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Archive for January, 2009

Dallas 4, Detroit 2

I can’t believe it. The Stars beat the Red Wings again! In Detroit!

So much happened with just one win! They won three in a row for the first time, they won one in Detroit’s own arena, they prolonged Detroit’s surprising losing streak.

We didn’t give up any goals in the third period!

We’re inching up the standings. We’re part of the big batch o’ 51s now — right in the middle at #9, based on tiebreakers. We’re right ahead of Columbus and we’ll be playing them on Saturday. If we can win that game, it will put a little distance between us and them. And if the other teams can lose, we might vault up into 7th or something! (I get tired-head trying to figure it all out.)

This game was executed beautifully. The Stars scored often and early. Then when they were ahead, they didn’t back off. They kept trying to score and kept hounding the puck all night.

They stole the puck in the neutral zone over and over and over, and along the boards they won one puck battle after another. Turco looked great. He made the big saves, but he wasn’t bombarded. He didn’t let Holmstrom throw him off his game.

Steve Ott had a great game. He set the physical tone and also scored the first goal from right in front of the net. They chased Osgood and then got one on Conklin when he relieved him.

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Thanks to Razor and his blog, I read Stu Hackel’s post on Slapshot about the play-by-play stylings of Versus and NBC.

However, when you see and hear a Versus game, and an NBC game as well, that standard is abandoned for nonstop conversation that too often ignores the game’s action. Most likely, that’s not the decision of the guys behind the mic but the guys behind the scenes, who instruct the announcers to “tell stories” at the expense of providing clear descriptions and analysis. They do hockey a massive disservice.

This is exactly how I feel about it and why I’m always so irritated by it. I’ve wondered how we’re supposed to be swaying the casual fan with these games, when even a seasoned fan like me can barely follow the action because it’s not being described.

I want to know who just laid a hit, or who just saved a scoring chance with backchecking. I don’t care to hear the announcers reminisce about the time they met Rocket Richard. Or listen to them ramble about some issue that came up in a minor-league game the week before and has no bearing on the current game. Especially when it’s scripted.

I’m a Stars fan. I can tell which Star has the puck and what he’s about to do, but I kind of like to know what’s happening with the opponent, too. And if I’m watching a game that doesn’t include the Stars, I like to know who those people are.

The way Versus and NBC have styled their commentary, I tend to lose track of what’s going on on the ice, and then I lose interest. I’d rather watch a game with the local broadcaster for one of the teams. Even if it’s a terrible homer duo, at least you get to hear what one of the teams is doing.

Check out the article. I would like to think a groundswell of agreement might make them allow the excellent broadcasters they hire (Pierre McGuire excluded) to call the games the way that made them excellent broadcasters.

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I like the All-Star Game.

I’m going to have to take a sabbatical from reading surly bloggers and crusty columnists whining about EVERY. LITTLE. THING! SHUT UP!

It never fails. It is the same stuff as last year. And the year before. And from the same people. They bitch about the game from top to bottom from the day they start the fan voting until a week after the game is over. Everybody thinks the NHL has no clue how to hold a game. They think all the wrong people are in. Even when the right people are invited, but can’t come, they blame the League. Then when the League gets mad at the ones that don’t come it’s still the League’s fault.

No matter whom the fans vote in, they’re the wrong ones. How can fans be so stupid? Don’t they know that’s not the player they like best?

No matter what the Skills Competition entails, it’s not what it should entail.

No matter how competitive it is or isn’t, it’s too much or too little. It’s not a real game! Somebody might get hurt!

No matter how exciting it is for those who are kids now, it’s not as good as it was when jaded, crusty hockey writer X was a kid. They did it right back then. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was a kid and everything was better back then.

And while I rant about how they say the same thing every year, I should probably remind myself that it upsets me like this every year. And I shouldn’t let it. I just worry that the whining will drown out the fun and the League might listen to it, rather than the fans.

The All-Star Game and I can sit together and just ignore those meanies.

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Dallas 2, Tampa Bay 4

I’ve decided to just go ahead and write the game recaps for all the rest of the games.

We lost. What is wrong with this team?

We won. This could be the turning point!

We lost. What is wrong with this team?

We won. This could be the turning point!

We lost. What is wrong with this team?

We won. This could be the turning point!

Why can’t they string two wins together? Why do they look like gangbusters in one game and in the next just lie down after the second period?

Although, truth be told, they have been known to lie down after the second period in their wins, too.

You can set your watch by the opposition’s tying goal late in the third.

This game had tons of storylines and lots of drama over all the Richards-trade guys meeting up again, but the way the game ended overshadowed it. I felt sorry for Brad. He did all he could.

I bet they beat the Panthers. Then I bet they lose to the Thrashers.

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Oh. My. Gosh.

Look at his little gloves!

Look at his little gloves!

When we were at the game, I was telling my cousin (in Plano) about how cute it is that they have a little kid that gets to skate out for the anthem for each game.

Then when that tiny little button came out and stood by Robi we were awwww-ing pretty hard.
robi-jr-during-anthem

Then Robi helps the little kiddo take off his helmet! We almost lost it! Then he helps the kid put his helmet back on and he skates away. So. Cute.

They have matching cages!

They have matching cages!

Trevor gives the little guy a stick-tap.

Trevor gives the little guy a stick-tap.

Well, today I see that it was Robi’s own adorable child, Justin. This time I did lose it.

Good job, Little Robi!

Good job, Little Robi!

How can anyone not love Stéphane Robidas?

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Dallas 3, Los Angeles 2 (SO)

That was the perfect game to take somebody to that doesn’t watch hockey. It was like a Whitman’s Sampler.

• Defensive struggle with both goalies making great saves.
• Home team gets down a goal late in the game.
• Home team ties the game!
• Home team takes the lead with only a couple of minutes left!
• Visiting team ties the game in the final seconds!!
• OT that starts out 3 on 3.
• Shootout! All non-hockey fans love the shootout, right?
• Best of all — Home Team wins!

My cousin (in Plano) was nice enough to go to the game with me today. She seemed to enjoy it. She seemed genuinely interested in how the game is played and who all the players are and where the team is in the grand scheme of things. And I’m always more than happy to ramble on about the Stars, so a good time was had by all.

I’ll start with my usual disclaimer: I don’t follow the game details as well when I’m at the arena as I do when I’m watching it on TV.

When I rewatch it on TiVo, I’m sure I’ll see a totally different game.

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Major announcement.

The Little Ticket

Over at Sports Radio Thirteen-Ten the Ticket, they’ve been teasing a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT for a week. Today was the day.

The announcement? The Little Ticket will be broadcasting the Dallas Stars games starting next season!

I would not have predicted that in a million years. I am not unhappy about it at all. They plan to broadcast all 82 games with a postgame show for all of them and a pregame show for most of them. The Stars site has the details.

I have kind of a love-hate relationship with The Ticket. Everybody on that station infuriates me on occasion. Some infuriate me all the time. But I listen all day. I’m even back to listening to the Hardline now that Greggo is gone.

I’ve also had a love-hate relationship with their hockey talk. When I first started listening to 1310 exclusively, I wished they’d talk about hockey more. Then every once in a while they would talk about it and their lack of knowledge about the game was so annoying I would wish they’d stop talking about hockey.

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