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Archive for September, 2008

As y’all may have surmised, Philippe Boucher is my favorite player. In all the league. For a while, I would say that he’s my favorite Star and Joe Nieuwendyk is my favorite player. But now that Nieuwy has retired, Bouche is my favorite player in all the league. And don’t tell Nieuwy, but if he were still playing he might be coming in second these days.

I have no idea what made me fall for Bouche when he came to town. I was casting around for a new favorite because Nieuwy had been traded and I was on the rebound.

I’m sure a lot of it had to do with just how hot he is. The reason I think that might be it is because I vaguely remember thinking, when I first saw him in a game, “Ooh. Who’s that?!”

It’s just as likely it’s because he is a big defenseman that can push people down without even trying, and doesn’t stand for people picking on his buddies. Or because he can score from the point, or because he can kill penalties and block shots and pass out of the defensive zone.

Or it could be his voice and his soft French-Canadian accent.

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The Ticket’s Bob and Dan and Donovan were in Frisco at training camp on Thursday afternoon and interviewed Jere Lehtinen and Brad Richards.

They were both very good interviews. You can listen to them over on Andrew’s Dallas Stars Page.

They’re fun. Bob and Dan were cracking Brad Richards up.

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I watched these two clips of Brett Hull on TSN.com.

The first one is a straight interview where Hullie says some interesting things. This article summarizes it pretty well.

I feel better because Hullie claims he’s told Avery not to embarrass the organ-eye-zation. It’s good that he told him that, but it’s a little sad that he has to tell him that. He also doesn’t approve of that clown act Avery pulled off in the playoffs against the Devils.

The second video clip is a rapid-fire, list-of-questions kind of interview.

Hullie’s actually pretty cute; gets a laugh or two from the host. My favorite part was this exchange:

Host: “Have you taken any fashion advice from Avery?”
Hull: “Never!”
Host: (chuckle)
Hull: “He’s already been fined!”
Host: “For what?”
Hull: “Dress code!”

It’s good to know they’re treating him like the pre-schooler he is.

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I remember when Brenden Morrow came up in 1999-2000. I immediately liked him. He was such an earnest kid and he worked hard and everybody raved about his leadership potential. Even then.

He has worked his way up the team ladder, inch by inch, until he’s now the unquestioned leader of the Dallas Stars. He is the Captain in every sense of the word.

If you’re a baseball fan or a football fan and you think a team captain is an honorary designation, Brenden Morrow is the perfect example of what the Captain is in hockey. There are official things that the captain has to do, like be the spokesman to the refs during games. But there’s also a huge list of things that the captain does for his team.

Brenden talks to his teammates off the ice, takes new guys to dinner, works with the veterans to help the young guys, works with the coaches and management, and talks to the media. And he’s pretty much the most determined guy on the ice at any given moment.

Brenden Morrow’s will is pretty powerful. He managed to drag the Stars all the way to the Western Conference Finals this past season. He scored the biggest goals. He got the series-winner against the Sharks that was almost too pretty. He had huge hits. He got two Sharks with one hit in that last game.

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I listened to the preseason game against the Blues on St. Louis radio last night (thanks, Heika!) and I got my first taste of what it’s going to be like to have Sean Avery on my beloved Stars team. So far, I don’t like it one bit.

Listening to the Blues’ radio broadcasters calling him a turtler just made me cringe. It’s embarrassing. If they’d said that about anybody else, I’d get all defensive, but when they say it about Avery, I believe it. It’s embarassing!

When I first heard the horrifying news that he’d been signed, I was reminded that at least it’s not Chris Pronger, but now I’m not so sure which one I’d pick.

At least Pronger doesn’t prance around in suit-shorts and patent-leather booties, constantly protesting too much talking about how much he likes girls.

So far, all I’ve done is listen to an out-of-town radio broadcast of the most meaningless of pre-season games and I’m beside myself with disgust. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this season, let alone three more after that.

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I think Sergei Zubov is pretty hot. I love his over-the-shoulder glance. And when he laughs out loud and his dimples appear.  And when he annoys the rookies during practice, just for fun.  You’re going to think this is weird, but the back of his neck is really nice. 

I just love watching him play. He’s such a graceful skater and he has some fancy moves that just make me say, “Wow.” Out loud, to the TV.

I am constantly hypnotized by him when he skates the puck out of the zone. I sometimes miss the rest of the play because I keep watching him. He loves the “come and get it” move, where he just waits for the opponent to come right up to him, then zip! he’s gone.

He had his injury troubles this year, but not before he got a chance to mentor little Matt Niskanen and make him a bona fide NHL-er at 20 years old. Zubie enjoyed being paired with Nisky and felt a little rejuvenated by having someone around that reminded him of himself at that age.

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I think I’ve been pretty clear how I feel about Mike Modano.

This past season he was again asked to think of the team before himself and again he did. He was moved to the checking line. News articles tried to make him say he didn’t like it, but he didn’t. He understands his role and his skills and his position. He could make a big deal about it and even get Tippett in trouble with Tom Hicks. But he didn’t.

Instead, Mike just elevated the checking line.

He’s been asked to do things for this team that would make players with lesser character demand a trade. Or whine to the media. Or just suck at their job while they pout. Not him.

This season, there’s talk of trying him on the wing on Brad Richards’ line. I don’t know how hard it is for someone that’s played center all his life to switch to wing, but I doubt he’ll have any trouble. He didn’t have trouble learning to backcheck and I bet that’s much more difficult.

The playoffs really perked Modano up. The first-round exits leading up to this past post-season were certainly wearing on him. A little playoff success kept hockey fun for him and he didn’t have to take any time to decide if he should retire.

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