You know, I can’t believe they did it. I was resigning myself to the split when the Ducks tied it. Just because the idea of winning the first two on the road was just too good to be true!
I really can’t believe what’s happening. I thought they could win the series, unlike a lot of people who make predictions for the hockey media, but I didn’t dream it would start out this way.
There is still a long way to go, and the Ducks aren’t just going to lie down and let the Stars steamroll them. Surely. (Although I said the same thing before Game 2 and they kind of did.)
I can’t really organize all my thoughts on this game so I’ll just list them.
–Loui Eriksson is really looking good. He’s got two goals and an assist in these two games. He is all over the place. In the first period there were a couple of times when he was on the verge of having the puck stolen from him, but he protected it and made a play. He’s apparently a student at the Stéphane Robidas School of Hockey, too, because he takes huge hits and then just pops back up. He does a lot of puck hunting and stealing and that’s one of my favorite skills.
–In a pre-game interview, a reporter asked Nick Grossman about nerves in the first game and he mentioned that he liked getting hit, especially early in the game, because it breaks the spell of the importance of the game and lets him get down to playing.
–SIX power play goals in two games! Some of that might be Anaheim’s penalty kill, but it’s also the quantity of chances that helps. They just can’t help themselves. In this game, though, a lot of the headshots and late hits went uncalled in favor of more mundane hooking stuff. Still, the Stars are trying to tell them it’s not a good idea, but they just won’t listen.
–For all the penalties the Ducks take, they get away with that many more. What was the deal with Scott Niedermayer blatantly tackling Brad Richards by the net, right in front of the ref? Did the ref think he tripped and fell on him? And as Razor says, you can count 15 “steamboats” between the time a guy gets rid of the puck and the time a Duck wanders over to elbow him in the head.
–Each of our top three centers got a goal. Modano got a BEE-yooty from the blue line on the power play. As Razor pointed out in the replay, he made a high-skill move when he caught the pass and moved just slightly before he shot it past everybody and it fooled J.S. Giguere. The other Mike, Ribeiro, got an unassisted goal on a breakaway that was amazing, too. And not to be outdone, Brad Richards scored one on a wrist-shot that totally baffled Giguere. Richards came in on the right side as a left-hander and just suddenly snapped it on his off foot and it went right by the goalie. (Lehtinen does this a lot. I think it’s hard for the goalie to find, because it’s outside the normal rhythm of skating in, setting, and shooting.)
–If Brad Richards keeps this up (and I don’t see why he wouldn’t), I’ll eat crow, and my hat. It will certainly serve me right. But we’ll do all that at the end, how ’bout?
–Also? I love Brad Richards right now. I’m just sayin’. Dave Tippett, in one of his press conferences, talked about how Brad is starting a new season with the Stars now. He came in at the end of last season and had a little trouble getting up to speed with the system and his teammates, but now is the new season and he’s not the new guy any more. Everything starts at zero again.
–Dave Tippett’s talks are getting to be one of my favorite things. Even in the regular season, after losses, when he was livid, he was interesting to listen to. In Tippett’s post-game press conference, a reporter said that teams would generally say they hope to get a split on the road and asked if that was his thinking. Tippett said,
That phrase came from visiting teams that lost the first game on the road. …We were fortunate enough to win the first game, so why would we want to split?
–There is a ton of video of post-game interviews and game highlights on Stars Vision on the DallasStars.com. I love the post-game interviews where you can see guys walking around in the background. And in Morrow’s post-game, somebody off-camera burped theatrically and it made Brenden giggle. I think poor Ribs had a swollen lip.
19:49: WOW, does this feed ever blow. It looks like they’re sending it through a colander, then sending that through a cheese grater. Oh well, at least it saves me from having to see Todd Bertuzzi’s face in sharp, nice clarity.
Let’s get some more HD, boys.
I’m going to watch the game over and over again on TiVo until Tuesday. If I notice anything new, I’ll make a note. When I re-watched Game 1, there were some highly underrated plays that I found, that I didn’t notice the first time.