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Archive for October, 2008

Dallas 2, Chicago 5

See?  This is why I didn’t want to get my hopes up about the Wild game.  (I did, but I didn’t want to.)

I skipped the recap of that game, but Myra has a good one over on the great Laughs 2 Loud. It was a fun game and everything looked fixed. But as we see now, it’s still not fixed.

Tobias Stephan started this game and the last and he played pretty well in both. Yet tonight he ended up with 5 goals against.

Lots of lazy skating and more running into each other (which is really starting to irk me). I’ve never seen a team hit each other so much.

Right now, the Stars are a team of new guys. They don’t really know where to be or what to do, it seems. Avery, Brunnstrom, Petersen, Conner are all new and learning the system and that’s how they end up running into each other.

When they got down a goal, I think they overworked to get the next goal. Razor pointed this out and I agree. Still, they were down a goal and needed to score. They just ignored the part of the rink above the circles in the offensive zone and let go a lot of breakaways toward poor Stephan. (By the way, Stephan is a handsome dude. I mean really handsome. And he towers over Turco.)

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Dallas 5, Washington 6, OT

Back in 2002, the Stars missed the playoffs for the first and only time since I became a fan. The reason I mention this is because I’m getting a creepy feeling about this team. I’m not getting a feeling that they’ll miss the playoffs, but I am getting a feeling that they’re saying the same kinds of things that team said as they struggled down the stretch and failed to make the playoffs.

I remember distinctly an interview with a distraught Brenden Morrow, still clinging to the fact that they hadn’t been mathematically eliminated.

There’s a lot of “this isn’t Stars hockey” and “we need to get back to Stars hockey” coming from the coaches and players right now. They say this all the time. Razor often compares whatever is happening to Stars Hockey. That was the chorus back then, too.

Half this team just started being Stars.

Avery, Brunnstrom, Crombeen, Janik, Neal, Petersen, Richards, and Stephan are all in their first full year. Four more are in their second full year in the league. Of course, that means that six players from last season’s exciting playoff run are gone.

This is Stars hockey.

This is not Turco goaltending, though. The defense has gone through worse than this, and the GAA has usually been better. Turco is not helping. I don’t remember him ever being this bad. The defense is going to make mistakes. There is no way around it. I’m pretty sure there has never been a game where a goalie had zero shots on goal.

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Dallas 5, New York 3

Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow missed each other. Tippett split them up for a few games. Being on new lines proved to them how great it was to be on their own line together and now that they’re back, they played like they never want to be split up again.

Ribs had FOUR assists and a goal, Morrow had a goal and two assists, and Loui Eriksson had two very nice goals as well. Even Krys Barch had a goal.

I had to take back some muttering I was doing at Krys Barch when he fell down. Right after that he made that nice tip-in for his goal.

While some of it could be credited to how awful the Islanders are, it was really nice to see the defense picking up their games. And Turco turned it on, too. He made some great saves in some difficult situations. He still gave up three goals, so I wouldn’t say he’s all the way back, but he did a lot better.

Philippe Boucher continues some very strong play. He makes very calm defensive plays that look even more calm compared to some of the other d-men. He had eight blocked shots in the game. I counted three on one shift. He had a really nice move early in the first where he managed to take the body and the puck. He bumped the guy while reaching around him with his stick to knock the puck away, too. He didn’t figure in the scoring, but he sure figured in the defense.

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No touching!

Michael Peca is about to return from his suspension for abuse of an official. They reduced his original suspension from ten games to five, but he isn’t grateful.

He doesn’t seem to get it. His defense is yeah, I grabbed his arm, but it wasn’t like I hit him. The rule is YOU CAN’T TOUCH AN OFFICIAL. There’s no gray area. There’s no judgement about what kind of touching it is. You just can’t do it.

41.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II – Any player or goalkeeper who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.

(Emphasis mine.)
(Also, space before the word “shall” mine.)

The only difference between intent to injure and the lack of that intent is how many games you get.

I thought Two for Elbowing had a good post about how slippery a slope it is, if players are allowed to stop a ref from ending a conversation. (Via Puck Daddy.)

And that ties right back into the integrity of the game. If a referee says “enough” and a player is allowed to say “no, it’s not”, we’re now headed down into territory where a referee can be intimidated and adjust calls based on that intimidation — and down that road were back at pro wrestling.

Normally, I wouldn’t care a whit about Michael Peca or the Columbus Blue Jackets, but I do care about the attitude that something is only kind of over the line. This is an argument in every walk of life. Eventually the line has to be drawn and enforced. If you say something’s not that bad because it’s barely over the line, then the line is redrawn. Now that action is NOT over the line. Now it’s time to try the next thing that is barely over the line. Pretty soon, your first line is nowhere in sight and your current line is completely ineffective.

That’s what the saying, “You have to draw the line somewhere,” means.

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Dallas 0, New Jersey 5

I dunno. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to think and I don’t know what to say.

Marty Turco is really making me nervous. The sophomore-slump potential of three of our defensemen is starting to worry me. And Sean Avery is showing me nothing. Nothing.

I miss the “vanilla” team (as Brett Hull puts it) that we had last year. They seemed to do fine. Adding Avery for spice has, at most, done nothing. He may not be the cause of all our problems (I’m not ruling it out), but he is not helping at all. He’s already being told to tone down his antics, I assume because they’re embarrassing. And without his antics, I don’t see the “solid player” with “skills” that we were promised. He’s just an agitator who can’t agitate and an attention hog that can’t call attention to himself.

Let’s do a Rangers test. Since the only thing we ever hear about him is that the NY Rangers had a significantly higher losing percentage when he wasn’t playing, let’s test it here. Let’s see how much worse they are when he’s a healthy scratch. I bet it would have no effect. It might even have a positive effect. (It surely would for me, since I wouldn’t have to see him on the ice or hear his name mentioned by Ralph and Razor.)

Okay, enough about him. The bigger problem is the defense and the goaltending and the forwards and the effort and the execution. Did I leave anything out?

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Wait, which one is the kid, again?

Wait, which one is the kid, again?

Dallas 2, New York 1

That was a much better game. They looked much better all around. Turco may have snapped out of his funk.

We can’t tell after one game, but he does tend to snap out funks, rather than climb out of them. Like Razor said, maybe he saw that he was last in the league in GAA and a light bulb came on over his head.

Brenden Morrow’s goal from his back should be on highlight reels for a long time. And Modano continues to look great on a line with Neal and Crombeen.

It was a pretty well-played game, not just an accidental win. I hope that’s a sign.

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Dallas 1, St. Louis 6

Dallas 4, Colorado 5

If it weren’t for the fact that Pookie and Schnookie are here to entertain me, I’d be inconsolable about the way things are going right now. But since they are here, and we’re having a ton of fun, including hanging out during and after Saturday’s game with Myra (and Kid and Hub) and Caitlin, I’m in a pretty good mood.

Today we’re going to go look at houses, ostensibly just for fun, but in reality I’ll be trying to talk Schnookie and Pookie into moving to Dallas.

Later we’ll be watching some lame hockey game with some team that has the worst goals-against average in the NHL. They’ll be playing the New York Rangers.

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