Archive for the ‘Jere Lehtinen’ Category

Jere Lehtinen didn’t get the attention he probably deserved, but from what I hear, he liked it that way. Stars fans and his coaches and his fellow players knew how great he was.

I’m a big fan of Jere Lehtinen’s. But just like everybody else, I’ve hardly talked about him all these years.

I have been assuming that he would decide to retire, especially since it’s December already and he hadn’t joined the team. But even though I pretty much knew it was going to happen, I felt surprisingly sad to hear the official announcement.

Over the last couple of seasons, I have thought that he might be a little too oft-injured to help the team that much, and then I assumed he was going to retire so I haven’t really been thinking about him that much this season. But watching his highlight reels and listening to people talk about him has brought back a lot of memories. Watching him skate and seeing his odd goal celebration really takes me back to a time when I thought we were going to the Finals every year.

I’m not as wide-eyed and optimistic as I used to be, but I think we might have a few guys coming up in the ranks, namely Loui Eriksson, that I hope will be able to step into Jere’s skates.

Jere is the last of the players from the ’99 Stanley Cup team so the page is finally really turning for the Dallas Stars. It’s tough and sad and scary, but it’s exciting, too.

I already miss him, though. Actually, I miss him again.


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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 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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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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I’d like to apologize to my throngs of readers for being so lackadaisical (or lax-adaisical, as Razor says) about posting recaps of the games. With Twitter and IPB and emailing all through all the games, I pretty much run out of things to say about them.

So I thought I’d get some of my thoughts down before the game started and see if they relate in any way to what really ends up happening. People do previews all across the hockey blogosphere, so it can’t be too hard, right?

Up to now, the Stars are 1-0-2 in their first three games. They haven’t lost outright yet, but they’ve only won once. The thing is, they seem to be playing really well. They looked good in all three games. The famous “new system” must really be working because they’ve been in control of most of the games.

It’s hard for me to understand systems unless Razor spells it out for me, but I think I’m starting to see what they mean by bringing the defensemen in and having a forward cover for him. Razor showed some of it before the Oilers game, but Brenden Morrow, in his weekly visit with BaD Radio on The Ticket, really described it well. I think I can watch for it now.

It sounds like the defensemen can come in and the forwards can cover for them, it’s more like a rotation of all five, not just the forwards up by the nets and the defensemen at the blueline. It’s whoever can get the puck, goes for it and the nearest guy rotates up to cover for him.


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Dallas 3, Calgary 1

You’re gonna find this hard to believe, but when Calgary scored the first goal last night, I didn’t feel worried at all. It was the strangest thing.

I thought to myself, “They’ll get one here pretty soon and then they can start over.”

And sure enough, Jere Lehtinen scored on an amazing tip-in right before the end of the first period. They went to the locker room, even on the scoreboard, and were able to come back in the second and third and frustrate the Flames until they gave up a couple more goals.

That tip by Lehts was very impressive. The high hand-eye coordination that hockey players have is endlessly fascinating to me. Redirections like that are not accidental. They practice that. Lehts’ intention was to change the direction of the puck by ticking it just right with his stick-blade so that it popped over the goalie’s pad at the last millisecond.

Mike Modano is the master at knocking a puck out of the air with his stick and then gently setting it onto the ice so he can carry it away. I love seeing that stuff.

Modano had a great game against the Flames, too. He must have had ten steals. He just looks like he’s having the best time out there right now.


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