Losing is painful. Poor officiating helps ease the pain, knowing that if a few calls go the other way, you probably get a different outcome. The Dallas Stars certainly have a bitter taste in their mouth after failing to clinch the series on home ice.
Now the degree of difficulty increases as the Stars face a Game 7 on the road in St. Louis. Dallas still has a chance to reverse their fortunes from 2016 and flip the script to eliminate the Blues on their ice. Monty and the Stars will have to put Game 6 behind them quickly and focus on Game 7 to advance to the next round. Despite so many negatives from this game, the Stars can take solace in a few things heading into Game 7.
Worst Game, Still Even With Blues
The Stars looked slow, lacked energy, and struggled to complete passes consistently. Despite this, Dallas essentially lost this game 2-1 given that the two remaining goals scored by the Blues came after a controversial lack of whistle by the referees where Bishop was on the ice in horrible pain and the 4th goal coming with Bishop still distressed by the shot to the collarbone. Finish their chances and we are all having a different discussion tonight and celebrating a trip to the Conference Finals. The scoreline does not tell the story of this game. St. Louis was the better team tonight, but Dallas certainly could have stolen this game regardless. They will bounce back in Game 7 and give themselves a great chance to take this series.
Power Play Goal
Dallas managed to tie the game on their initial power play leading to their only goal of the game. Officially the Stars went 1/3 on the power play, but one of those power plays was only roughly 6 seconds. Dallas finding some success while on the man advantage is one positive to take from an otherwise forgetful Game 6. If the Stars can actually get some calls from the lackluster officiating of this series, then maybe that will be the ticket to generating some much-needed offense and clinch this series. The law of averages tells you the Stars are due for a heavy power play game given the discrepancy in the penalties assessed during this series.
Ben Bishop Bounce Back
Ben Bishop is 11-3 in his playoff career following a loss. He is going to want to avenge his loss in Game 4, including having to be pulled partially due to the shot by Parayko and partially due to the game being out of hand. Bishop has a good history in Game 7’s including in 2015 when he managed to shut out the usually unbeatable New York Rangers in a Game 7. When the pressure is on, Bishop is at his best and it is fair to expect nothing less than that in series-deciding game. The Stars are going to want revenge on the Blues not only for 2016 but also their continuous strategy of being aggressive and crowding Bishop. Bishop is going to come out strong and will be the difference between the Stars seeing the Conference Finals and seeing the golf course.
This Team Has Faced Adversity
This team has faced adversity all year. They have overcome it, especially late in the year. The team and fans should believe this time will be no different and the Dallas Stars will find a way to do it one more time. Find a way to overcome the Blues and advance to the next round. Dallas is a battle-tested team that has managed to overcome the tests thrown their way so far, including beating Nashville in the first round. The bad taste of Game 6 understandably leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the team and the fans. Losing is a great motivator and knowing that one loss and they go home, will be enough to motivate this team to victory.
So much is at stake on Tuesday night in St. Louis. Given how wide open the playoffs have become given the fall of all the division winners, Dallas has to feel like this is their chance to win the Cup. It also is a chance to exorcize the demons from 2016 and create new, better, more recent playoff memories.
Win or lose in Game 7, it was a great ride of a season for the Stars and their fans. Hopefully, it doesn’t end in disappointment. No one wants to see this ride end here.
Featured Image: Photo credit, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images