Sometimes, an NHL player just has a bad night of it. Maybe there’s a cosmic reason–perhaps Jupiter is transiting or Mercury is in retrograde or what have you–or maybe it’s something that can’t be explained by the stars in the sky, but it happens, and it happened to Brad Staubitz of the Anaheim Ducks in spades during his team’s 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars.
Staubitz was actually playing for once, which was enough of a surprise since he is generally a healthy scratch. Of Anaheim’s 10 games played so far this season, he has only appeared in four of them and has yet to register a single point. He’s played so infrequently that it’s actually difficult to find many pictures of him in Anaheim colors. He does, however, often put up penalty minutes, which is part of his role with the team.
But his first period performance is probably giving head coach Bruce Boudreau pause and wondering whether or not to put him in the lineup for tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues. Staubitz’s first flub of the night, a roughing penalty, allowed Dallas to open the scoring with their first goal of the evening while he sat in the box, feeling shame.
That’s bad enough, but then he dug in deeper and made it harder for the Ducks when he was later given a 10-minute misconduct for a spearing penalty on Brenden Dillon. That incident carried the punishment of a five-minute power play to Dallas and they cashed in yet again to extend their lead.
Anaheim is a team that is pretty good on the power play, but is actually a lot weaker when it comes to killing penalties. They convert about 24 percent of their power play opportunities, which puts them in the top 10 of the league, but only kill about 71 percent of their penalties successfully. By comparison, the Chicago Blackhawks lead the league in penalties killed, doing so nearly 93 percent of the time. So Staubitz opened his team to two separate instances of vulnerability and Dallas simply exploited them.
Chalk it up to waking up on the wrong side of the bed or curse the alignment of the planets or whatever works, but he just didn’t have a very good night of it at all. He may be in the lineup tonight and try to redeem himself, but somehow, I doubt that’s going to happen.