All the Dallas Stars needed against the St. Louis Blues on Friday was a win. It didn’t matter the fashion, just two points and they’d be off to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Stars clinched the final post-season position in the Western Conference with a 3-0 win over the struggling Blues. The Stars are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008, as they wrap up the second Wild Card position.
It’s been a while.
Jamie Benn, the club’s captain, led the way offensively with a pair of assists, including the helper on the winner scored by Trevor Daley just before the six-minute mark of the second period, which Dallas completely took over.
At the other end, Kari Lehtonen wasn’t overly busy, but unbeatable nonetheless, turning aside all 22 shots he faced.
The Dallas victory eliminated the Phoenix Coyotes from playoff contention.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: