I think we - as hockey fans - need to come together, fight through the darkest of black clouds, and find the bright side here. Not just because the Dallas Stars are in desperate need of reasons to back off the ledge, but because Jiri Hudler seems like a nice guy. I really don't want him to have to bear the full weight of yet another loss for a team that's stockpiling them like they are planning on using their disappointments for nourishment during the next big windstorm.
So, here goes...
The definitive list of reasons why that play wasn't that comically disastrous :
- It happened on a delayed call in the 1st period.
In all my years of playing I never encountered the "right" time to accidentally shoot a puck into my own net, but - to find the silver lining on something that has never been in anyone's playbook - doing so early in a close game with a powerplay on the horizon is probably not the most wrong time.
- It doesn't count as a goal against anyone's average.
If I know anything about the Dallas Stars then I know they were going to give up a weak one at some point last night. It sucks that they were directly responsible for it, but - for a goaltending duo who gets/deserves as much respect as a pitcher at the plate - it was probably a breath of fresh air to see someone else sweat under a spotlight as hot as the Texas sun.
- It wasn't the game winning goal.
Well, technically it ended up being the difference between losing in regulation and heading to overtime knotted at two. Still, it wasn't a tally that ended up as a specialty statistic with its own column. If everyone just ignores the fact that a goal into an empty net is trending on social media and naps through the 1st period highlights then it might just get lost in the shuffle.
- It exposed the holes in their breakout before the other team could.
This is probably something that would have been better learned during practice, but you can't truly take your vulnerabilities seriously until they are exposed for all to laugh at when it actually matters. Embarrassment is the quickest elixir so I wouldn't expect to see the Stars get their defense split anytime in the near future.
- It happened on the road.
If you're going to score on yourself then it's always nice to be surrounded by celebratory bells and whistles after you do. Granted, their flat out ineptitude was what was getting cheered, but it's better background noise than the collective grown and the sprinkling of adult beverages that would have came from an overly pessimistic crowd had it happened in Dallas.
So buck up Jiri! Keep your head held high Dallas! Seize the day Stars' fans! Remember that someone's always got it worse than you. That "someone" might not currently reside in the NHL, but you got to take what you can get when you're literally digging your own graves.