It looks like they kept it in mind, all right. When the score was 4-0 with lots of time to go, all of Stars fandom probably watched through their fingers for a while. I know I did. We’ve even won a game against the Kings since the big fiasco in Los Angeles and I still worry. Soon the memory should fade, but apparently not yet.
This was another fun game where Dallas seemed to dominate the Kings. I try not to assume that this means they’ll dominate everybody, since the Kings are struggling a little bit and we should beat them. But while I’m watching, I lean toward believing that the Stars are causing the Kings’ struggles, as opposed to just taking advantage of them. It might be a little bit of a rose-colored view, I admit.
Mike Ribeiro, again, had a great game. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I think he does some very cool stuff. Occasionally, he’ll be in a position to steal the puck and go in on a breakaway, but then he’ll move really slowly. I get a little frustrated by that and I’ll start yelling at him not to just wait for the whole team to catch up to him and knock him down, but then when the whole team does catch up to him they all go right at him and that leaves him three or four wide-open teammates to dish the puck to. So, you know, I guess he knows what he’s doing.
Brenden Morrow had a great game, too. He managed to get a goal and two assists while also trying two separate cutesy passes that lost him the puck. I’m just going to leave him alone on that one. I give everybody else a pass for one of their foibles. I’ll just consider that one his freebie. Still, I’d like for more of those to work.
Antti Miettinen does it again, too. Being on that line has really shown what he can do. He’s smart, a great passer, and pretty tough. He’s a good complement to Ribs and Morrow. That pass to Ribs, who was just standing, completely unnoticed next to the net, was very nice. Very nice.
Poor Sergey Zubov had a ceremony to honor his 600th point before the game. I say “poor” because I know he doesn’t enjoy that stuff. I’m sure he was looking at it like I look at job interviews: “I have to do it, just keep smiling, but if I never have to do it again, it’ll be too soon.”
He had the first intermission interview, which is a very rare thing. He probably was bracing himself for questions about how the first period went and then Razor throws him a curveball and asks about hockey in general. He mentions Kevin Lowe as the best partner he’s ever had and that surprised me. I don’t know anything about Kevin Lowe as a player, and I certainly didn’t know that Zubie ever played with him.
I’d like for Zubov to do more interviews, because he seems like a really fun and talkative guy in real life. But he gets a little stage-fright and I can certainly understand that. So I wouldn’t force him to do more than he does.
Speaking of interviews, Ric Renner from Fox Sports Southwest talked to Philippe Boucher after the game. He asked about his shoulder surgery and how things were going. Bouche said it was on track but he had to wear the sling for a month. He looked good (obviously). Laughed at a couple of Ric Renner’s jokes. I give Ric Renner a hard time, but he’s growing on me a little. He almost always gets a chuckle out of whoever he’s interviewing, and he (unlike many others) actually asks a question, then waits for the answer. I know, it seems like everybody would do that, but not so.
I have an idea. I think the Stars should put together a bench highlight reel. Just shots of players on the bench. Because tonight was one of the better collections. We saw Brenden keeping time to the arena music at one point. The other night we saw Nisky crack up at something Zubie said to him. A few games ago we saw Brenden laughing hysterically at the jumbotron.
The best so far, though, might be Mike Ribeiro last night. He looked straight at the camera which had a tight shot on him. Then he started doing little shoulder and head moves to the music, while twitching his upper lip like Elvis. I couldn’t believe it. It was hilarious.
[UPDATE: The great Jen (Agent J) pointed out in the comments that Ribeiro’s head-dance was included the game highlights. Skip to the 2:24 mark if you want to go straight to it. Thanks, Jen!]
Oh, and one other thing. I think I’ve mentioned before that I love penalty killing when it’s so stifling that it makes the home team boo their own power play. Last night, the penalty kill was doing its usual job of preventing the Kings from getting set up. At one point when one was almost over and they hadn’t even gotten into the zone, I thought, “Boy, if the Kings’ fans were here, they’d be booing them right now.” That’s the sign of a good kill.