (“Fifth in the league in blocked shots buddy, look it up”) and Alex Burrows (“Fifth in the league in plus-minus on the road buddy, look it up”).
3) Ott’s Babe Ruthian calling of his own shot (pointing to the corner, saying “I’m probably going to win it right there”) was priceless. Not because he lost the draw and Dallas got scored on. It’s priceless because he was calling his shot eight minutes into the first period of a December game against a non-conference opponent.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.