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Archive for the ‘Brenden Morrow’ Category

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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Dallas 8 (!), San Jose 2

That was a fun game to see in person. I was looking for something to cheer me up today and that pretty much did it.

The Stars beat the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks, 8 to 2. Eight to two! I have to say, I did not see that coming.

Just a few disjointed points I’d like to make about the game:
• That Brandon Segal is a keeper. He’s got 5 goals, 2 assists for 7 points in 7 games with the Stars. Good on Joe Nieuwendyk for picking him up off waivers from Los Angeles. He called in to the post-game show and sounded like a cool guy.
• Two short-handed goals in the same game is something impressive.
• Mike Ribeiro is a man on fire. He is just going crazy since he came back from that scary injury. He’s got six goals in ten games since he came back.
• Brenden Morrow hasn’t been able to buy a goal lately, but he got two tonight.
• I haven’t seen the replay of Robidas’ hit that got him kicked out of the game, but it didn’t seem that bad at the time. I have no idea why the refs thought it was that serious. I’ll have to check it out when I watch the game on TiVo.
• Brad Richards had three points in the game.
• Poor Mike Modano had to miss the game (and several upcoming games) because he had an emergency appendectomy. What is going on? Is appendicitis contagious? I sincerely hope he makes it back for a few games before the end of the season. And I hope he returns next season. He’s still got plenty to offer.
• Judging from just this game, Kari Lehtonen seems like a pretty good goalie. I can only hope that it is a good indication of what he really is. He made some great saves and I think it gave the defensemen and the forwards some confidence. I think that’s a lot of what they’ve needed all this time.

It’s too late for this game to mean anything, but it was nice to see. That’s all I’m looking for these days, just an enjoyable game.

Missing the playoffs two seasons in a row is no fun, but watching your team play hockey, no matter what, IS fun. I will continue to whine and complain about how things are going, but these are still the Stars. It’s the team I love, filled with players I love, so they’re not going to be able to get rid of me.

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Boy, that was an exciting Olympics gold medal game, wasn’t it? Congratulations to Brenden Morrow for what must have been the dream of a lifetime. I’m sure he won’t be lording it over his teammates when he gets back to town. Even so, Mike Modano should be ready to smack him if need be.

And congratulations to Team USA for a thrilling run through the tournament, all the way to the marquee game on Sunday afternoon. I think I almost broke my voice screaming when Zach Parise tied up the game with 24 seconds left. I wasn’t so happy about Sidney Crosby scoring in OT to win the game, but if it had to be some Canadian, I’m happy it was Sid. He looked pretty happy about the whole thing while they waited for the medals to be awarded.

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You got a little...um...no, right in the front... (Getty Images)

Brenden Morrow is doing just what we Stars fans expect him to do.

There’s a really nice article about him in the The Vancouver Sun (thanks to Andrew’s Stars Page) describing how many people thought he was a bad pick for the team, and how they’ve been proven wrong so far.

He’s scored two goals, one being a really nice tip-in between his feet in the game against Slovakia. He’s been hitting and goalie-screening, as well. In the game against Slovakia, he seemed to be on the ice every other shift. I haven’t checked his ice time, but I assume that it’s high.

I love the guy and I’m terribly proud of him. I hope he won’t be too upset that I’m pulling for Team USA, though.

P.S. Brenden? PLEASE OH PLEASE! Don’t wear a branded mouthpiece when you get back to Dallas! They are so irritating as it is, but it’s especially disheartening to see somebody’s company name hiding your beautiful smile when you’ve just scored a goal. What’s next? GoldenPalace.com across your forehead? [Don’t worry, I didn’t link to the casino.]

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I think I’m starting to get a bead on what the Stars really are. They’re, um, not very good.

It’s strange that Morrow and Turco and Richards and Ribeiro and Modano and Eriksson and all the rest are suddenly not very good. Last season was bad because of all the injuries, but I’m convinced that a lot of the Stars’ problems this season come back to coaching.

There have been too many games where Crawford claims they did everything right but just couldn’t win. That smacks of a bad plan.

Installing a system that the team isn’t built for is a recipe for failure. If they’re planning to adjust the personnel once they’re allowed to spend money, that’s fine. But in the meantime, maybe they could play a kind of hockey they’re good at. Just to tide themselves over.

Lately, the few wins we’ve had have hinged on some spectacularly bad luck for the opposition. The wins against the Ducks had comical goals — the kind that the Ducks could legitimately laugh off as fluky. That’s how we win now.

If we have to rely on flukes in our favor, that’s not good.

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Dallas 3, Anaheim 4 (OT)

I’m starting to wonder if the problem isn’t that the players are still getting used to the system, but maybe it’s just not a good system.

There are just too many games where the Stars have a healthy lead, then cough it up at in the last minute after spending the last period in a major panic.

What is going on? Shouldn’t they have learned the system by now? Or maybe it’s constantly watching to make sure you’re not supposed to be covering for a defenseman joining down by the net, or constantly changing before you ever get anything going or just concentrating so much on “attacking” that you never “defend.”

The Stars couldn’t get it out of their zone in the third period and it wasn’t just the defensemen. Morrow handed the puck to various Ducks, for one thing. The other thing I see way too much is the chance to clear the zone cleanly, squandered by a player that tries to hand it to a teammate further back in the defensive zone.

So many passes to the one guy with 3 defenders on him. Or just standing around until somebody catches up to them.

Mike Modano seemed to be the only one that could make a sharp pass. Or even catch a pass. He had several steals to go along with his beautiful goal. That play with Ott coming down the left and passing it straight across to Modano was as obvious as the day is long, yet Modano shot it right past the goalie.

Brad Richards had a pretty good game, getting 2 more goals to add to his huge point total. But he wasn’t immune to the mistakes that were happening in the third.

Another game that looked won after the first half of the game, only to be given away in the second half. The Ducks scored in the last 90 seconds of a period TWICE! That is not a fluke. That is a trend. This isn’t even the first game that that’s happened. It happens all the time.

I’m not impressed with Marc Crawford so far. I’ll just tell you.

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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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