Five out of six, baby. That’s how many the Stars have won this season against last year’s Cup champs, the Anaheim Ducks. Mike Heika points out that the Stars seem to have built a team that can hang with the Ducks.
We had a newsletter question last week about building a team to beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks. It seems the Stars are already that team. This win makes them 5-1-0 against Anaheim this season. Dallas plays a smart game and doesn’t fall into the physical trap that Anaheim likes to set — and that seems the perfect foil against the Ducks.
We just have to hope that we have also built a team that can hang with whichever team we meet in the playoffs.
Despite giving up the first goal, AGAIN, the Stars stuck with it and eventually started getting power-play goals. The Ducks took a lot of bad and inopportune penalties. The Stars scored two 5-on-3 goals because the Ducks just wouldn’t keep their hands to themselves. Razor mentioned that they need to remember, “you’re supposed to pillage before you burn.”
Mathieu Schneider proves he’s been a good student of their style of defense by elbowing Steve Ott right in the nose, late in the first period. Then seconds later, they get another penalty called against them and Mike Ribeiro makes them pay for it with the tying goal during the 5-on-3.
His goal was very pretty and the behind-the-goal view on the replay really highlighted Ribs’ skill. He waited and waited and looked and looked for a shooting lane and then appeared to give up and start to pass it out to the point, and when he did the defender in front of him eased up and faced the point and Ribs wristed it right past him into the net.
Stéphane Robidas got an assist on Ribs’ goal, but he was just getting started. In the second period he scored two power-play goals, the second one on another 5-on-3 power-play after the Ducks took two cross-checking penalties within 30 seconds of each other.
Robi had another outstanding game. Not only did he get 2 goals and an assist, but was the dominant defensemen the whole game. Marty Turco was quick to point out that he saved a couple of sure goals as well.
“Robidas did help me out. The obvious ones were the goals (he scored), but I don’t think everyone realizes three, if not four plays, he made backdoor on me that were sure goals.
“One in the third there, there was a tip coming up, he broke his stick and (cleared) two more rebounds that were just lying there. He gets there,” Turco said.
Mike Modano got two more assists, Ribeiro got two assists to go along with his goal, and Steve Ott pissed off everybody on the Ducks team and got a bloody nose and an empty-net goal. So kudos all around.
Even though we usually pretty handily beat the Ducks, I get nervous because I get caught up in all the over-hype about Niedermayer and now Teemu Selanne, and how their triumphant returns equal never losing again. So it’s especially sweet to beat them, even though it’s not that rare. Heh.