Just 4:10 into the first period of Monday’s game, it looked like the Dallas Stars would be cruising to a 3-0 lead in their series against Minnesota.
The Stars scored the first two goals of the game during that span and things were looking very good. But there’s a reason hockey games last 60 minutes.
Did Minnesota play that well, or was Dallas that bad? Probably a little bit of both. Stars coach Lindy Ruff sure weighed in after the game.
“We didn’t play near as well as we needed to play,” Ruff said, per the Dallas Morning News. “That’s probably as bad as I’ve seen us play in maybe five weeks.
“A lot of it was execution, playmaking, our transition game from defense to forwards. We turned some pucks over that cost us goals. We turned over plenty of pucks. We were just slow, we were slow making plays.”
Maybe he’s talking about that time his team got shellacked 5-2 at home against the Los Angeles Kings on Mar. 15. The Stars followed that game up by winning seven of their next eight games. If they can do that again, they’d bounce the Wild.
One thing is for sure, the Wild have at least made this series interesting. Minnesota might not have Parise, but the Stars will have to bounce back without Tyler Seguin at their disposal.