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Archive for the ‘Jeff Halpern’ Category

The Dallas Stars obviously want to break up with me, but I just can’t let that happen.

• They fired Doug Armstrong and hired nutty Brett Hull.
• They traded Jeff Halpern and Mike Smith.
• They let Nik Hagman just walk.
• They signed Sean Avery (admittedly, they almost got rid of me with that one).
• They traded my beloved Philippe Boucher for a bag of pucks Darryl Sydor.
• Instead of just firing Hull and letting Les Jackson take over, they demoted Jackson, too.
• They hired my original favorite player, Joe Nieuwendyk, to take over, which cannot end well favorite-player-wise.
• They fired my beloved coach, Dave Tippett.
• And if that weren’t bad enough, they hired Marc Crawford to replace him.

They’re obviously trying to get rid of me.

Well, it won’t work!

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Aw, Jussi.  We miss you. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Aw, Jussi. We miss you. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Our little Jussi Jokinen scored another gamewinner tonight for the Carolina Hurricanes. He is just tearing up the playoffs. He already has five goals and, counting this one, two of them were game winners and one of them was a game tie-er. During his post-game press conference, Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice talked about how much Jussi studies the game and watches other teams and said that he is, “a really really smart hockey player.” (Emphasis his.)

After all he went through in Tampa Bay, it’s just so great to see him doing well in the playoffs for his new team. They were healthy-scratching him and even waived him once, before trading him to Carolina.

There were some games when the veteran players in Tampa Bay, guys like Mark Recchi (who is now with Boston), Gary Roberts and Jeff [Halpern] kept telling me to keep my head up. It was a tough year in Tampa Bay. This feels so good getting a chance to be a good hockey player again. –Jussi Jokinen

They just love him in Carolina. And well they should.

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Dallas 2, Tampa Bay 4

I’ve decided to just go ahead and write the game recaps for all the rest of the games.

We lost. What is wrong with this team?

We won. This could be the turning point!

We lost. What is wrong with this team?

We won. This could be the turning point!

We lost. What is wrong with this team?

We won. This could be the turning point!

Why can’t they string two wins together? Why do they look like gangbusters in one game and in the next just lie down after the second period?

Although, truth be told, they have been known to lie down after the second period in their wins, too.

You can set your watch by the opposition’s tying goal late in the third.

This game had tons of storylines and lots of drama over all the Richards-trade guys meeting up again, but the way the game ended overshadowed it. I felt sorry for Brad. He did all he could.

I bet they beat the Panthers. Then I bet they lose to the Thrashers.

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Last season, the Stars had the second-best penalty kill in the league. These were our penalty killers, in order of short-handed time-on-ice per game.

2007-08:
Mattias Norstrom – 3:14 (retired)
Sergei Zubov – 3:02
Philippe Boucher – 2:49 (traded)
Stu Barnes – 2:37 (retired)
Jere Lehtinen – 2:27 (injured)
Trevor Daley – 2:24
Steve Ott – 2:21 (injured)
Niklas Hagman – 2:16 (released)
Matt Niskanen – 2:11 (scratched)
Stephane Robidas – 2:11
Nicklas Grossman – 2:11
Mike Modano – 1:57
Brenden Morrow – 1:44 (injured)
Mark Fistric – 1:17 (demoted)

These are the ones we have left.

2008-09:
Stephane Robidas – 2:38
Trevor Daley – 2:34
Nicklas Grossman – 2:23
Mike Modano – 1:55
Sergei Zubov – 1:52

Sure, lots of other guys are out there on the penalty kill now, but they’re not that good at it.

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Razor Reaugh explains everything on his blog today. He really knows how to capsulize the situation.

I think Jeff Halpern and Nik Hagman were wildly underrated nails and mortar guys. The loss of those two is really showing in the penalty kill. If you want to say that Hagman’s goal total is a fluke, we can debate that, but I don’t think anybody could claim he wasn’t a huge asset in his own zone. Same for Jeff Halpern.

Bob Sturm’s entry* kind of beat me to the punch today. I was ready to post about how they haven’t done well in the regular season since the Big Trade back in February. I’ll let him tell it.

He does say that it’s basically the same team, but I disagree with that. It seems very new to me. I keep feeling like there are a ton of new guys. The three rookies, Neal, Crombeen, and Brunnstrom, just seem familiar because we’ve heard of them before. Barch and Petersen were perennial healthy scratches last season. Richards is basically new and Avery is actually new. That’s seven. That seems like a lot of change to me.

It’s going to be a long week waiting to see what happens. They have already cast Neal, Fistric, and Conner to the four winds (okay, the minors). I’m a little worried about Fistric. I think in the long run he’s going to be a great defenseman. He’s having trouble right now, but defensemen take a long time to mature. He’s still very young in d-years, so I hope the vaunted GMs understand that and don’t do anything drastic. I’m okay if he’s in the minors right now, but we’re going to need him in the next few years, so don’t give up on him.

*After today, you’ll have to scroll down to the November 2 entry. For some reason, they don’t break them up into individual posts.

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Yes, I know, he’s gone now. Jeff Halpern has moved on to play for Tampa Bay now.

I was so happy when Halpie came to town. He’s a pretty one, and he’s a defensive guy. I knew he was my kind of player. Plus, he has a degree in economics from Princeton! Princeton is one of those schools where even the athletes are smart.

His senior year at Princeton gave him confidence that the NHL was just a phone call away.

The 1998-99 varsity recorded the most hockey wins in school history and shared the Ivy League title with Yale. Halpern was team captain and leading scorer. He was co-winner of the university’s Roper Trophy, for athletic and scholastic achievement.

So we have smart, hot, and a good penalty killer. There’s really nothing else on my list of things to look for in a player.

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Actually, the story about Doug Armstrong joining the St. Louis Blues is true. There were also some rumors about him planning to interview with Toronto. Well, those were true, too, he just cancelled the interview when he signed on with the Blues.

I’m glad that he has a new job. He’ll be hanging around their front office until the current GM, Larry Pleau, retires in two years, then he’ll become their GM.

I was upset when he left, then kind of glad after I looked at both his tenure and the change that came over the team when he left, and now a little nostalgic for him. I think he did us a lot of good, and he made a few mistakes, just like any other GM. The Stars’ success over the last few years shows he wasn’t the kind of failure that other teams are suffering from their GMs, but the change in the atmosphere and the relative success in this year’s playoffs shows that moving on isn’t a bad idea, either.

Army was on with Bob and Dan on The Ticket on Friday afternoon and was talking about how he was really glad to see everybody doing so well. He and Les Jackson are still really close friends, having worked together for so many years. I’ve always thought he seemed like a straightforward guy who really loved the Stars. I hope he can find the same kind of love for his new team.

Now, the rumor that everybody is reporting as true is that the Tampa Bay Lightning are going to fire John Tortorella and hire Barry freakin’ Melrose to coach them.

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