Examining how the deployment of Stars late in the game led to a heartbreaking loss

Dallas – Punching a ticket to the postseason is usually enough celebration for a team. But perhaps the better news for the stars when they inevitably clinch a play-off berth is that they won’t have to think about three-by-three overtime again.

The Stars are an abysmal 5-13 team out of regulation this season, with three of those five wins coming on penalties. This means that in 18 opportunities, the Stars have finished the job in overtime only twice.

Why talk about overtime after a game that didn’t go through extra time? Because the star performance in overtime It routinely cost them a point, Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Flames being a case in point Think overtime Stars cost points.

And regardless of whether one thinks the Stars deserve two points or not – “I’m not sure we deserved to win tonight, based on what we put out there for 60 minutes,” said Stars coach Pete DeBoer – there’s no denying the Stars should get a point. at least one. Instead, they walked out of the game empty-handed after another heartbreaking ending.

The energy was evident in the American Airlines Center after the Stars rallied from a 4-2 third period deficit to tie the game at 4-4. With less than 15 seconds left in regulation, the pucks were on the star sticks and at the end of the flames. At best, it looks like the stars could be trying to beat the bell. At worst, the game seemed destined for overtime.

Instead, it was just a disaster. Jonathan Huberdeau got a fairing from Ty DeLandria in the middle of the ice and Tyler Toffoli fanned out the other way. Esa Lindell was already in a deficit, and Toffoli quickly put Jani Hakanpää in his rearview mirror as well. From there, Toffoli was one-on-one with Jake Oettinger and the Flames forward beat the Stars’ goaltender glove side for the dagger.

The final sequence was more or less an encapsulation of An Evening of Stars.

“Tough way to lose to give up on that,” DeBoer said. “Probably a symptom of our entire game tonight. Awareness and execution were a little off tonight.”

Before we get to awareness and implementation, let’s take a look at deployment. With less than two minutes remaining, the Stars completed the first minute of a late-game powerhouse that was born off a dangerous slam on Miro Heiskanen along the boards. Heiskanen came off the ice with the rest of the top power running unit. He did not take the ice again until the final moments after the Flames took the lead with six seconds in regulation.

“Listen, Miro can’t play for 60 minutes,” said Debor. “As much as you want it in there, you can’t. And he’ll be back in 20 seconds for overtime. Same with some of the other big guys. We’ve been in those situations all year and the guys got the job done. Just didn’t get it done tonight.”

DeBoer wanted a fresh Heiskanen to start overtime, which is understandable reasoning. Heiskanen played a game-high 24:41 while no other Stars player could crack the 20-minute mark. Heiskanen routinely devours the big minutes and plays them at a high level. As humanity-defying as he can seem at times, Heiskanen is still human. DeBoer has started most of his overtime this season with Heiskanen on the ice, which makes sense, given he’s the team’s MVP.

But this line of reasoning cost the stars in the face of flames. There were 58 seconds left after the All-Star Game expired. Had Heiskanen taken to the ice so soon after the second unit ended, it is unlikely that Toffoli would have raced onto the ice, unchallenged, with 10 seconds left in regulation. Heiskanen will either be in a better position than Lindell and Hakanpää or he will make up for any misplaced positioning by skating, almost certainly breaking play before Toffoli has a chance to stare at Oettinger.

Less than a month earlier against the Bruins, Heiskanen, on the ice in the last minute of a tied game, saved the Stars with a great defensive play right in front of the Stars’ net.

Heiskanen was the most glaring omission but it wasn’t him alone. With the match on the line, the Stars had their second or third duo in Lendl and Hakanpa and most of their fourth streak with DeLandria, Radek Växa and Mason Marshman. Most of the players in the top nine have overtime options, so they were getting ready to get them ready for the extra time.

The stars didn’t get there.

Now, let’s move on to awareness and implementation. If the Stars save individuals to play overtime, then the players on the ice should be on the same page as well. There’s no reason for a puck to swing behind the Flames’ net with 12 seconds left in regulation and then end up in the Stars’ net six seconds later.

Dellandrea made a false play by blindly swinging the puck back toward center instead of catching it again or pinning the puck along the boards. Once Huberdeau picked the puck, Lindell was already behind the play. A breakaway is not something he expected when he threw the puck behind the net with 15 seconds left.

When Toffoli gets a puck from Huberdeau, Hakanpää has a steady pace with him. Hakanpa must understand that Toffoli will withdraw and there is no defense behind him. Hakanpää has to try to separate Toffoli from the puck immediately. At best, he is able to impress Toffoli enough. At worst, he commits a penalty kick that results in a penalty kick. The breakaway was an equivalent penalty anyway but at least with the stoppage Oettinger will be able to mentally collect himself and lock him in instead of being thrown for a loop.

Finally, Toffoli’s shot is one you’d like to see Oettinger stop, and he’s done it often throughout his career. However, Oettinger wasn’t at his peak Monday night. It didn’t help that the Stars kept putting him in dangerous situations, whether it was the breakaway goal to end the game or the one before where Joe Pavelski, whether by mistake or through a misunderstanding, left the puck behind the net for a blaze. Collect Oettinger and quickly shoot.

DeBoer expressed his disappointment with the Superstars match in general, which is fair. The start again was lackluster and felt in a way reminiscent of the way the Flames jumped Oettinger last summer in the seven-game playoffs. The Stars faced a lot of defensive errors throughout the match, and although the Stars scored on a power play on their third chance, they could have won with a power play goal with less than three minutes left in the game, but they failed to do so.

If Dellandrea didn’t turn the puck and if things didn’t fall right for the Flames in the later moments, none of this would be up for discussion. The Stars have taken a similar approach in previous games and there has been no hint of it. On the other hand, if Heiskanen had been around and his defensive prowess wasn’t called for, and then seemed furious with the gas in overtime, perhaps the question would be flipped on its head and the issue would become DeBoer’s cause. he did not do Heiskanen rest. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

The bad overshadowed much of the good from the game, too. Roope Hintz scored a short goal, Max Domi scored his first goal as a superstar, Jamie Benn got the building shake with a hard-fought win over Nazim Kadri, then put himself on Kadri for the equalizer. The Stars didn’t play the full 60 minutes but even their rushes were still good enough to win. And even if someone could argue that the Superstars deserve to win, they certainly deserve to get a point.

While playing overtime has stolen a point from the Stars a lot this season, just thinking about it did the job against the Flames.

Point distribution

1g (Robertson) – 1g (Hintz) – 1 a (Pavelsky)
1 a (march) – 1g (Dumi) – 1 a Follow Favorite
1G1A (son) – 1g (Johnston) – Dadunov
Kiviranta – hatched – delandria

1 a (Hiskanen) – Miller
1 a (Lindle) – 1 a Follow Favorite
Sutter – Lundqvist

Oettinger (.892 save percentage)

Three plays

These three no-scoring plays stood out.

Hiscannon strength
A lot is drawn from Heiskanen’s measured brilliance but it’s also very powerful. Delivering this kind of stroke without being knocked off the puck was impressive.

Heiskanen wand
One of the fun parts about watching Heiskanen with his stick is how he doesn’t waste his moves. He knows exactly when to make his move and is effective, such as breaking this pass with a simple insertion of his stick.

March strikes
In last year’s playoff series, the Stars and Flames had a lot of extracurricular activities and tons of bad blood. Monday night’s performance was nothing like this but there was a moment in the game when Marchment got physical and the Flames weren’t happy about it.

(Photo of the star’s march Maysoon inspecting Nazim Qadri’s flames at Majalis on Monday: Jerome Miron/USA Today)


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