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Archive for December, 2008

Stars vs. Sharks 12/29/08

Dallas 1, San Jose 3

That one wasn’t so bad. It was a loss, but I’m okay.

I’m not the only one that wasn’t that pissed about it. It’s too bad we couldn’t get points, though, because we fell back to 14th in the West. We’re so close, but there are just too many teams between us and 8th, and it’s just mathematically impossible for them to all lose on the same night. (This is another reason I hate the shootout. It would really help us out if a couple of these games between the other lowly teams ended in ties and they each only got one point. That third point is so infuriating.)

The Stars actually spent most of the game in the Sharks end, and they won most of the puck battles. They kept their turnovers to a pretty good minimum, yet the Sharks scored two past Marty. It went like this: Stars Stars Stars Stars Stars Sharks-goal.

At least the team kept working. They didn’t work and work, then when they were scored on, just give up. That’s what they used to do, but not now. It’s a really good sign.

The difference between this visit from the Sharks and the last one is fairly huge. Hopefully, the difference between this one and the next one will be just as good.

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Dallas 4, Anaheim 3 (OT)

Winning is addictive, and losing is addictive. Right now, we’re winning and it’s becoming addictive. –Brad Richards

It’s amazing what a little belief in yourself can do for you.

The Stars gave up a late goal to the Ducks, yet still won. They tied it with a minute left and with the goalie pulled, then Mike Modano showed us all how it’s done in overtime with a scorching shot that went right through Giguere.

I love it when we win in OT and don’t go to the shootout. It’s a much more satisfying and exciting way to win. It would have been better if we’d won in regulation and not given them a point, but we’re taking baby steps here.

Brad is right. It’s much more fun to win. And I want to do it some more.

Earlier in the season, any goal the opposition scored just took the life out of the whole team. That doesn’t seem to be the case any more. They keep working, even when they’re behind.

The next few games are going to be tough ones. The Sharks are still going strong, but I think we can do something in that game. Maybe they still think of us as the last-place type and won’t pay as close attention as they should.

Climbing the standings is tough. The other teams down around us are still getting points, too. Stupid old Detroit couldn’t even beat Colorado last night and dumb ol’ San Jose got beaten by St. Louis! And everybody got points in those games! You’d think the least they could do is keep some of these teams down so we can step over them.

So winning is the way we’re going to have to do it. Let’s keep it up, boys.

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Merry Christmas, everybody!

christmas-lights

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Go Stars!

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Dallas 8, Toronto 2

James Neal is a revelation. Pressure situations seem to make him better. He scored a goal in his very first NHL game. He scored a goal in his first game back after being sent to the minors back in November. And in a game in his home town (essentially) and against the team he loved as a kid and in front of a crowd of family and friends, he goes out and scores a hat trick. Where did we find this guy?

I don’t really follow prospects when they’re prospects, but I do remember names, and he’s one that kept cropping up as someone the Stars were really high on. The same with Loui Eriksson. They’re players that outsiders wonder what the Stars see in them, but the scouts insist, and the coaches are patient, and violá. Scorers.

Trevor Daley is another of those guys and he is really shooting up the charts right now. I think he’s really blossoming now as a two-way defender. They reined in his offensive derring-do to build his defensive game, and now they’re letting go of the reins and he’s taking advantage of it. He got 2 assists in the game and he was often all the way down at the goal. When you have a defenseman like him, and defensive forwards like Eriksson, the shift really can play as five, instead of three and two.

(more…)

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Click here for all your Winter Classic Needs

I’m getting excited about the Winter Classic, coming up on New Year’s Day. I’m trying to start a tradition of sitting around watching hockey game after hockey game while eating chips and dips and crackers and cheeseballs, like we used to do when we were kids for college football games.

That was all the college football we were interested in watching, but it was a tradition so we did it and we loved it! The NHL gets bashed at every turn, but I think this Winter Classic idea is a good one. I think they should do it like this, once a year on New Year’s Day, and no more. Anything else would be too much, and we’d get sick of it. Anything less and we wouldn’t be able to plan for it.

I love that they’re having it in Wrigley Field this year. And I appreciate their tribute to the ballpark as part of all their marketing. The NHL seems to have hit on a good advertising company, because their Winter Classic commercial is a winner. Whoever is shooting and editing them lately is very good.

Another really cool thing that you should all check out is the time-lapse video of the rink being built at Wrigley. It’s updated every day. It’s fascinating. The park’s own shadow moving all over the field is kind of hypnotizing.

For all you readers that want to see some fun hockey but aren’t in a hockey market, you can see this game because it’s on NBC at noon (Central) on New Year’s Day. Make it a tradition!

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The greatness of Mike Heika.

I just wanted to stop for a second and thank Mike Heika for being our Dallas Stars beat writer. I think he’s the best there is.

He has his regular columns in the Sports/NHL section of the Dallas Morning News. And he has a Newsletter where he answers questions sent by readers. And best of all, he has the Blog. Heika’s Blog, we like to call it.

I check Heika’s blog every day, several times a day. I have the feed on my My Yahoo page. It’s all I can do to keep from just posting a link to his blog every day because I read something there I want to pass along, just about every day.

He walked by me at practice one day and without thinking, I blurted out, “I love your work!” And he didn’t recoil in horror at all. He smiled and said, “Thank you very much.”

He knows what he’s talking about, he asks the players, coaches, and management all the right questions, and he responds to his readers. He seems like a stand-up guy.

It’s like having a friend who knows the Stars.

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Dallas 4, Ottawa 5 (OT)

I never recapped the Ottawa game, did I? Well, I’ve been sick. I got a little behind.

We scored four goals! And then we gave up 5. Story of the season.

“We gave that point away,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “I don’t think our goaltending was that great. I think (Turco) could have stopped a couple.”

Little Loui Eriksson scored to tie it late in the third period. That’s six goals for him in three games. He was named the First Star of the Week by the NHL today. I just can’t get over how he’s progressing exponentially.

Brad Richards has been his centerman lately and it’s done wonders for Brad, too. He’s really coming on lately. I didn’t think he was that bad before, but now that Eriksson is on a tear, Brad is reaping the rewards.

I let myself believe for a minute or two that we would win in OT this time. We’ve won a couple lately. But that’s usually what happens when I’m optimistic — I’m proven wrong.

I’ll be honest, though, I barely remember the game. I was kind of hopped up on Hall’s Mentho-Lyptus.

I thought this was a funny picture.

I have no idea how this could happen.

I have no idea how this could happen.

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