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  1. The Detroit Red Wings are playing repetitive hockey, but not the kind that spurs victories. Head coach Jeff Blashill called Thursday’s 6 3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens “stupid hockey. Just craziness to be honest with you.” That old saying about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is defining the Wings’ second six game losing streak of the season Play a good period, then get away from what works. The Wings looked really good in the first period against the Habs https://www.detredwingsfans.com/nick-jensen-jersey-c-5.html, building a 2 1 lead on goals from Anthony Mantha and Tomas Tatar. But then sloppy coverage and uninspired play allowed the Canadiens to score five unanswered goals before Frans Nielsen converted on a power play with minutes to spare in regulation. • Box score “I thought we had them where we wanted them to be in the game and then slowly we let them work themselves into it by making some mistakes and not sticking to what we should do,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “The thing is, when we are playing good, we’re good, but when we’re playing not so good, we’re terrible. When we are playing bad, we have to be better. You won’t have everything you want every night but you have to be able to live through those nights and play through those games and we are not doing that right now. “We are not a team that is going to score six goals or five goals. There are a lot of players that have to be better. It starts with me. I have to find a way to get more out of my ice time and produce more and then hopefully everyone else will follow along.” The Wings fell to 4 5 4 at home, with their next game on the road Saturday at Montreal. But then they come home for five games. The Wings have fallen from third in the Atlantic Division https://www.detredwingsfans.com/xavier-ouellet-jersey-c-3.html, where they started the week, though they are only two points from regaining that position. More Red Wings news ►Red Wings need consistent grinding, finishing to earn wins ►Anthony Mantha relishing big role but https://www.detredwingsfans.com/mike-green-jersey-c-6.html, please, no H O R S E It’d help if they could finish more of their chances. They put themselves in position to win both against the Canadiens and the Los Angeles Kings, but weren’t able to build enough of a lead either night. The Wings had multiple odd man rushes against the Canadiens in the first period, but nothing to show for any of them. “In the first period, we showed everyone how we can play,” Mantha said. “We had three or four 2 on 1s — if those go in, it’s a different game. But we need to show up in the second and third.” Blashill has stressed since training camp the Wings don’t have a margin of error; they don’t have the talent to outscore mistakes, they don’t have the skill to amend for entire periods or more of bad hockey. “You just can’t give away easy goals,” Blashill said. “You suck the energy out of yourself by giving away easy goals. It was absolutely 100 percent crazy goals against — even the first PK goal, we get two guys caught up the ice. Nonsensical. And then the second and third goals are absolutely nuts. Can’t give away easy goals in this league and expect to win. We better figure it out. “The other thing I’d say is, there were not enough guys with the real crazy commitment to winning — by that I mean find a way to be not quite in the shot lane, find a way to not quite win a battle. Guys not doing the little things it takes to win.” After last week’s loss to the Edmonton Oilers, Blashill said the Wings had too many “passengers” in the game. Blashill said after Thursday’s loss it’s human nature to need to be reminded of the commitment it takes to win. “Very rarely does anybody play at 100 percent optimal all the time,” Blashill said. “In fact, nobody does. Teams that are blessed with some ultra, ultra elite players can get away with it sometimes. If we want to be different, then we have to be special Niklas Kronwall Jersey, so we better be way better about our number of efforts that aren’t at 100 percent maximum. I think our team has through large parts of the year been really, really good about our work ethic and determination. I think there’s been enough of the year where we’ve been real good about it, so it’s a reminder we’ve got to be better about it here.” The Wings need reminders because they keep repeating self destructive hockey.
  2. The month of November is over and done with and December is here to stay. What do the Dallas Stars have facing them over the next 31 days as we close out 2017? It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Dallas Stars are starting to catch fire. That’s a pretty nice combination for Stars fans. As the final month of the 2017 calendar year gets underway, there’s a lot to take in revolving around the Stars. Through two months of play, Dallas has posted a 14 10 1 record with 29 points. They sit in the first wild card spot and are within striking distance of the top spot in the Central Division. They are also close to falling out of the playoff picture, though. That’s how tight things are in the standings at the moment. But if the recent past carries any weight in regards to the future Jamie Oleksiak Jersey, the Stars are probably in good hands. That’s because of their powerful play at the tail end of November. Throughout the past month, the Stars posted a record of 7 5 1, almost mirroring their record from October 7 5 0 . But the on ice play between the two months seems almost entirely different. There were some similarities between the two brands of hockey that Dallas displayed, but the overall energy was largely different. After starting the month on a subpar 2 4 1 note, the Stars closed out November on a red hot 5 1 0 note. They defeated four Western Conference foes, including one in the Central Division Chicago , and helped establish their spot in the playoff race. With two months of play in the books, the Dallas Stars look as though they may have finally left their average start to the year behind them. And now here we are in December. As the weather gets colder and Christmas decorations start popping up everywhere, the Stars have a full slate of games to bear. With college football and the NFL wrapping up their regular season campaigns, hockey and basketball are slowly pushing to the forefront of the sports world. The Dallas Stars are picking up steam as the months roll on, but December needs to be a month filled with capitalizing on chances. After all, the Stars will be given plenty of opportunities. Their first one comes tomorrow night at home where they have been VERY good against a Central Division foe, the Chicago Blackhawks. Let’s take a look at the Stars’ December opponents and matchups Chicago Blackhawks 2 games both at home , Colorado Avalanche 1 game away , Nashville Predators 2 games both at home , St. Louis Blues 2 games 1 home, 1 away , Vegas Golden Knights 1 game home , New York Rangers 1 game away https://www.dastarsfans.com/marc-methot-jersey-c-5.html, New York Islanders 1 game away , New Jersey Devils 1 game away , Philadelphia Flyers 1 game away , Washington Capitals 1 game home , Minnesota Wild 1 game away , San Jose Sharks 1 game home Now let’s break these opponents down. The Dallas Stars play eight games at home and seven games on the road this month. This includes a four game road trip, a three game homestand, and the first two games of a six game homestand at the end of the month that trails into January. A hefty eight of the Stars’ 15 games this month are against Central Division opponents. Dallas is a humbling 2 6 0 in divisional play this year, though they are showing signs of life. Their most recent divisional game result was a 4 3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime. Whether they are starting to figure it out or it was just a lucky stroke https://www.dastarsfans.com/esa-lindell-jersey-c-6.html, the Stars will need to be on their A game this month in a Central packed schedule. The home schedule will also provide Dallas with a chance to get ahead. The Stars have been very good at the American Airlines Center this year, posting a record of 9 2 0. With eight games and a few homestands on tap, the Stars can continue their home dominance throughout December as long as the home magic continues brewing. More From Blackout Dallas November Power Rankings For Stars Players But going off of that, the Stars are also staring down seven road games in the next month. Dallas is 5 8 1 away from home this year and needs to improve their performance on the road. Like their Central division showing, their road game seems to be improving as they have won their last two contests, but that’s a small sampling size. Long term consistency is key. The Stars have an excellent chance to solidify their position in the division and the conference in December, but they have quite the lineup of opponents. 11 of the Stars’ 12 different opponents own a record that is over .500. The Flyers are the only team under the .500 mark at this point in the season after losing their last nine games. Of those 12 opponents, 10 currently hold a playoff spot in their respective conferences. Their opponents are finding success as well, which makes December all the more interesting in regards to the standings. Another standout factor in the December slate is the excessive number of games. Starting on December 2, the Stars will play 15 games in 30 days. That’s a game every other day and could very easily lead to a tiring finish. The schedule includes two back to backs, which Dallas is 1 2 1 in the second night of so far this season. The month of December is always a fun one for the Dallas Stars. They arguably had their most successful month of the 2016 17 season in December last year https://www.dastarsfans.com/john-klingberg-jersey-c-7.html, posting a record of 7 6 1 oh, how the times have hopefully changed . If they can take advantage of their home schedule and capitalize against Central Division opponents, this month could be a good one for the club.
  3. backup plan never was going to change. So it was only a matter of time — 3 minutes 16 seconds, it turned out — Tuesday night before one Forsberg crossed paths with another when the Blackhawks faced the Predators. Nashville’s leading scorer, Filip Forsberg https://www.blackhawkschifans.com/michal-rozsival-jersey-c-5.html, made good on a rebound that whizzed past backup goalie Anton Forsberg early during the first period of the Blackhawks’ 3 2 loss. Despite a blowout of the Ducks on Monday, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he never entertained the idea of benching starter Corey Crawford during that game in favor of saving him for the Predators. “Umm, I don’t know if I’ve ever gone that route in the course of a game,” Quenneville said. “I don’t know if I think like that. You would have to ask the goalie.” And so a day after his 25th birthday Forsberg started for the fifth time this season, and first since Nov. 11. It was the sixth time the Predators had faced a backup goalie in 13 games this month and they have won all six. Chants of “Forsberg, you suck!” — directed at Anton, per Nashville tradition — still were fresh in the air inside Bridgestone Arena a shade more than two minutes after Filip Forsberg scored when Tommy Wingels made good on a pretty pass from Alex DeBrincat to make it 1 1. But the deadlock dissipated early in the second. His face an angry shade of red, Quenneville issued a challenge after a review deemed a Predators go ahead goal good 3 48 into the period. Quenneville wore a blank look moments later when he stood behind the bench and absorbed the news that the puck that ricocheted off Austin Watson’s right glove and into the net behind Anton Forsberg would stand. The score first was reviewed to assure that Watson hadn’t committed a high sticking penalty. Quenneville then contended that Watson had interfered with Forsberg, to no avail. “I felt like I got into the game pretty fast https://www.blackhawkschifans.com/brent-seabrook-jersey-c-3.html,” Anton Forsberg said. “Couple of tough bounces there. But overall I feel pretty good.” Until the scoreboard changed to 3 1 when the Predators’ Roman Josi scored a power play goal 2 32 into the third, giving the Predators at least one in each of their 11 home games this season. Lance Bouma pulled the Blackhawks within one a little more than seven minutes later when he sneaked one past Pekka Rinne for his second goal of the season. The Blackhawks had a season best five game point streak entering Tuesday, and were 4 0 1 during that span. But Quenneville Richard Panik Jersey anticipated a bigger challenge from a team that has won 10 of its last 12 and has not lost at home, where they are 9 1 1, in exactly a month. “Our starts have been excellent in our first periods of managing the puck, the ‘D’ being involved in our attack and the speed and the pace of our game … against some really good teams in some tough buildings https://www.blackhawkschifans.com/jan-rutta-jersey-c-4.html,” Quenneville said before the game. “That was a great test for us. But this will be the best test we have.” Quenneville’s suspicions were correct. And his backup plan didn’t work out too badly, either, with 28 saves.
  4. https://www.penguinspitfans.com/carl-haWins have been hard enough to come by for the Buffalo Sabres as of late. Things won t get any easier this weekend with a series of back to back games against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The first part of that home and home series will take place in Buffalo on Friday night before heading to Pittsburgh on Saturday night. The Sabres 6 15 4 have only one win in their last 10 games 1 7 2 , which came in a 3 1 victory over Edmonton on Nov. 24. Since then, Buffalo has been shut out in back to back games a 3 0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and a 2 0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. The loss to the Lightning wasn t a particularly bad one by recent standards for the Sabres. Tampa Bay s goals each came on long shots from the point by defensemen https://www.penguinspitfans.com/carl-hagelin-jersey-c-22.html, while the Sabres were unable to light the lamp on the other end. It s a funny game when you go through difficult times, Sabres coach Phil Housley said. You re playing the top team in the East and you re coming away 0 0. The game is going sort of the way you want it to go ... I think the bottom line is we out chanced a team, we outshot a team but I just don t think we re making it difficult enough on the other goaltender. We ve got to find a way to make it more difficult and we ve got to get in the trenches and get a dirty goal. When s the last time we got one of those? We ve just got to simplify that part of our game. The Sabres received some fortunate news regarding top defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Ristolainen briefly left the game against the Lightning because of injury but returned at the start of the third period and is not expected to miss any more time. Ristolainen recently returned to the lineup after missing nine games with an upper body injury. He got a little stinger there but he was fine coming back https://www.penguinspitfans.com/sidney-crosby-jersey-c-24.html, Housley said. He s the one guy that did show emotion against Tampa Bay and coming back after that he s moving in the right direction. The Penguins 13 10 3 are fighting their way back after a difficult stretch of games in November. Pittsburgh won only four of its first 11 games of the month 4 5 2 https://www.penguinspitfans.com/patric-hornqvist-jersey-c-21.html, which included three separate losing streaks. But the Penguins have won two in a row heading into Friday s game, which includes a 5 2 victory over Tampa Bay and a 5 4 overtime win over Philadelphia on Monday. Against the Flyers, Pittsburgh overcame a 3 1 deficit before winning in extra time. When you look at the way the game played out, in a lot of ways it was a microcosm of our season, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of the win over Philadelphia, according to the team s website. We had a pretty good first period, get a timely goal. Come out the second period Jake Guentzel Jersey, don t play the right way and give away a ton of scoring chances. Come out in the third period, play Penguins identity. The Penguins will be without No. 1 goaltender Matt Murray after he suffered a lower body injury against the Flyers. Murray is considered week to week. Tristan Jarry 2 0 2, .907 save percentage is expected to start in Murray s absence gelin-jersey-c-22.html