Dallas has to be the big surprise of the playoffs so far. Who would have guessed they’d go up two games on the Ducks (on the road, no less)?
How is Dallas doing it? The Ducks combination of a bad penalty kill and lots of bad penalties is certainly helping (login info.).
But it’s not all on Anaheim. Dallas is playing well. The Brad Richards-Loui Eriksson-Joel Lundqvist line, seemingly put together by some kind of random line generator, actually has some chemistry (login info.).
It also seems the Stars are bit looser than they’ve been in the past. That makes sense. Part of Dallas’ post-season troubles in previous seasons has been the team getting in its own way, overthinking the team in front of them. I think the brutal end to their season (nine losses in March) took away any kind of expectation of getting past the Ducks. And of course, that’s what’s let them beat the Ducks.
Also, Anaheim has no forecheck. Dallas goalie Marty Turco spent most of Saturday’s 5-2 win practically out at the blue line, just whacking pucks out of the zone. I’m no NHL coach, but I would think a team could take advantage of that. It’s not like the Ducks don’t have speed, size, and toughness.