You know how the Stars had a really good record against the Sharks last year? Same against the Kings. 3-1-1. Kings are also returning to LA for the first home game after a four game road trip. And in four of their last six games, the Kings have only managed to score a single goal.
All of which points to… Nah. I won’t say anything.
The Stars though are coming off two very strong performances against two of the top teams in the early days of the season. And as a result of those performances, and with Kari Lehtonen still sidelined, it doesn’t look like the Stars will be changing anything up for tonight’s game. At least not on defense. But one thing of note, before Thursday’s game, Sergei Gonchar and Alex Goligoski were being considered the number one pairing, based on ice time. Thursday saw that change. Gonchar only played 16:21 on the ice, while Stephane Robidas skated 24:11. Significant, after the parity in ice time of the first few games. And it seemed to pay off. Far fewer errors came back to haunt the Stars. Obviously part of Lindy Ruff’s plan.
“Everyone knows (Gonchar) has struggled a little bit. I think last night was a step in the right direction. If you lessen the ice time and try to quicken a player’s pace – ask him for more in less time – sometimes that’s the start of turning things around.” [Sports Day DFW]
This weekend will be a tough test for the Stars. The Kings tonight, and less than 24 hours later, the Ducks in Anaheim. Momentum and confidence taken from the last two games, and perhaps not shooting themselves in the foot with another obscenely fast goal in the opening seconds of a game, will be crucial.
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Some discussion on faceoffs, both Seguin’s struggles, and the success others are having. [Sports Day DFW]
Bob Sturm shares his thoughts, six games into the season. [Sturm Words]
Mike Heika is loving his film references this week. Spoiler alert: Jaws loses. [Sports Day DFW]
Quite the statistical breakdown of the Stars/Sharks game here. Scoring chances for both teams laid out for ya. [Fear the Fin]
The Sharks grasping at straws after Thursday’s loss. Maybe it’s good for them? Sure, whatever makes you feel better. [Blades of Teal]
Ups and downs for the Kings thus far in the season, and some things to watch for in tonight’s game. [Jewels from the Crown]
Top 10’s over at Kukla’s Korner. Goals, Saves, and Hits. Chaser gets a nod for his goal against Winnipeg, but I’d have argued Seguin’s knucklepuck was better. [Kukla's Korner]