I sit here writing this just after the Stars have taken control of their series with the Ducks. Now the series is a long way form being over but it is starting to look bleak for the defending Stanley Cup Champions. After being outscored 9-2 at home in the first two games, one would tend to think that going to Dallas does not bode well for this team. But that may also be what the doctor order. Now this team can get away from home and just focus on hockey.
I think the most glaring fact is the the goal disparity created by the specialty teams play. The Stars have outscored the the Ducks by seven goals but the Stars have also scored six power play goals to the Ducks one. That means Dallas has only won the 5 on 5 play by a 3-1 margin. You would also think think that Anaheim has had a parade to the penalty box but that isn't the case. The Stars were 4 for 7 in the 5 on 4 man advantage in Game 1. In Game 2 they went 2 for 6 with their two goals coming on the 5 on 4 man advantage on only 4 attempts. The Stars power play is currently owning the Ducks penalty killers. It also does not help that Giguere is not playing to his full capabilities right now.
I believe for the Ducks to get back in this series a few things must happen for them. The first is that they must stay out of the penalty box as much as they can. This Stars power play is just on fire right now. Second their penalty kill has to pick up their game. This was the 12th best penalty kill in the league during the regular season, killing 83% of their penalties. Third, JS Giguere has to start stopping the puck. Any hole that he has left available has been found by a bouncing puck or a puck with eyes. Its time he tightens those wholes or we will not see the defending champions playing come this time next week. I feel the shots are there for the Ducks, the Stars have just clogged the shooting lanes pretty well and when a shot gets through Marty Turco has been there to stop it.
Ducks you are still in it, but if you continue this trend, you can all start booking your tee times and flights home for the summer.
Power Play Notes:
Stars Powerplay: 6-13 46.1%
Anaheim Powerplay: 1-9 11.1%