The Cowboys offense was certainly not in Death Star mode throughout most of the night, but we can still be encouraged by what happened in crunch time. In the last two minutes of both halves, Dak and his boys made some spectacular plays.
The first half ended with us getting the ball back at 1:56 remaining and scoring with ease on a surgical ten play drive. Dak was 5/5 for 47 yards and also had 12 on the ground with this badass pretty-much-TD run.
Our two minute drill didn’t have quite the same rhythm in the second half, but there was one moment that was so sensational it could’ve made up for everything that possibly went wrong all game.
What a throw. What a catch. And what a pussy ass flop by Jalen Ramsey.
What in the world has our country come to? Flopping. In mother fucking football… By a defender no less! Disgusting.
Take note all you young DBs out there… Want a $100M contract? Add flopping to your arsenal like Jalen Ramsey did.
Everyone assumes that soccer is the sport for flopping, but that’s not actually true anymore. They started penalizing players for it, and now with VAR it’s basically impossible. Brazil screwed themselves in the World Cup because of it. It’s out of the game now.
Ironically, they did it for us. They did it to get more Americans watching. Yet somehow, the plague of flopping still has life, and that life is flourishing in what was once the great country of America.
Obviously, basketball is to blame here. After all, athletes these days come from a generation that was led to worship a 6’9” 250lb icon that loved to flop. Harden too etc. Thanks a lot NBA fans.
It also would’ve helped to have pass interference reviewable by replay. We finally managed to get that… Yes there was a rough start, but after those October owners meetings it was working.
We could’ve just stopped whining then and had this thing we’d spent decades begging for. But noooo we can’t have nice things.
Congratulations America. You now have flopping in your football. Hope everyone is proud of themselves.
PS – technically none of the games are in America these days, but there’s a badass hockey team from Texas that knows how to take care of flopping
So.. this is really happening isn’t it? Unbelievable. It is so surreal, I just don’t know how to feel.
For the second series in a row, we’re up 3-1 against a team that bookies chalked as easyfavorites. Only this time, we’re not gonna forfeit Game 5 because one more win means a trip to the STANLEY CUP FINALS.
On paper, this was a game we had no business winning. 65% Corsi against. No life at all going forward, especially in the first two periods.
We were gifted with two early power plays and only got two shots on goal, which was the same amount of shorthanded shots that Vegas had on us. It looked like we were trying new tactics and forcing skating entries, and it looked like shit…
For thirty minutes, it seemed that our skaters weren’t capable of stringing together consecutive high energy games against this Vegass team. Dobby had us hanging on by a thread, but we spent too much time in the penalty box and the seal was finally broken at 7:44 in the second.
Prospects stayed grim following the goal, and it just didn’t look to be our night at all. Then this happened…
Holy fucking shit that is one of the nastiest goals I have ever seen. A freakin CHIP SHOT! Hooowww on earth is Captain America JoePa so god damn good? There’s no way you can practice that. This is just a man that god created solely to handle a stick in front of the net. Preternatural instincts is an understatement.
Thank you SO SO MUCH San Jose Sharks! So glad you kept Karlsson off our hands. And SO glad you let this amazing hero walk free!
That wonder goal gave us life, and then it finally became our turn to go on the power play again. Twice. The first crack didn’t work out, but it almost cost Lehner his life…
On the second crack, our beautiful captain stepped up for the billionth clutch point this postseason. His vintage god mode is back and here to stay. $9.5M a year is chump change!
From there, we set up the impenetrable bunker fortress that’s been locking down wins all season. It wasn’t as easy as usual though. Eight of our 17 total blocked shots came in the final period.
Some those occurred during a nut clenching-three minute PK stretch that saw a near shorthanded goal get turned into a full minute of 5v3…
The penalties went by with zero pucks hitting net. So did the rest of the period. Dobby was as sensational all night as he’s been all postseason. What a god damned awesome goalie.
And last but not least, here’s another glimpse of just how amazing our 21 year old Finnish badass Miro Heiskanen is…
Game 5 is tonight. It’s obviously not a must win, but if we dare look forward to the Finals, we have a freight train from Tampa rolling on the other side and we cannot let them get more rest than us. Put a nail in that coffin and move on.
My biggest regrets over the past two years are not going public with my biggest futures – KC +4500 in 2018, and Baltimore +1700 last year (after Week 7).
Both failed to hit of course, but they ended as Super Bowl favorites the week going in to their last games. They were easily hedgeable and profitable, so I’ve got some skins on the wall in this shit.
(Also had Luka MVP +3800 nbd, would’ve been +6000 if I’d done it a day earlier).
A commonality in both of those picks, besides obviously the young QBs, is top-notch coaching. Andy Reid spent years tipping my teenage Cowboy fan angst to boiling points back in the day, so I’ve always believed in his bonafides. Harbaugh’s resume was already speaking for itself.
A key difference for me in this year’s picks is that I might not even bet them for myself because I hate the teams. I’m gonna be pondering this over the night but it’s TBD.
If you don’t have a conscious though, then by all means follow me.
Washington Football Team +22500
Over 5.5 wins +100
Keep in mind that they do not have to win. They just have to make the (now expanded) playoffs.
They’d have to win 1 out of 200 times for this to be good value, which I think is the case. But they do not have to win 1 out of 200 times for you to make money.
First up is coaching – I’m a big time believer in Ron Rivera. He consistently churned out elite defenses in Carolina without particularly heavy draft or free agency investment. They were almost always division round caliber and had a 15-1 Super Bowl run thrown in the mix.
He got some time off over the winter with an early firing to rejuvenate, and I’m a fan of sabbaticals for long term production.
Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, and Johnathan Allen. That is by far the best front Rivera’s ever had to work with and you’re high and/or biased if you don’t think that’s a foundation for an elite defense.
Also a key note for defense is Jack Del Rio is the DC. He’s a low key a talented coach who’s managed to make some noise with shitty franchises back in his day.
At quarterback, I’m not as high on Haskins as Mahomes and Lamar obviously, but I don’t think it’s fair to say he sucks like everyone’s assuming these days. He didn’t have a chance at all last year. His talent and ceiling is high enough to at least get a fair chance before judgement.
It also helps Alex Smith will be a key veteran presence in the locker room and Kyle Allen can provide enough competition to suppress potential complacency. At the very least, both can provide a safety net of adequacy if Haskins does end up sucking.
Lastly, we must address the elephant in the room – the owner. I came of age trolling redskins boards and am confident in the fact that nobody knows this owner and these fans better than me.
Dan Snyder is one of the most successful con men to ever live and he may just be entering his prime. There’s a huge misperception out there that the fans have always hated him, and that’s just not the case.
Out of the gates in his first offseason, he spent boatloads of money on legends Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, and Mark Carrier to dupe the fans into thinking they had their new Jerry Jones (irony at its best).
He emptied the vault to sign that era’s version of Chip Kelly (but actually good version) – Steve Spurrier. He also maxed out on assistant coach contracts to get a discombobulated all star staff that further duped fans.
When that fizzled out, he brought back the Hall of Fame hero Joe Gibbs. Redskins fans were so excited; their owner could bring back Gibbs but ours burned the bridge with Jimmy (forgetting the fact we had Parcells).
The Joe Gibbs team actually could’ve been good enough to win in spite of Snyder. That was his best shot at conning his way into immortality. Unfortunately, Sean Taylor died and everything kind of fell apart.
By then, Snyder had gotten rich enough to stop caring as much about the fans and that’s when the cycle of bottoming out began.
However, that bottoming out was not as consistent and permanent as people believe. Whenever Snyder got to the point of revolution from the fans, he always managed a way to snake em back in for a bit.
Mike Shanahan, Scot McCloughan, and remember this? Hahahahahah ahhh haha that’s so good.
Right now, Dan Snyder is under more attack than he’s ever been, but I don’t think it’s enough to cancel him. The owners will let him stick around as long as he’s bringing in the cash, and now we’re about to see an up-cycle where he does just that.
While I hate the redskins so much, I just might pull the trigger on this one just to cheer for Snyder to keep his post. It’s for the good of the Cowboys.
Carolina Panthers +15000
Over 5.5 Wins -120
Again, coaching is key here with the Panthers. Matt Rhule was suspiciously the most sought after coach for the past two years. He killed it at Temple and worked a miracle at Baylor; although that doesn’t seem like an NFL resume, the many pursuits he’s had by teams indicates there may be something special there.
These are some serious green flags…
He‘s coached every position except secondary and running back (but has also been a run game coordinator). It’s a resume of someone who may not have shot up the leader, but has so much experience on the ground in all the sectors to end up the most knowledgeable candidate for a job.
However, these are some serious red flags…
Ethics are an issue. This bothers me, but it doesn’t bother everyone so I’m just throwing it out there in case you care.
The head coach isn’t the only prodigy on the staff. In fact, they might have the greatest coaching prodigy of them all – Joe Brady.
Seriously, has there ever been a 30 year old with this much god damn credentials? Groomed by Sean Payton for two years and then goes to LSU for one season and managed by far the greatest college offense of all time. He is special.
Lastly, we have quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who for some reason is kind of polarizing. I just don’t get it. He had a freak injury and that sucks, but both before and after he’s done nothing but win.
His last two years in college: 11-2 and 12-1 records. His last year in New Orleans: 5-0. Overall record including Minnesota: 22-12.
A good comp for him is Chad Pennington. He’s smart, quick, accurate, and is dependable for everything but scrambling and throwing a lot of deep balls. At minimum, he’s never going to suck.
With the god guru calling his plays and the god running back in his backfield, he has more than enough skills to keep on winning.
Oh and the division is hard yes, but only because of New Orleans. Tampa is this year’s Browns because Brady right now is not better than Jameis. I don’t care to argue about it at the moment, but you’ll see.
Other bets to consider:
Brian Flores Coach of the Year +2500 – for many reasons both on and off the field
Rams +6000 – definitely worth a look, too much money and talent to have a bottom barrel price
Cowboys +1400 – we’re so fucking stacked
Saints +1150 – already the most talented team in the NFL and that’s before Jameis comes in. Currently fact checking Jameis 1of1 and it’s all checking out so far.
Chiefs +500 – let’s be real they’re probably a dynasty
Hoooolllly shit what a win that was. 3-2 for our beautiful beasts. We are two wins away from making the finals, and six games away from partying like it’s 1999. Holy fuck.
After not scoring for essentially eight straight periods against Vegass, we erupted for three in essentially one period. First blood was a tale of two breakaways.
It starts with Karlsson catching a break for Vegass after we had been dominating in the o-zone. Fortunately, he choked.
Minutes later, Heiskanen and our Big Rig Jamie Oleksiak were pulled out to the blue line because apparently they go to man-to-man when Vegass activates their defensemen. Comeau picked up a blocked shot and passed to Miro. Next was a slick feed to the Big Rig for a breakaway that finished in the opposite form of Karlsson’s…
As a 14th overall pick in 2011, Oleksiak struggled throughout most of his career until two years ago when he was traded midseason to the Penguins. They taught him to stop sucking and un-busted him, and then by the grace of god traded him right back to us last year (for the same 4th rd pick they gave us for him).
The Big Rig has been an absolute beast for us defensively throughout the entire postseason, and now he has one of the biggest goals of the year. What a comeback story, what a player, and what a god damned goal!
The third period got intense as shit. One minute into it, Seguin had a beautiful chance for an early insurance goal but hit the tail end of Lehner’s stick…
Then we started brain farting on defense and gave up a 5v3, almost killed it, but ultimately gave up an equalizer.
The mood plummeted, but our beautiful captain made things right again three minutes later. After Eddie Olczyk had been begging us to shoot 5-hole the entire period before, Jamie Benn did just that after a sick fake-high-go-low…
From there on, our Russians took center stage. Dobby was sensational all night, but did give up a second equalizer after he got interfered and begged for a challenge. Unfortunately, the Toronto replay crew was too spineless to enforce the rules by the book and called it incidental.
Dobby apologized in the form of a stick bang and then transfigured himself into a brick wall for the rest of the game.
It was especially incredible considering the fact that he looked injured on one of his late leg splits and was noticeably slow getting up for the final five minutes of the game.
He didn’t have to move a muscle in overtime though, because our beautiful Russian forward did this 31 seconds in…
Sweet Jesus WHAT A FUCKING SHOT. Gooooooddd fucking lord that was so amazing.
Outside of Colorado Game 7, I thought Radulov had been sparing us to death for the past two weeks and honestly preferred Cogliano in the lineup instead of him. Never has a plate of crow tasted sweeter…
The Benn/Seguin/Rads line was broken up for a couple games until this one, and they got back to dominating as soon as they reunited. Two of the three goals came from this line, and they accounted for 2/3 of shots whenever they were on the ice. If this line fully activates again, this team gets even scarier good.
Oh and speaking of good… Heiskanen is so, so, soooo good.
After opening the series at -250 and being up to -280 before Game 3, Vegass is now slight underdogs. And we might’ve finally cracked the code on Lehner.
If we win tonight, shit gets really reeaalllll. Let’s. Fucking. Go.
Apparently the Cowboys and Rams had a lot of epic playoff battles back in the day, but I’m not old enough to remember anything of that shit.
In late modern times, there haven’t been many notable games between the two teams. The division round game a couple years ago was huge, but that is too recent.
Quincy Carter’s 13-10 victory back in 2002 was awesome at the time, but not important enough to feature in this series…
(NOTE: #88 is Antonio Bryant, the better version of Dez)
Instead, for this inaugural version of Cowboys Flashback Friday posts, we’re going to feature a top ten moment of Romo’s career – the epic four yard run.
Back in 2007, the Cowboys had the best team I can ever remember following. Bill Parcells had laid the foundation of a roster that was staaaacckkked on both sides of the ball.
Despite dropping the ball in Seattle the winter before and driving Parcells to retirement, Romo was looking sharp as shit in this season. He showing no signs of the career choke artist he would later become.
One of the savviest plays he made all season, and of his entire career, came in Week 4. It was a LEGENDARY four yard run.
You can see the replay at the beginning of this video of Romo’s top ten career moments…
Unfortunately, the season ended with a Cabo trip and an embarrassment at the hands of Eli, but at least we had this memory against the 3-13 Rams.
The Knights came out more focused than us in Game 2 and the series is tied at one now. Sucks. It looks like we need some tactical adjustments going forward as Vegas looked way better with rest and Ryan Reaves back.
On the bright side, we got to rest Dobby for the 3rd period and Jake Oettinger looked pretty decent, which is a good sign for the future.
Enough about the game because it sucked. Now is a better time than any to discuss something that’s been really triggering me lately and that is the national anthem…
I’m not triggered by the fact that it’s disrespectful (which it is), and no I don’t care about the UCF Golden Knights either. The reason I’m triggered is that this chant is just plain fucking stupid.
The Stars have a way better chant where we yell “STARS” twice during the anthem. You see, ‘Stars’ in the Dallas Stars and the Star Spangled Banner are actual homonyms of each other. That is a chant to actually be proud of. In fact, it’s the only good anthem chant in America if you ask me.
Stars = Stars
Knights ≠ Night
Simple as that.
But even though our chant is the best, we don’t go around shoving it in everyone’s faces. Maybe we should start doing that now though with Vegass being all smug and obnoxious over the dumbest rendition ever.
I’ve said from the beginning that Playoff Rondo is the only hope the Lakers have at avoiding failure. After three games of this Rockets series, prescience appears to be an understatement for my evaluation.
After returning from injury and taking a warmup in Game 1, he spent the next two games turning the entire complexion of the NBA Playoffs on its head. Playoff Rondo is now fully activated.
Obviously I am not surprised by this turn of events. What I am surprised by though… is the fact that everyone else is so surprised!
Sure, he’s looked pedestrian as hell in countless regular season games over the past ten or so years. But those games don’t matter and he knows that more than anyone.
As a both a Dallas and New Orleans guy, I’ve had an up close view of both the best and worst of Playoff Rondo over the years, so let’s run this back…
The Mavs traded for Rondo in December 2014 and it was a rocky start. Defense improved slightly, but offense dropped from it’s top-of-league status to fourth within a month as he continually clashed heads with Carlisle.
Rondo – “I’ll call the fucking plays!” Carlisle – “Sit the fuck down!” Love it.
Despite the troubles, Celtics fans would keep telling us to wait for Playoff Rondo. They recalled his legendary performances such as the six steals in Finals clinchers vs Lakers and the time he carried his old ass squad to a 3-2 lead against the prime Heatles.
Alas, Rondo never blessed Mavs fans with that magic. His playoff tenure in Dallas lasted all of 1.5 games. In game 2 of round 1, his feuding with Carlisle went to a whole new level.
He purposely took an 8 second violation after getting pissed at one of Carlisle’s play calls, and then came out of the second half with the sole intent of getting benched. Two fouls on Harden within 20 seconds, one of them a technical, and that was all she wrote for Rondo’s career in Dallas.
He was ruled out the rest of the series with a ‘back injury’, had his playoff salary revoked by a team vote, and had physically bolted from the city of Dallas before Game 3 even began.
He’s been an enemy of Mavs fans ever since, but I still retained a soft spot for him. Shortly before the series began, this ESPN Mag feature came out and explained how he was the smartest player in the league who just had troubles relating with high ego coaches because of his genius.
Around that same time, I was fired from a short-lived job under very similar circumstances. I won’t go into details but can confidently say that I was the smartest, most talented, and easily the biggest asshole of the company. Rondo felt like a kindred spirit to me.
I love Carlisle and always will. He is one of the, if not THE, best coach in the game. But he should’ve handled Rondo differently. Our offense in 2011 took off once he finally allowed Jason Kidd to call plays, and he should’ve just done the same with Rondo.
It’s not like it would’ve made much of a difference though, and it was still a great trade for us because we also got Dwight Powell in it.
Anyways, Rondo moves on and signs a contract with the Kings to cash some checks for a year. The next season, he signs with the Bulls and has a mostly pedestrian season until the playoffs start and he singlehandedly carries Chicago to a 2-0 lead vs the 1 seed Celtics.
He got a thumb injury and missed the rest of the series, which allowed the Celtics to win four straight and breathe a sigh of relief.
In 2018, he signs with the Pelicans. Again, it’s a pretty ‘meh’ regular season until the playoffs start and he becomes a hero forever in the city of New Orleans. Playoff Rondo was for real.
Whereas three years earlier I was in Dallas and everyone HATED this dude, I found myself during this series watching games in NOLA bars and joining in the Rondo worship. What a surreal experience.
Next season he signs with the Lakers, and he’s obviously invisible because they didn’t make the playoffs. The lone exception was a nationally televised game at Boston where he activated his playoff self for 10 assists and a buzzer beating three for the win.
Fast forward to now, and he’s back in an environment where he gives a shit. After skipping most of the BS games early on in the bubble, he’s arrived for this series and the league is on notice.
So, is everyone else fucked now that playoff Rondo is fully activated for LeBron and AD? Possibly.
The only hope I can give to Lakers haters such as myself is that Playoff Rondo has a battery life. He lasted only two games in that Bulls series, and he missed the entire next Pelicans series against Golden State with an injury.
However, it’s possible he just didn’t care about those games after making enough noise to secure his next season’s contract. We’ll just have to pray and see.
The Marlins are about to have a long weekend of their most important stretch of the season – seven total games over five days against the Phillies.
It’s part of a slate of 27 games over the final 23 days of the season with zero off days and four doubleheaders within 10 days. However, the most important part of that slate is tonight through Monday, as Miami and Philly are neck and neck for the all important 2nd place guaranteed playoff spot.
The series starts tonight, with Sandy Alcantara aka ‘The Sandy Man’ starting against Jake Spare-ieta.
Fortunately for the Fish, they’ve been looking pretty good coming into this. They just completed a six game road trip through Tampa and Atlanta and went 3-3. Not so shabby getting a split against two first place teams.
The first win of the stretch came last Saturday when Alcantara went 6 IP, 1 ER, and 8 Ks. It affirmed him as officially back from covid.
We should have won the series on Sunday when Starling Marte hit a two run shot in the first frame and rookie ace-in-training Trevor Rogers on the mound. Unfortunately, Tampa clawed their way back to tie.
We then blew two 0 out, runner on 2nd opportunities in the 8th and 9th. We scored in the 10th, but Kintzler blew a save for the first time in ten tries (albeit it was extra innings).
The Fish made up for Sunday’s disappointment by killing it against the Braves.
The series started with an awesome matinee on Monday afternoon. In the bottom of the 4th, Acuña was crowding the plate with his armor got himself beaned by Ureña again. He spent the rest of the game moping, including later that inning when his lazy ass got picked off at 2nd.
It was pretty tight.
Kintzler blew a second save in a row, this time a real one with clean bases in the 9th, but we got the job done in the 10th for a W.
Tuesday was Sixto Clock and he breezed through a dominant six innings for blowout win.
We lost the sweep on Wednesday and everyone is pointing to the 29 runs scored against as an embarrassment. In reality, we got screwed by the umps.
In the bottom of the second, a one out sac fly looked to be turned into an ending inning, run removing double play thanks to Marte’s cannon.
Instead, the retard replay officials called it safe and it became a ten run swing. Lopez got chased and was replaced by shitty Jordan Yamamoto and we basically forfeited the game to rest arms.
Sucks to not sweep the Braves, and it sucks to get made fun of for allowing 29 runs, but a series win is still a series win and going 3-3 against two first place teams is a great success for the playoff chase.
Continue that success through this weekend, and we get to start warming up for playoff baseball. Gotta love the 2020 season.
The long running saga between Earl Thomas and America’s Team began on Christmas Eve of 2017. After beating us in a virtual playoff game in Week 16, the native Texan ran through the Cowboys tunnel to catch Jason Garrett and ask him to ‘come get me’ once Seattle ‘kicked him to the curb’…
(Side Note: That game was the beginning of the end for Dez in Dallas. Here are his full highlights from the game)
Trade rumors were buzzing when he held out the entire 2018 offseason and camp. Dallas offered a 2nd round pick, but Seattle demanded both a 1st and 3rd. That was way too much for a pending free agent, so Dallas declined.
ET was not pleased, and he made his feelings known against us in Week 3 in the form of two interceptions and a bow…
It looked like the saga was over for good last summer when Baltimore opened the bank for ET in a way that Dallas could not afford.
Anyways we all know how that worked out. Despite the choke job vs Tennessee, ET still looked to be in a good spot to wind down the prime of his career with Baltimore. Then shit got super real over the summer.
Early in camp, he got kicked out of practice after getting into an all out brawl with fellow starting safety Chuck Clark. Fighting in football practice is not a big deal, but it was the latest in a string of problems ET’s had with his teammates.
They had already grown sick of him last year because he kept to himself in a tight-knit locker room, called out DT Brandon Williams for not playing through injury in their Week 4 loss to Cleveland, and skipped all the team workouts this offseason (even though he reported to camp in great shape).
The straw that broke the camel’s back was him releasing a video of the pre-fight coverage breakdown on Instagram, and sharing private practice intel to the public is a big no no.
The Ravens ‘leadership council’ requested he be released, and now he’s a free agent.
Dallas was the top team to sign him after he got released, but it’s been almost three weeks and he’s still unemployed. Is ET coming home or what?
Obviously Jerry Jones would love for that to happen, but contrary to popular belief he is not the real decision maker in Dallas. He is a spokesman while his son Stephen runs the football operations with massive delegation to Mike McCarthy and Will McClay.
McCarthy does not seem too keen on signing ET, likely because of his relationship with Seahawks GM John Schneider going back to their Green Bay days. As it stands now, sources keep telling journalists that the Cowboys have no interest and all the ET rumors are bullshit.
That being said, safety is definitely our biggest question mark going into the season. The current starter at free safety is Xavier Woods, who can play in both spots and has very high ceiling potential. Last year however, our scheme got exposed and he struggled along with everyone else on defense.
In the strong safety spot, we had hopes for HaHa Clinton-Dix, but he disappointed in camp and got cut. That leaves the starting job to special teams journeyman Darian Thompson – not good.
We did sign Brandon Carr recently, who is a solid old vet and could be dependable. There’s also been a lot of noise about playing Cheetoh at safety.
I’m cool with rolling with those guys to start the season and seeing how things work. McCarthy has proven trustworthy to this point, and we don’t need entitlement culture seeping through.
If anyone struggles though, Earl Thomas needs to get a call. Kevin Sherrington wrote it best: allow some time for Thomas to humble up, see how our current personnel works under live bullets, and bring him in on an incentive deal if we need him.
If that happens, it means Super Bowl. America’s haters are just gonna have to…
In the Colorado series, the Stars had to go against their norm and push on offense to have a prayer of outscoring the high powered Avs. We didn’t necessarily race up and down the ice, but rather played high and aggressive with forechecking to bring the physicality to the offensive zone.
The result was five goal games in all four of our wins; a huge turnaround from the 2nd lowest scoring offense in the league during regular season.
In game 1 against Vegass, the Stars got back to our dominant defense and goaltending ways through a gritty 1-0 shutout. The neutral zone was clamped down shut, and if the Knights ever did find their way into the o-zone, the Dallas defensive bunker was impenetrable.
It’s hard to tell if we set out to use these tactics from the beginning or if the plan was to just lock down once we got a lead. The reason? Our goal came on our very first shot, just two and half minutes into the game…
Maybe we would’ve opened up more going forward if Vegass had ever equalized, but they didn’t. They didn’t even come close. Five total high danger scoring chances (including power plays) and zero total goals. It was a masterpiece.
A lot of people are pointing to the fact that the Knights were tired after playing back to back games 6 and 7 vs the Canucks. I’m sure that affected the game, but I have no sympathy.
Vegass gets a huge break all season by playing an easy schedule in the easiest division in hockey, while we have to grind it out in the hardest division every year. Also, don’t get pushed to seven games vs Vancouver if you don’t want to be tired.
When it comes to fatigue throughout the entire course of the series, Vegass should have the advantage. Mainly because of their goalie situation, as backup Theo Fleury looked very much like the Fleury that put the expansion team on his back and carried them to the finals two years ago.
Dobby was even better, as he stopped 100% of his shots and allowed ZERO rebound attempts.
In any given game, I’ll feel comfortable rolling with Dobby. However, he is a small goalie and depends on reflex skills that might wear down over a series.
I hope Bishop can snap out of whatever funk he’s in, or Vegass might get a leg up with fresh top-notch goalies. That’s why getting game 1 was so huge for us.
After taking out assistant captains early on in our firsttwo series, we got right back at it and targeted Mark Stone…
This was the best hit of the game though…
Now to Vegass’s credit, none of their players are out for the series yet. Good for them for being tougher than the Flames and Avs. Still, it was quite nice to see a team that was so visibly cocky for two series before this end up looking tired, quiet, and scared all night on Sunday.
A couple other notes…
Heiskanen is so, so good. The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro just released a nice writeup on how his 21 year old play measures up to old legends in their primes.
One gif can’t do him justice, but there’s so many things like this that he makes look so easy. It doesn’t show up in the box score, but he’s already breaking records in that aspect anyway.