First of all, I have to say something about Mike Ribeiro. Now, I love Ribs. I think he’s a great player and he brings a ton to the Stars. He makes his linemates better and he’s not afraid to hit or get hit and he does some wild stuff with the puck. But he needs to straighten up and get rid of that chaw. Dipping is disgusting, dangerous, stupid, and he shouldn’t be setting that kind of example for his young fans. Or his young (adorable) kids, for that matter.
This is 2009. And it’s the big city, for Pete’s sake. It’s not the backwoods in 1955. Spit that crap out, Ribs.
So anyway. That game blew.
I don’t know what to say. There was some good work, some turnovers, some good pressure, some mistakes, a nice comeback, then a third-period meltdown. Up, down, up, down, up, down. It’s making me woozy.
I’m a little worried about James Neal. His confidence seems to be waning, and that one mistake that led to a goal is not going to help. It’s a rookie mistake, but he’s a rookie, so he shouldn’t let it throw him off.
He’s not the only one. It seems Mike Modano gets plenty of chances and he hasn’t been playing badly, by any means. But he can’t seem to score a goal lately.
Ribeiro had a really good game. He scored two and made the third possible. Ott did all he could (Giguere and Moen are typical cheap-shot Ducks). But he and his linemates can’t do it alone. The opposition has no trouble leaving their lesser defenders for the rest of the Stars and keeping their good ones on our top line.
This is what is missing with Brad Richards gone. He has such a subtle game that his loss is affecting the whole team. He kept opposition attention split between his line and Ribs’ line, he made Loui Eriksson our top scorer, he poked a hundred pucks off sticks to start rushes and to keep himself in the offensive zone. He found the net through a crowd consisting of every player on the ice when he was on the point on the power play. He and Modano swung all around the ice when they both played points at the same time.
Without him, we might be toast.