Stars’ Pete DeBoer points fingers at reasons behind Game 1 collapse vs. Avalanche

The Dallas Stars knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in the first round just a few nights ago and then began their West Semifinal with the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday evening.Stars' Pete DeBoer points fingers at reasons behind Game 1 collapse vs. AvalancheThe Stars came out all guns blazing, taking an early 3-0 lead in the first period. But, things went downhill after that, eventually losing 4-3 in overtime, After the Game 1 collapse, head coach Pete DeBoer spoke on the reasons the Stars unraveled, citing costly mistakes and fatigue from Game 7.

Via The Athletic:

“It’s a tough turnaround for us as a group,” DeBoer said after the game. “I thought we had a great start. I thought the fatigue from the Game 7 hit us in the second half of that game. I thought our group rallied though and really made a push in overtime, had some opportunities in overtime.”

“We had the lead, went into the second period, turned the puck in the neutral zone, which led to a penalty,” the Stars coach said. “We took another penalty 200 feet from our end. And you know, they’re a quick-strike team. You can’t make mistakes in those situations. Tough lesson to learn in Game 1, but glad you’re not learning it in Game 6 or 7 in an elimination game. We’ve got to be smarter than that. They’ve got that quick-strike ability that you have to be mentally sharp for 60 minutes in order to beat them.’’

DeBoer is trying to see the positives, but there’s no question this loss will hurt for Dallas. As he said though, it’s just the series opener. There are tons of opportunities to bounce back.

Tough loss for Stars

Dallas eliminated the Golden Knights on Sunday night in Game 7, which means they had a mere one day of rest in between. Although Game 1 was in Texas, it’s still minimal time to prepare for the next round after a grueling conference quarterfinal against a team that pushed them to the absolute brink.

What became clear on Tuesday is that the Stars took their foot off the gas pedal. Ryan Suter, Wyatt Johnston, and Jamie Benn all scored in the opening period, but Dallas let up and had a couple of brutal penalties in the second, with the Avs capitalizing. Colorado was 2 for 2 on the power play and also thrived with an extra man in round one against the Winnipeg Jets, scoring six goals. It’s an area of strength.

The Avalanche are a very good team on both ends of the ice. If the Stars are going to advance, they must rise to the occasion. Offensively, they frankly did nothing after the first period and even in the first round, Dallas only scored 2.38 times per contest. The likes of Jason Robertson, Joe Pavelski, and Matt Duchene have to be better. Pavelski, who had 67 regular season points, has just one in the playoffs so far. That’s simply not enough production.

The Stars will be looking to even up the series on Thursday at American Airlines Arena before heading on the road for Games 3 and 4 in Denver. Game 2 will be pivotal for how this series could play out.

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