Austria was able to match Finland blow-for-blow for the first 10 minutes of Thursday’s contest, then the Finnish squad pulled away en route to an 8-4 blowout.
Austrian forward Thomas Vanek was understandably upset and he was hard on goaltender Bernhard Starkbaum.
“We started great and then gave up easy goals. We gave up too many shots from the middle and our goalie couldn’t control them,” Vanek said, according to the Olympic News Service. He added, “For us to beat a team like Finland, (Starkbaum) needs to be our best player.
“I thought that he was good but not great. That is not a knock on him, that is just reality.”
Starkbaum is 27 years old and has never played professionally in North America. He wasn’t drafted by an NHL club and instead got his start in the Austrian league. He was playing in the Swedish Hockey League before joining his nation’s Olympic team.
The Austrian goaltender faced 52 shots against a Finnish team loaded with NHL talent.
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.