The Dallas Stars have a crush on overtime games. An awkward, voice cracking, weird feelings in your tummy, pre-teen crush, and fans are over it.
The Stars faced off against the Los Angeles Kings on Friday night in the first game in front of a full barn in 591 days. The atmosphere. Electric. At certain points throughout the game it felt like there was an odd funk in the air like you just knew overtime was looming. (You know when a silent killer sneaks out of your backside and you are too scared to make any sudden movements for fear of ultimate public shaming? It was like that style of funk.) Regardless, the funk came to a head as the clock ran down to zeroes. The Stars and Kings would head to overtime. *Insert expletive rant here.*
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love free hockey just as much as the next nutcase watching this sick and twisted ice ballet, but enough is enough. It’s no secret that the Stars struggled mightily with overtime games in the previous campaign. In the shortened season the Stars overtime record showed six wins and fourteen losses. For those hard of math-ing, that is twenty overtime games. This is why they make whiskey.
No fan deserves to go through that type of torment. It’s just not right. What did we ever do to the hockey gods? For goodness sake we had Corey Perry for ONE season. No way did we develop that much bad karma in one season’s time. (Although Perry’s now former team in Montreal seems to be on the bad karma side as well sporting a rock solid record of 1-5.)
Denis Gurianov would save the hearts of the hometown faithful thanks to a savory backhand that blew by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick. Not so quick after all. Thanks, I’ll see myself out.
In all seriousness, the reason for my disdain of overtime hockey is based on the concern that this iteration of the Dallas Stars can’t finish in regular time. It’s still early in the season and the Stars have three wins out of five games, but all of those wins came in overtime and a shootout. With the regular season being back to 82 games, and having three skaters already dealing with injuries, the last thing this Stars squad needs is to play unnecessary hockey. While it is always nice to see the Stars fans leave the American Airlines Center with a smile on their faces and a song in their hearts, we are at the very beginning of a marathon. A marathon that will require clear eyes, full hearts, and healthy bodies. Can’t lose.