Wow. What a great game. I don’t remember when I’ve been so excited about a win! It just feels so great to beat Detroit.
Detroit’s been a slump, sure, but that doesn’t usually help us. The Stars haven’t beaten Detroit very often in the last few years, and hardly anybody’s beaten them this year. Turco was 1-9-2 coming into the game, and I think the one win was in a shootout.
But Turco won this one. Marty was brilliant throughout the game. Even his few missteps when playing the puck didn’t turn into anything bad, and he might even say that they weren’t missteps. He set some subtle picks and moved the puck well to break up the Detroit forecheck.
In the last minute of the game, with Dallas leading 1-0, Marty made two brilliant saves while Detroit had an empty net and an extra attacker. The first one required the splits as everybody on the ice was in a big crowd in the crease. Stu Barnes made a veteran move to help Marty with that save. After Marty finally had the puck under his leg, and before the whistle blew, Stu reached out with his stick and hooked it over Marty’s leg and pulled him away from the goal line so he wouldn’t be pushed in.
Nik Hagman (love that guy!) got the only goal in the game in the third period. He was just standing next to the goal, all alone, when Jere Lehtinen’s shot rebounded right to him and he flipped it over the Detroit goalie that I had never heard of before today. That makes 21 goals for Hagman this year, adding to his career high, and he ties his dad’s career high, too.
Modano had a great game, too. His stick work was very evident and he stole a lot of pucks just with his persistence and his stick work. I’m very encouraged by the way he’s playing.
In the first period Brenden Morrow made a play where he protected the puck for quite a little while as a defender was right on his back. It reminded me of some of the moves Ribeiro does when he’s being crowded and still manages to make a play with the puck. I think Morrow and Ribeiro are teaching each other their tricks. Ribeiro is doing “The Reversal” and dishing out hits and Morrow is trying blind behind-the-back passes and holding on the to puck when it seems like a crazy idea.
My lovely sister took in the game up in Tulsa since it was on national network TV. She enjoys hockey, but rarely has the opportunity to watch it so she was glad the national game was the Stars this week. My little 4-year-old nephew watched the game, too, and insisted on calling Detroit the Red Chicken Wings. My sister and I approved this nickname for them.
The Stars are now 9 points ahead of San Jose. The Sharks have 5 games in hand, but they’d have to win all of them to pass us. After being 18 points behind Detroit at the All-Star break, we’re now 8 points behind them. We’re ahead of Anaheim by 6 points and we’re pulling farther ahead of Ottawa in the East, too. Catching Detroit is probably not likely, but a girl can dream. The stretch run is going to be a thrill.