In the words of The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy, "Worst. Game. Ever." What started out as being similar to the first game of the season last year, the Barons soon turned yesterday's game into an even worse disaster. With a game touting a lack of defense, discipline, and desire, my high expectations for this season really took a hit. A 12-hour roundtrip to watch the disaster doesn't really help either. After the jump, an in-depth look at the suckiness of game one of the Barons season. Oh, and a picture of Teemu Hartikainen wearing his new number.
First off, I want to give props to the Stars organization. Prior to the anthem, a moment of silence was given for the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv tragedy. Karlis Skrastins, while never having played with Texas, was a member of the Stars organization prior to his signing with Lokomotiv during this last offseason. With Texas so far away from Yaroslavl, it's something that probably wasn't known by some in the arena, and I'm glad the Stars didn't ignore it.
Here's the Hartikainen pic, taken during warmups.
Following the anthem, it would only take 1:07 for the rout to begin. A Ryan Garbutt point shot was tipped by Maxime Fortunus and the Stars would take a 1-0 lead. The Stars dominated the first half of the period, and the Barons wouldn't get a shot on goal until their first power play opportunity, seven minutes into the game. The Stars successfully killed the penalty, and the wheels would fall off for the Barons at that point. 9:58 in, Johan Motin would take a hooking call. 50 seconds later, Hunter Tremblay took a hooking call. And if a 1:10 five on three PK wasn't bad enough, Colten Teubert suffered a slashing penalty 17 seconds later. Rookie Matt Fraser began the scoring for the Stars at 11:33, and Jordie Benn made it 3-0 only 15 seconds later. The Barons killed the Teubert penalty, and headed to the locker room with only three shots on goal.
The 2nd period wouldn't be any better. Both teams entertained PP chances early, but couldn't convert. The Stars killed the second Barons PP chance of the period, and rookie Brenden Dillon would steal the puck right as he left the box. A pass to Fraser, and Yann Danis was unable to handle the shot from the right circle, putting the Stars up 4-0 at 8:27 of the 2nd. That would end Danis' night, and David LeNeveu would take over in goal at just under halfway through the game.
About two minutes later, Alex Plante spent 10 seconds trying to convince Luke Gazdic to fight. Plante dropped the gloves long before Gazdic, but they fought to a draw. With an extra two-minute Unsportsmanlike call to Plante, the Stars took advantage again, and scored a minute into the penalty as LeNeveu was caught out of position on the rebound and Dan Spang made iit 5-0. It didn't even take another minute before Oklahoma City-born Tyler Arnason would score from the right side, and make it a 6-0 game in favor of the Stars. The Barons were able to at least find the goal more often, and outshot the Stars 11-9 in the 2nd period.
The frustration would begin to take effect in the 3rd period. Ryan Keller was called for slashing at 4:11, and six seconds later, Gazdic made it 7-0 for the Stars. At 9:18, Eric Godard played the piece of crap "enforcer" and tried to goad Tanner House into a fight(Tanner House, really?), but House wouldn't oblige. As the teams were jawing, Tremblay dropped the gloves with Mike Hedden and fight to another draw. A Kirill Tulupov charging penalty - which looked more like an elbow than a charge - would be the only other thing called in the game. When the final horn mercifully sounded, the Stars sealed the win 7-0. Only seven more shots were taken in the 3rd by the Barons, and the Stars would win that battle 37-21.
On the wrong side of firsts for the team, the Barons gave up the most goals in team history, the previous number being six. This would also mark the biggest loss in team history, losing by seven. Not a lot of good happened last night. About the only plus I could think of is LeNeveu got in his new mask, and was wearing it. He had still been wearing his Columbus Blue Jackets helmet up to that point.
The bad, three penalties in 1:07 and giving up two 5 on 3 goals. The wheels fell off, the wind came out of the sails, any cliche can go here. Just horrible discipline as the Stars had eight PP opportunities, and capitalized on four of them. There were many missed assignments by a lot of the defense as well, and too many passes getting behind the defense.
The ugly, Alex Plante. In a game of stinkers, Plante was worse. He had a near-giveaway in the 1st period as he was playing with the puck in front of Danis' goal crease. A lot of the missed assignments were his. His extra penalty from the fight would become the fifth Stars goal. There was also one point in the 3rd, he tried to chip the puck in to get a change, but he was a good foot or two off of the red line, and he would bring about an icing call, and then spend another minute trying to get off the ice as the Stars attacked. His only pro, he had a good open ice check that helped to break up a play in the 1st.
The goaltending was shaky, the defense non-existent, and the Barons have a tough task to get ready for a trip to San Antonio on Friday night.
Scratched - Martindale, Lord, Kytnar, Grant, Cornet
Coming up, the Barons will tackle their first 3-in-3 of the season as they head to San Antonio on Friday, and then return to Oklahoma City for a rematch against the Stars. Houston comes in for the first time in the regular season on Sunday.
Tuesday Oct. 11th - 5:00-7:30pm Barons Open House, Cox Convention Center (Open to Public)
Friday Oct. 14th - 7:00pm @San Antonio(1-0-0-0)
Saturday Oct. 15th - 7:00pm vs. Texas (1-0-0-0)
Sunday Oct. 16th - 4:00pm vs Houston(1-0-0-0) - Postgame Skate with the Team