The famous line from Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” was aptly demonstrated during Game 3 of the best-of-seven series between the Dallas Stars and the Seattle Kraken. Dallas was executing a competitive strategy against their opponents when defenseman Miro Heiskanen was hit in the mouth by a puck.
The impact of the injury on the team’s morale was equivalent to a punch on the chin, as they were sent reeling for several minutes before eventually succumbing to a losing score of 7-2.
Heiskanen’s absence was a significant blow, considering the 23-year-old defenseman was leading all skaters in playoff time on ice. However, it was the reaction of his teammates that was the real story of the game. The Dallas Stars experienced several defensive breakdowns, and their goalie, Jake Oettinger, was unable to stop the Kraken’s offensive onslaught.
Despite the devastating setback, Dallas Stars coach Pete DeBoer refused to attribute the loss solely to Heiskanen’s injury. “That’s not why we lost,” DeBoer stated, acknowledging that his team should have been able to handle the adversity and respond accordingly. “They were the better team tonight. No ifs, ands, or buts about that.”
This game serves as a reminder of how a single event can impact an entire team’s performance, but also highlights the importance of resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity. The Dallas Stars will need to regroup and find a way to bounce back in the next game of the series.
During Game 3 of their best-of-seven series against the Seattle Kraken, Dallas Stars’ defenseman Miro Heiskanen was hit in the mouth by a hard shot from Seattle rookie Tye Kartye, which caught him off guard and caused him to drop to his knees. Jordan Eberle then took advantage of the rebound and scored a goal to give the Kraken a 1-0 lead.
Heiskanen immediately went to the dressing room and did not return to the game. Seattle took advantage of the situation, scoring three more goals in a span of five minutes.
Dallas was struggling in various aspects of the game. Their defensemen Esa Lindell and Jani Hakanpää were beaten in transition, allowing Alex Wennberg to score a goal at the 3:36 mark of the second period. Carson Soucy then walked around Mason Marchment and scored a goal between goalie Jake Oettinger’s pads at the 6:30 mark.
The entire team defense broke down as Matty Beniers was able to walk in and score a goal past Oettinger at the 8:22 mark, giving the Kraken a 4-0 lead.
Dallas Stars managed to score one goal back with a Mason Marchment one-timer off a pass from Evgenii Dadonov, reducing the deficit to three goals. However, Eeli Tolvanen scored a goal on a rebound punched back by Oettinger in the final minute of the period, capping off five goals on eight shots in the second period. This eventually led to Oettinger being pulled after the second intermission.
Dallas Stars’ coach Pete DeBoer said that the entire team was off that night and did not stop the bleeding. When asked if he thought about pulling Oettinger earlier in the game, DeBoer said that they should have been able to handle the adversity better.
Dallas Stars’ captain Jamie Benn mentioned that nobody needed to say anything to Oettinger, who had one of his worst performances, letting in five goals on 17 shots, and that he would bounce back because he is a great goaltender.
After Heiskanen’s injury, backup goalie Scott Wedgewood came in but struggled to hold back Seattle’s offensive attack, allowing two goals on eight shots. Despite this, DeBoer mentioned that Heiskanen had expressed interest in returning to the game, although the team ultimately decided against it due to the scoreline being 5-1 at that point.
DeBoer’s comments suggest that Heiskanen’s health is being monitored closely and a decision on his availability for Game 4 will be made soon. In the meantime, the team will need to move past the tough loss and focus on the next game ahead.
After a crushing loss in Game 3 against the Seattle Kraken, Dallas Stars coach Pete DeBoer found a silver lining in the similarities to their previous series against the Minnesota Wild. DeBoer pointed out that the team faced a similar 5-1 defeat in Game 3 of that series, but were able to respond with three consecutive wins. He emphasized the importance of responding in the same way in this series, stating “We’ve got to make sure that happens here.”
The team took a frank approach to their performance in the postgame dressing room. Captain Jamie Benn acknowledged that he was one of the team’s worst players and stressed the need for others to step up. The Dallas Stars will need to regroup quickly and put this loss behind them in order to bounce back in Game 4.