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Archive for the ‘Stéphane Robidas’ Category

I’m trying not be so incredulous all the time.

The Stars won again. (!?!?!?!) (Sorry.)

This time it was on a sneaky shot from the high slot in overtime from the adorable Stéphane Robidas. In the post-game show when he came by to talk to Severin and that other guy (that kept calling it the NFL), Robi said it was sort of a set play. Brad Richards came into the zone and went straight for the net and just about all the Wild players followed him. That left Robi out there at the top to fire in the winner.

Karlis Skrastins got the opening goal and Steve Ott added one in the 2nd period. Then they kind of lollygagged long enough to let the Wild tie it.

Let me just say, Steve Ott and Trevor Daley have really been stepping up their games lately. Otter has everybody pissed at him and still scores. And for the opposition, there is just no telling where Trevor Daley is going to be. He is all over the place. The guy that’s covering him surely has trouble predicting where he’s going to go, and he can skate so fast that he seems to just magically pop up somewhere else.

Adam Burish got them back in the lead in the third, but it didn’t last. With just a few minutes left in the game, the Wild tied the game to send it to overtime.

I’m still very leery of overtime, a feeling I admit is left over from last season. This season they’ve been actually winning a lot of those, so I probably shouldn’t just assume the game is lost if they have to go into OT. I should enjoy OT like I used to, when there was a chance we could win it. Because an OT win is a thrilling one, no matter what time of year it is.

I’m not going to predict how long this streak will last, because I’ll blame myself when it ends. But it sure is fun while it’s lasting.

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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.

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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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Dallas 5, Chicago 4

That’s the only reason I’m condescending to write about it. Otherwise, I’d still be holding out for a streak of some kind. I’ve run out of W-L-W-L jokes.

A day before the game, I was pretty optimistic because they had lost the previous game and that means a win. But then I started thinking about how good the Chicago Blackhawks are these days and by the time the game started I assumed they’d lose.  I should have gone with my first instinct.

The first period was pretty impressive by the ‘Hawks.  Most of the way through it I was pretty impressed by the Stars for not being down by 5 or 6 goals.  The Stars actually took the lead, even though they had already given up 20 shots.

Mike Modano opened the scoring with that cool same-leg shot he breaks out every once in a while.  I think it’s one of my favorite moves.  Here’s my opinion: the reason Modano does so well these days on the power play is because he has somebody other than Krys Barch to pass it to him.  I’m sure Barch is a nice guy, but I think at the very least, Brian Sutherby should playing on the 4th line, if Modano has to stay there.  If he’s only going to play for 5 minutes, why isn’t Sutherby playing?  He can fight if need be.  Just because he doesn’t have fights scheduled for weeks ahead of time, doesn’t mean he won’t fight.

Obviously Modano should be on a higher line, but I agree that Wandell is pushing his way up there. It’s not really that Modano is dropping as much as Wandell is climbing.  But Modano needs somebody that can catch and/or make a decent pass.  I think Sutherby is better for that.  Heck, if they’re too full of defensemen, Fistric could be one of Modano’s wingers.

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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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Smashed Filter

Kids, this is why you need a UV filter.

Dallas 4, Toronto 3, OT

I went to the game tonight and as I got out of my car, I dropped my camera bag and it sounded like glass breaking. When I reached my seat I took it out and found that the UV filter was smashed, but the glass on the lens seemed okay. But it wouldn’t auto-focus and I couldn’t turn the manual focus ring. I had to wait until I got home to assess the damage.

If the Stars had lost that game, I’d have been pretty distraught. It’s amazing how much better a win can make me feel.

The Stars started out pretty blatantly bad in the first period. Two shots on goal the whole period. Marty Turco did a fabulous job of keeping them in the game. For a team that is basically the worst in the league right now, the Leafs looked pretty good against the Stars.

The second period looked better, and by the third, they were ahead a little in the play. The defense made some pretty good plays from what I could tell. Fistric had a good game, and so did Robidas.

Brad Richards got two goals but each one was followed closely by a Leafs goal. Richards made some great plays and those goals were very important. Ribeiro’s tip-in goal was extremely impressive. He basically curved it around all the Leaf defenders.

Have I mentioned that I miss Nik Hagman? I kind of wish, if they had to score, that he would get a goal. But I’m happy that they didn’t outscore us. I’ll take it.

I was resigned to the loss and then thrilled by the tying goal. Then I was resigned to an OT loss, so I was doubly thrilled by James Neal’s OT goal.

Great win, and after a little wrestling with my lens, I was able un-jam it so I think it’s okay. Everything worked out. Never give up on the puck, and always use a UV filter. That’s my advice.

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