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Archive for the ‘Steve Ott’ Category

Saturday, I did something I’ve always wanted to do. I sat on Row A at a Dallas Stars hockey game. Right on the glass.

I had been planning it for a while and when I asked Thomas the ticket guy to find me one, he outdid himself. Once I got my ticket, I was thinking it would be in the right-hand corner of section 124. But no. It was dead behind the net.

This is the view.
View from my seat

This is the view with my zoom lens.
View from my seat, plus zoom

The giant video board looks even more giant when you’re at ice level. On the glass. Like I was.
Video board

This is the lamp. I was basically sitting in the goal judge’s old seat.
The Lamp

I’m telling you I was way down there.
View behind me

As Bill Ollerman says, “Here they come! YOUR! DALLAS! STAAAAAARRRS!”
Big entrance

I’m a big fan of the skatearound. (more…)

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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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For me, that doesn’t mean I’m leaning toward optimism so much as it means I might have put the foot back down that was extended over the ledge.

The four-game winning streak the Stars are on now is kind of weird. It’s hard to believe. Not that it’s not possible, it’s just weird.

The game against the Carolina Hurricanes was fairly definitive. I haven’t been following the Hurricanes that closely, but I think it was a legitimate win. The Stars played well. They didn’t back into the win at all.

The game was very entertaining. Lots of back and forth, lots of almosts, lots of bouncing pucks and cool defensive plays. Ribeiro and Daley were all over the ice. I thought Ribs had a pretty good game.

Right before Neal scored in the first, the ‘Canes tried many times to clear the puck and the Stars kept keeping it in. Woywitka caught the puck at the point as it ran around the glass to keep it in. Neal scored soon after that. Not only were the Stars keeping the puck in the ‘Canes’ zone, they also kept the ‘Canes out of their own zone.

They were responsible and aggressive. The forwards helped the defense and the defense played well. And Kari did a fine job of not messing any of it up. Usually he is covering for people but this time he didn’t have to too much.

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Dallas 1, Los Angeles 5

The Kings even felt sorry for us. Anze Kopitar scored the 5th goal with just seconds to go and basically apologized for it.

That run of games before the Olympic break looked like it might be something building. We were all optimistic and we were just a point out of 8th place. Turco was back, we were scoring. All a mirage, it appears now.

Turco wasn’t at his best. Again. But he wasn’t the only one. Again. Brad Richards passed the puck to a Kings player more often than to a teammate. Steve Ott tripped over his own stick at one point. Krys Barch was Krys Barch.

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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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There are several kinds of fights over hits. In my opinion, the three basic categories are:
• fights after dirty hits,
• fights after any hard hit on a star player,
• fights after clean hits.

I’m okay with fights after dirty hits. I’m okay with fights after questionable, even clean but hard, hits on players like Modano, Eriksson, Richards, etc. I don’t like fights after normal, everyday, clean hits.

But! There are two subcategories of clean hits. The kind that are normal, common, legal and clean that just piss off the guy that gets hit and the kind that are questionable or result in a scary injury.

I’m with Mike Heika in that I understand fights after clean hits when there’s no way the victim’s teammates know if it was clean or not. A few games ago, against Minnesota, Brad Richards got knocked to the ice by a clean, hard, open-ice hit from Cal Clutterbuck and Steve Ott came in and fought the guy over it. That hit fell into two categories — skill player and questionable hit.

The fans and the broadcasters had the benefit of multiple replays to see that it was a legal hit and Brad wasn’t hurt and everything was aboveboard. Steve Ott didn’t. Plus, you just can’t let players like Brad Richards get hit like that.

Last night, in the game against Phoenix, James Neal made a perfectly normal everyday hit along the boards on Petr Prucha, but poor Prucha suffered a terrible injury. His teammates didn’t get a chance to sit quietly and watch replays from all angles to see if it was the hit or the fact that his head hit a stanchion that caused the injury. It’s too bad that Neal had to fight after a clean hit, but that one is understandable.

The fight after a clean hit that I don’t like is when everybody’s okay and nothing is even questionable and it’s on a guy that can take a hit. Several games ago, Mark Fistric got dragged into a fight with Eric Nystrom in a game against Calgary. That was the fight that Mark got fined for because he hit Nystrom with his own helmet. The fight was pointless, though, because Nystrom was the victim of the hit and just didn’t like it so he picked a fight with Fistric. It was a regular hard hit against the boards and Nystrom went after Fistric. He knew that it was a clean hit because he’s the one that took it. None of his teammates even thought anything about it. He was just pouting.

Those are the kinds of fights after clean hits that I don’t like.

So, to recap:
• Fights after dirty hits — OK.
• Fights after hard/questionable/unnecessary hits on star/skilled players — OK.
• Fights after clean hits that require extensive replays and analysis to determine they’re clean or that result in an injury — OK.
• Fights after obviously clean hits — NOT OK.

Simple enough, right?

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I’ve been collecting notes and opinions and rants for the last week or so, but I just haven’t had time to post any of them. Every new one kind of negates the previous one, even though I still want to rant about the previous one.

I was all in a tizzy about Crawford and his insistence on cramming square pegs into round holes without even attempting to shape the pegs a little first. And I kind of freaked out about how he decided to put Jamie Benn at center even though he’s never played the position and even though Mike Modano could use some more minutes.

I also was highly comforted by Mike Heika’s explanation of why Nik Hagman was allowed to leave in free agency and I wanted to remind you all that I miss Nik Hagman. In case you forgot.

And DO NOT get me started on Marty Turco. Believe me. I had pages and pages of rants about that. Let’s just say that I’m glad Alex Auld is getting a few games. I’ll come back to Turco later, maybe.

So, while I was seething all week about the Stars troubles, they went and pulled out a couple of wins. So I’m much calmer.

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