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Archive for November, 2009

I pick on Brett Hull a lot, I admit it, but he has done a ton for the Dallas Stars organization and don’t think I don’t appreciate it.

The Stars had a tribute ceremony before the game against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night.

I wasn’t able to see the Blues game in person, since I was traveling, and I couldn’t see it on TV because of stupid Versus, but the ceremony is up on the Dallas Stars site. It made me a little teary, I’m not gonna lie.

When the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, I was a hockey fan rookie. I enjoyed it and I thought it was exciting, but I had no idea what an accomplishment it was. I know that when it happens again (fingers crossed!) I’ll have a completely different viewpoint. I hope I get a chance to prove that soon.

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Dallas 1, Columbus 4

I guess we all could have predicted the loss last night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

I wouldn’t have predicted all the fights and the five-minute major plus game misconduct for James Neal, though. I was at the game, so I didn’t get to see anything up close. Therefore, I won’t argue whether or not Neal deserves a suspension for the hit (he’s been suspended two games). At the time, though, I thought the Jackets player was okay at first and didn’t see him fall back down again. The hit didn’t look that vicious to me on the replay that I craned my neck to see on the press box TV. They didn’t show the hit in the arena.

I’m interested in seeing that sequence of events when I watch the game on my TiVo. I’ll also want to see why there were so many fights. I usually assume that if Trevor Daley is in a fight, he’s legitimately angry. When Krys Barch fights, I don’t usually have to break down what led up to it.

I apologize for not having any in-depth analysis. When I’m at the game, I talk a lot more and I hear Razor explaining things 100% less than when I’m on my couch watching it on TV. (Not that I have any in-depth analysis then.)

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Dallas 3, Detroit 1

Not bad. Not bad at all. I guess the win-lose-win-lose-win-lose power is stronger than the PLEASE-NO!-NOT DETROIT! power. It was helped, of course, by the lose-to-bad-teams, beat-good-teams thing they’ve got going on, too.

The Stars looked very good the whole game. The Wings had trouble getting past them into the offensive zone. Alex Auld had a fine game tonight and made some pretty good saves. He got a gift from the refs on that one non-goal, but hey, life’s tough.

Modano had another great game, getting an assist on Loui Eriksson’s goal and just being all over the place all night. James Neal got an assist on Loui’s goal, too, with a beautiful pass. That brings Neal’s point streak to ten games. Matt Niskanen got his back that the scorers took away from him in the last game to give to Neal.

Mike Ribeiro had a much better game than he’s had lately. He got a nice, albeit flukey, goal but he worked hard all game. Brenden Morrow had more energetic game tonight, too. I think Brenden and Ribs got a little shot in the arm by being moved to new lines. Brad Richards added two assists to his impressive total for the year.

One of the best things I’ve seen lately is the improvement in the penalty kill. According to Razor, they had killed 17 penalties in a row at that point. They killed all five against Detroit tonight. And they got two power play goals! Everything’s all topsy-turvy.

Myra and I will be at the game tomorrow night. Let’s break the pattern, boys.

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Check out despair.com. You'll be glad you did.

Dallas 2, Phoenix 3

They keep saying they’re looking for consistency, but as Ryan Lambert, the Puck Daddy What We Learned guy, points out, win lose win lose win lose win lose is consistent. They need to start winning games when it’s their turn to lose one.

I’m almost expecting them to win against Detroit on Wednesday night. I never assume that, but this win-lose-win-lose thing might be more powerful than the usual pattern against Detroit of lose-lose-lose.

Phoenix is doing a lot better this year, of course, now that they have a decent coach. Yet, they’re not doing so well that the Stars can take them lightly. As we saw.

The habit of spotting every team two goals is getting pretty tiresome. At least the Coyotes only got one before we tied it up the first time. That was a great goal by Modano, by the way. Not many can do what he does with his backhand.

I’m sure Dave Tippett was pretty pleased with the win even though he tried to play it off as just another game. I’m glad he’s having some success in Phoenix, but I don’t want to see them win against the Stars again this season. We couldn’t even beat them last year, when Gretzky was throwing fits on the bench and they were losing everywhere else.

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It’s more like that stretch of I-635 between I-35E and the airport. Just kind of wavy.

After that nice win against Vancouver, we lost to the Minnesota Wild after giving up two goals to them in the first, the battling back, only to give up a third. Then Minnesota hung on to win.

Then we went to meet up with the league-leading San Jose Sharks and tried to do the same thing. It was only slightly different, in that we waited until the second period to give up 2 goals, and the third period to fight back to a tie. If we’re going to insist on doing it that way, I think the Sharks game version is better. It gives the opposition less time to go ahead again.

This time, though, we did the impossible and won in the shootout. Marty Turco was brilliant in the shootout, like he used to be in the old days. Crawford kept his promise and picked some new guys for the shootout this time. He kept James Neal, who hit the post for the third time this season. He needs to adjust the sight on his stick, I think.

The genius move, though, was calling on Stéphane Robidas. Robi skated in and just straight-on roofed it. No dekes for him. That won the game for us and got a huge cheer from me.

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Down Goes Brown can help.

My favorite part:

No, he does this all the time but since we never suspend him we just keep saying he has no prior record and hope nobody notices.

That’s my biggest pet peeve.

Thanks to Puck Daddy for the link (although I was headed there anyway because DGB is genius).

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The players look like little ants.

The new video boards are beautiful. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dallas 2, Vancouver 1

That was much better. The Stars really do seem to dominate the play for long stretches and they had 47 shots on goal so they should have won. This time they did.

I saw this game in person, in my quasi-season-ticket-holder seat next to Myra and family. It’s so fun to sit with somebody that’s also a little obsessed with the Stars. We usually agree that they’re awesome. Heh.

I have to say, those video boards seem more and more impressive every time I see them. Before the game and before the skate-around, they showed a slideshow on that huge screen of some very cool shots. Pictures I hadn’t ever seen before, from the dressing room, from promos, from games. Still, the boards don’t distract me from the game. In the old days (before this season), I would actually forget to look at the video for replays. I’d just figure, when I get home I need to watch for that play. But now I don’t forget about the video.

And as you can see in the picture, it looks really cool during the anthem. Last night’s anthem was unusually moving. Bill Ollerman called for a moment of silence for the victims of the tragedy at Ft. Hood, then a cellist played the lovely Canadian national anthem and then the Star-Spangled Banner. Quite a lot of people were singing it out loud, which is unusual. It was very nice.

The game was great. The last ten minutes were very exciting and highly nerve-wracking. The crowd cheered every clear during the penalty kills and stood for the whole final minute and a half while the Canucks’ net was empty and the Stars were fending off some desperation from them.

It was a great win. I think the wheels are starting to turn, the engine is picking up a little steam. I hope they’re about to knock out a few wins in a row.

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