On Feb. 20, Dallas had a 77.52 percent chance of making the playoffs.
It is now 12:53 a.m. on March 31, just 38 days later, and the Stars have about a .37 or so percent chance of making it thanks to tonight’s 6-5 overtime loss to Phoenix, which might be the worst team in the league right now.
There are a lot of reasons why Dallas tanked it so god damn hard. The first, and most understandable, are the injuries to several important players, like Brad Richards and a couple others. The second is that a couple of teams, most notably those in the Central Division, have really turned it on of late.
But the most obvious (and least surprising, really) is the fact that goaltending is a killing them. Marty Turco’s a bum. A total bum who has cost his team almost literally any hope of a playoff berth. To wit, he has played in 17 of Dallas’ 19 games since the 4-2 win over Edmonton on Feb. 19. His GAA is 3.05 (obviously terrible), and his save percentage is .893 (somehow below his already-low season total of .897). As a basis for comparison, those are almost exactly Peter Budaj’s numbers for this year.
This is going to shock you, but because of that (and backup Tobias Stephan, who gave up six on 33 shots tonight and also blew it on March 1 when he gave up four goals on 23 shots to Pittsburgh), the Stars are 4-12-3 in the past 38 days. Which is hilarious and sad.
Now that the Rangers are playing vaguely well, can we just admit that Sean Avery was never a problem for the Stars and it was, in fact, all Marty Turco’s fault all along?
Because it was. Because he suuuuuuuuuuuucks.
(By the way, it is very rare that I get to use the “LOL Marty Turco” tag in reference to nights where he didn’t play. I am very glad for this opportunity.)
New York Rangers 3, New Jersey Devils 0
The Devils are really playing the worst hockey of the year at a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad time. They’ve now lost six in a row and just really can’t get anything going at either end of the ice. Hank the Tank Lundqvist made 38 saves to get the shutout, but christ, the Devs are playing so badly right now that Carolina just beat them over the weekend.
San Jose 2, Calgary 1
Funny thing about this game: like three quarters of the Sharks’ lineup were AHL call-ups. And then a couple of them got banged up. At the end of the game, San Jose was actually rolling just eight forwards. So of course they won. Why wouldn’t they? Calgary isn’t quite Dallas-bad, but they’re pretty close. I hate my life, and the only way I’ve kept from killing myself is by repeating the mantra, “At least my best forward isn’t Loui Eriksson. At least my best forward isn’t Loui Eriksson. At least my best forward isn’t Loui Eriksson…”