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You’d think that in a make-or-break Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Dallas Stars would’ve been in top form.
You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.
Every aspect of the game from Dallas’ side of the equation — lack of scoring, lack of discipline, fans hucking drinks from the stands — was a disaster.
You knew the team was in for a rough night when captain Jamie Benn took one of the dumbest penalties you’ll see a captain take in a pivotal playoff game when he cross-checked Vegas captain Mark Stone in the face while he was lying on the ice, less than 2 minutes into the first period.
That was good for a 5-minute major and game misconduct, and you’d have to assume some kind of supplemental discipline from the league’s Department of Player Safety.
Vegas was already up 1-0 and added to their total with a goal on the ensuing powerplay. After that, they rode the momentum wave to a third goal shortly after Mason Marchment was done serving Benn’s penalty.
It’s just unreal to have a captain shoot his team in the foot that early in what is essentially an elimination game. Win and you’re back in the series at 2-1. Lose and you’re facing an uphill battle that has only been pulled off four times in NHL history.
That would’ve been the main talking point if things didn’t get even wilder in the second period
Stars Fan Were Launching Drinks, Popcorn On To The Ice
Vegas added another tally in the second stanza, but it was what happened with just over 21 seconds on the clock that garnered all the attention.
Stars forward Max Domi checked Vegas’ Nic Hague. However, while Hague was still down on the ice, Domi delivered a cross-check that started a melee.
Whether it was frustration coming out or an attempt to channel his old man, legendary tough guy Tie Domi, the result was the same. Domi was dealt a cross-checking minor, a roughing minor, and a misconduct. Meanwhile, Hague was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
This resulted in a Vegas powerplay. While I think a lot of fans would think the refs got this call right (*raises hand*), the Stars faithful at American Airlines Arena disagreed. Many of them started throwing food and drinks onto the ice.
It was so bad, that the officials sent the teams to the locker room early so the ice could get cleaned up.
The 21.6 seconds were played when teams returned for the third period. Surely that gave fans time to relax and accept the loss, right?
Nope. They ran to the concession stands and reloaded.
It was a terrible look all around for the Dallas Stars both on and off the ice. The score steadied at 4-0 for the rest of the game with Vegas taking a commanding 3-0 lead heading into Thursday’s Game 5.
Stars Apologize, Seguin Says The Team’s Issues Were ‘Between Their Ears’
After the game, someone had to call out the Stars’ complete lack of discipline and poor decision-making, and that someone was Tyler Seguin.
“A lot of stuff tonight’s between the ears,” he said, per NHL.com. However, he then touted his team’s character in helping them stave off elimination.
“As a group, we know that you’ve got to beat us one more time. We have a tight group in here, a lot of character, and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”
As for what happened off the ice, the organization released a statement on Twitter from team president and CEO Brad Alberts.
This wasn’t the first time fans have thrown things (aside from hats) onto the ice, and it won’t be the last. But this incident just compounded what was an already unmitigated disaster for the Stars, and a massive win for Vegas who had taken the first two games of the series in overtime.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle
One CommentLeave a Reply
I was smiling along with Hague as Dallas imploded. That’s a typical Pete DeBoer team right there.