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Archive for October, 2010

Claw! Antlers!

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers for winning the American League Pennant! What a great bunch of guys, from the new owners to the GM to the manager to the coaches to the pitchers to the hitters to the fielders to the bench to the trainers and everybody else.

The Rangers have been helping me through the Stars’ off-seasons for a while now. My attention has waxed and waned, I admit, but I’ve been locked in this summer and it’s been a very exciting one.

I hope the Stars can gain some inspiration from what their former co-workers in the Hicks conglomerate have done.

Go Rangers! Good luck in the World Series — we know you can do it!

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Dallas 4, Detroit 1

The Stars won again. Let’s see: they won their first game, against the Devils. Then the next night they beat the Islanders. Now here it is four days later and damned if they didn’t beat the Hated Red Wings.

How can that be?

The Stars have won three game in a row — something they failed to do all year last year. It’s so, so, so, so early, but that fact makes this one a better team than last year’s right there.

My lovely sister (in Keller) went to the home opener with me tonight and I’m glad we went. I was not sure I was going to enjoy it, what with Modano showing up wearing somebody else’s sweater. Not to mention all the Wings fans. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. The few Wings fans that were near us were very polite. I guess it was hard for even a Wings fan to be too pushy with that score.

The opening montage was probably the best one I’ve ever seen. It was well made and very creative and just generally great. All those shots of the players in street clothes tells me they might finally be getting it. I’m seeing some signs that this is going to be a good year for the multi-media on DallasStars.com.

It’d be nice if the boys could win at least one more in a row, because I’m having company at the next one. Don’t make me look bad, Stars!

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Dallas @ New Jersey (Season Opener), 10/08/10

Now I don’t know what to think. I was all braced for sloppy play and poor goaltending and just general mediocrity and I was okay with it.

Then the Stars went out and played a pretty good game and beat the Devils in overtime. The big guys scored, and the defense made some good defensive plays and the goaltender made some impressive saves.

The game started out more like I expected, with the Stars going down by two goals in the first period. I missed the first half of the first period as I struggled home from Ft. Worth. Both Devils goals were scored while I was listening on the radio.

Once I got home, though, things looked much better. Morrow opened the season’s scoring with the first Stars goal from Mike Ribeiro, both of them looking kind of like the old days when theirs was the best line.

Just like in the old days, Loui Ericsson scored twice, the second one the game winner in overtime. Brad Richards scored the other one to tie it at 3.

Mark Fistric may have fallen and let Kovalchuk and Parise get by him, but he made up for it with an assist on Morrow’s goal.

The defense looked pretty good after they settled down halfway through the first period. There were lots of frantic defensive moves near the net that kept the score within reach. And there were plenty of takeaways in the neutral zone and poke checks at their own blue line to keep the Devils out of their zone.

Stéphane Robidas made a huge block on Jamie Langenbrunner to keep the score tied late in the game.

As Razor said, it was kind of an 18-wheeler of a game. It took a while for it to get up to speed, but it ended up being a pretty exciting, end-to-end, speedy game.

Loui’s shot over Marty Brodeur’s near shoulder just a couple of minutes into overtime was a really pretty one. He seems to be ready to lead the team in scoring, yet again.

Kari Lehtonen looked a little less than impressive early, but really had a good game overall. Kind of like the whole team.

I’m not sure what to think about this game. It’s just the first one–surely they’re not going to play like that all season. But it appears they can play like that, so it’s possible, I guess, that they could be better than mediocre.

If they turn out to be terrible after all, please don’t remind me of my silly optimism on Day 1.

Interesting fact I just read in the AP story: It was the first time Dallas started the season without a member of the 1999 Stanley Cup winning team on the active roster.

Sigh.

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It’s been hard picturing what Stars Hockey is going to be like this season.

There are so many changes (and a few non-changes) that make the picture murky. I’ve been a Stars fan since about 1998 and Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen have always been there. Up until a couple of seasons ago, the Stars have mostly always been in the playoffs.

Over the years there have been plenty of peripheral players that came and went. I really liked some of them and wondered what we’d do without them. Then I forgot about them when the next season started. Others I can barely remember. And there are some, like Nik Hagman, that I miss terribly.

I still miss Philippe Boucher, even more so because he’s nowhere to be found. I can’t even watch him play on some other team.

I miss Sergei Zubov terribly, too, and I can’t watch him play anywhere, either.

Now I’ll miss Mike Modano terribly and [I’ll have to pretend] I can’t watch him on his new team. I’ll miss Marty Turco, too. I like the Chicago Blackhawks, so I think I can watch him on his new team. I really like their defensemen, so I am anxious to see what they think about a goalie that can pass as well as any d-man.

(more…)

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