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Archive for the ‘Jamie Langenbrunner’ Category

Brad

I guess it’s time to update my category list and move a bunch of players around. And coaches, too! Don’t forget coaches.

First of all, I’d like to say that I was shocked and saddened by the news of the plane crash carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv. I was already going to miss Karlis Skrastins and now I get all teary whenever he’s mentioned. It’s very sad. I really liked him while he was playing with the Stars. He was underappreciated, I thought. I’m a big fan of responsible, dedicated, unsung but important defensemen. They’re getting fewer and fewer these days. The defensemen that really should be forwards get all the press these days, but those like Skrastins are the ones that get the job done. From all accounts he was the nicest guy in the world and we’re going to miss him. We were going to miss him anyway.

On to less serious topics.

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Jamie Langenbrunner, circa 2001. Courtesy of me.

Jamie Langenbrunner is back. Who saw that coming?

I admit I’m not the voracious reader of hockey news that I once was, but I did not see that coming.

When it first looked like Langer would be coming back to Dallas, I was not that happy about it. I probably spend way too much time on IPB and maybe I was swayed by Pookie and Schnookie and Mags and all the other Devils fans over there who have been hoping against hope that he’s in the first bucketful when the Devils start bailing.

He’s not had a good maybe year and a half over there. He’s not the only one, though. He’s apparently known for a while that something was going to happen and he was not reacting well to the spectre of reduced ice time and lower standing on the team.

But once the deal went through, I started hearing that Joe Nieuwendyk’s plan was for him to be on the third line and that he wasn’t going to push Benn out of his plum spot so I started feeling a little better.

Pookie and Schnookie assured me that he is bound to benefit from a breath of fresh air and that since he wasn’t captain here, he can accept other roles.

It reminded me of an article/chat by the great Mike Heika where he pointed out that Turco can accept a backup role in Chicago but he can’t here in Dallas. The same is probably true of Mike Modano. It’s too painful to watch him bringing up the rear here after so many great years. But in Detroit, he’s just a veteran piece to the puzzle. (And, of course, I don’t have to watch him since I can’t watch the Wings.)

When Jamie was traded to New Jersey with Nieuwendyk, I seriously questioned my devotion to the Dallas Stars. It was early in my fandom and I was crushed. Crushed! As it turns out, I do love the team more than any individual players. But I missed Jamie for a long time. I loved the guy.

That was nine years ago. A lot has changed since then. I don’t have the wide-eyed, he-won-the-Cup-here-so-he-will-surely-bring-us-another-one excitement that everybody else does. But I have warmed to the idea quite a bit.

He does bring some playoff experience (although his recent experience wasn’t that great), and he is right-handed. And they only gave up a second-round draft pick, at worst. I just want to make sure that it doesn’t mean any of our future loved ones, such and Benn and Wandell are thwarted in their development.

I’m anxious to see what it’s like to watch Jamie Langenbrunner play for the Stars again. I think it’ll be weird. I hope everybody’s right and he’s the last piece of the puzzle for a big push in the playoffs. (Even though we didn’t know we’d need one when the season started.)

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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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The playoffs are upon us. Too soon and not soon enough, all at once.

I miss the regular season already. Things were calmer then. Life was sweet. If you lose a game, just play another one in a couple of days. Everything will be fine.

The playoffs are not like that at all. This is a time when every single move could be your last. When tiny things are magnified and big things are incomprehensible.

Everybody says it’s the best time of the year, but it is crushing for every team but one.

On the other hand, if you’re that one team, every season that crushed you was worth it for the one season that doesn’t.  The season where you’re the only one that gets to be happy.

I don’t like to make predictions. I don’t predict who will win a game in November, and I don’t plan to predict who will win any of the series that are about to start. It will just end up making me look silly.

I know little to nothing about the Eastern Conference but what I hear from the MSM, which is all Ovechkin, all the time.  I’ll just list the teams I like, based on not hating them.  How would that be?

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Dallas 2, New Jersey 4

As I predicted, I’m all panicky now because they lost. I know it’s only one game out of nine that they didn’t get a point in. I should still be happy, right? It makes me really nervous. I wish they’d just win the dang Stanley Cup and get it over with so they can cling to the current players until they’re way past their prime and I can stop worrying about who will get traded.

I don’t think they played a bad game. It appeared to me that the New Jersey Devils came out a little slow and the Stars took advantage in the first period. Yes, Marty Brodeur gave up two comical goals, but the Stars were essentially in charge at first.

But in the second and third, while the Devils picked their game up in a big way, the Stars still seemed to think they were playing the first-period Devils. They just swarmed the defense the rest of the game. Zubov got caught being too patient a couple of times, and Ribeiro was attacked behind the net more than he’s used to. I think it was more what the Devils did late in the game than what the Stars didn’t do. I give a lot of credit to New Jersey for taking it over, rather than blame Dallas for coughing it up. There’s a (slight) difference.

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