I guess I didn't expect the locker room to be crushed after this one. The Stars were a far cry from the group that got absolutely manhandled by this San Jose squad back in late November, and the Stars seemed to take a lot of solace out of how they played on Monday night.
They did do a lot of good. And let's give credit where it's due: Evgeni Nabokov was great. Guy was in the right place at the right time for everything tonight. And the one he did give up to Matt Niskanen, well, I hope he told defenseman Alexei Semenov to keep his stinkin' gloves down. That was amusing. And if the Stars could've mustered one goal, just one on any of those power plays, maybe they get at least a point out of this one. But they didn't.
Dave Tippett, who looked unhappy when he came into the post-game room, actually wasn't that mad. As he put it, they'll feel "sour" about this one because points were left out there uncollected. But he said he felt the team played better tonight than they did in a victory against Anaheim on Saturday. Two differences being the Stars won that one, and the Sharks are a much better opponent.
Anyway, some quotes. Not much this evening:
"We had some good chances, some could-have-beens," said Matt Niskanen, who did get the Stars' lone goal.
"You can't get more point-blank chances than that," Tippett on the power-play opportunities. Heck, the Stars had a good shorthanded attempt, too, with Brad Richards' trickler. Still, 0 for 6 on a power play...
"We competed pretty well against a good team, and we're playing much better," Stephane Robidas said. "We still have a lot of improvements to make."
So we'll go into the New Year's Eve game. Stars would like to take two of three from this little group o' hard games. If they play Wednesday like they did tonight, they should be OK.