Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stars "Lay an Egg", Lose 6-5 After Leading By Three

Morin and Dowling each register two goal nights
Travis Morin (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
After leading 4-1 early in the second period, Texas gave up the next four goals and finished the game with a 6-5 loss to the visiting Rochester Americans. Coach Laxdal had a blunt assessment of the contest for Texas.

"We didn't play with enough urgency and attention to detail. We laid an egg halfway through the game tonight, a big ostrich egg."

The Stars had a sellout crowd, and new owner Tom Gaglardi was in the building so it was a bad night to lay an egg.

Laxdal continued, "I thought we sat back a bit when we got up 4-1. Sometimes your mindset tends to think it's going to be an easy game. Even though we were up 4-1, we weren't playing great hockey. We got some breaks. We talked the last couple days on details of our game. If anything, we went away from it and it got worse. We touched base on that after the game."

Jussi Rynnas got the start but only stopped 18 of 22 shots against, getting the pull after two periods. Andrey Makarov didn't have a very auspicious start himself, allowing four Texas goals on the first 13 shots of the game. Travis Morin and Justin Dowling each had two goals in the loss.

Justin Dowling opened the night's scoring with his ninth of the year. The goal was originally credited to Derek Meech, who appeared to have tipped in Dowling's cross-crease pass from the left wing side. The puck went off a Rochester defender for the opening goal.

Rochester came back on a 2-on-1 and tied it with a nice quick release from Tim Schaller. After Texas killed a penalty, Travis Morin charged up the ice and got his 12th of the year off a similarly quick release to regain the lead.

Texas scored on the opening shift of the second period as Greg Rallo one-timed a Curtis McKenzie pass from behind the net. Two minutes later, Justin Dowling finished off a silky-smooth backhand pass from Brendan Ranford for the 4-1 lead on the power play.

Things began unraveling for Texas thereafter. "It's always nice to get a couple quick goals," said Dowling. "But I don't think we fed off it."

The Amerks' Brayden Irwin found himself uncovered in the slot and finished off a pass, similar to the Rallo goal, from behind the net for the 4-2 score.

"We ended up having three forwards on one side of the ice," said Dowling of the goal. "If you want to win hockey games, that's never going to be a good thing in our D zone."

Mikhail Grigorenko went bar down off the rush on Rynnas for the 4-3 margin and then Jerome Leduc polished off the comeback with a goal from the top of the left wing circle on Rynnas. It was tied after forty.

Coach Laxdal explained, "Once we got up 4-1, we quit forechecking, and we quit working. We went right away from our break out on the power play and we couldn't get into the zone."

Jack Campbell would start the third period after Rynnas allowed four goals on 22 shots (.818 SV%).

Campbell would finish the game with the same save percentage. Tim Schaller would get his second of the night to start the third period. The forward tipped a point shot by McCabe off a faceoff in the Stars' zone.

Travis Morin pushed the Stars back into it with a power play goal from the right wing circle, beating Makarov up high for his second of the night. On the next shift, it appeared Gemel Smith and Matej Stransky had combined for the go-ahead goal, but the referee had blown the play dead when the puck was under Makarov. Stransky knocked the puck in just after. No goal.

With four minutes left, Texas had another power play opportunity and another chance to put themselves ahead for good. They failed to score, and it looked like overtime was imminent.

With under two minutes left in the third, Johan Larsson collected the puck in the slot and buried it behind Jack Campbell low on the glove side. While the Stars pulled Campbell for the extra attacker, they would not have another goal in the offensively charged game.

As an example of the missing details, Coach Laxdal broke down the last goal.

"The exact video I showed the other day of a mistake we made on a goal against Toronto, we did it on the 6th goal tonight, exact. I'm not going to name the player but it's details that cost you the game. Those are big points we gave up to not just Toronto and Iowa, but also Rochester."

Texas will play OKC for a two game set in Oklahoma starting Friday.

Tonight's lines:
McKenzie-Morin-Rallo
Ranford-Dowling-Hulak
Henderson-Smith-Glennie
Root-Faille-Stransky

Gaunce-Fortunus
Honka-Jokipakka
Mangene-Meech

Rynnas
Campbell

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Ritchie (call up)
Wrenn, Valentine, Peters (scratch)
Troock, Faksa (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 6,863, a sellout. It was the Stars' third sellout of the season and second on a Wednesday.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Rochester - January 14 2015

8 comments:

  1. There wasn't a single thing Texas did good the whole night. Look great one minute and like crap the next. it's hard to believe this team still has a solid core of guys off that historical team of last year. I can just guess there is something we don't know that has gone wrong with this team. This three game stand might be the worst home stand in Stars history considering who they played.

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  2. Well, I guess we'll save some money by not having to buy any playoff tickets this year. :(

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  3. These Laxdal comments certainly seem a little defensive and maybe he is trying to cover his butt, given that Dallas brass was in the building. Seems like alot more of the "guys are doing it wrong" type of comments this year than I remember last year with Willie.

    "We talked the last couple days on details of our game. If anything, we went away from it and it got worse. We touched base on that after the game."

    "The exact video I showed the other day of a mistake we made on a goal against Toronto, we did it on the 6th goal tonight, exact."

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    1. I don't know what to think about Laxdal. He "should" be a good Head Coach judging from previous jobs. The team (on the ice) "should" be good considering the players on the roster. It's head scratching why this is not a "good" team.

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    2. During Hockey and Heels, Laxdal looked like he knew how to lead a team. He demonstrated a bunch of different ways to break into a zone, what to do with the puck when you had it, and emphasized physicality in their play. I have seen very little of that in the actual game.
      I don't mean to be rude, but Laxdal saying "we quit dumping pucks in" after their 4-1 lead is ridiculous. At no point other than a PK should pucks be dumped. Possession and shots on goal earn points.
      Also, his "I'm not going to name the player" comment backfired since he pointed out it was the 6th goal. Only 5 skaters were on the ice, and if the "same thing" happening means the same person messed up, that narrows it down to 2 players, Stransky and Gaunce. It seems like a cop-out to name them indirectly or at all.
      On paper, and in relaxed situations, Laxdal seems pretty great. He just can't coach this team effectively.
      I'm looking forward to a time when I can say, "Hey, I really like this coach. He's doing a great job of mentoring and teaching this team how to be it's very best." Hopefully that's soon.

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    3. I get a sense that not all the players are buying in to Laxdal's system. Sure the injuries and callups are part of it, but it just doesn't seem like everyone is on the same page. Maybe we were just spoiled after last year's magic?

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    4. Yes, we were spoiled. Last year was not "Magic" It was strong leadership, nurturing successful lines, keeping those lines together, rotating through ALL 4 LINES consistently and giving each line equal opportunities to score. I don't remember there being much puck dumping other than during a PK.

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  4. I didn't come to the conclusion "same thing" meant by the same person. I would like to think this team is good enough, mature enough, and driven enough to play Laxdal's system. I tend to lean to the side of players are payed to play and Coaches paid to Coach...I don't really blame the Coach for the Players not "buying" the system, I got to blame the players. Additionally these players have generally played in numerous systems and I doubt Laxdal's is so different or so "below" our players to play that they have a backlash effect on the ice.

    Now something is wrong, I just don't know what. I don't see Laxdal being the HC next year at this pace, however.

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