Otter, Robi, Lundy (l-r)
Dallas 6, Columbus 5 (SO)
That was close. I’m a little tired of us giving up the tying goal in the last minute of the game. That needs to be cleaned up. Otherwise it was a fine game.
Otter, Lundqvist, and Robi were all back in the lineup tonight, and it showed. They each had a ton of hits. Ott started his first shift with a huge hit and kept up the energy the whole game. I’m sure his hand is killing him now. I imagine Lundqvist’s shoulder is going to be sore. There was one point where he was kind of dangling his arm and it worried me that he’d hurt it again, but Tippett said after the game that Joel got stuck out on the ice a couple of times and got a little winded. I’m sure that’s all it was. Right?
Robidas only missed four games with his broken jaw. Seeing him out there wearing that cage reminds me of the good old days, about six months ago.
The man of the night, though, was Loui Eriksson. After getting two goals in the last game, he got a natural hat trick tonight. That’s five goals in a row over two games. The puck is practically climbing into the net on its own whenever Loui is around.
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Joel Lundqvist is going to find his niche this year. He’s a tough player and a good hitter and he will always have a place on a line with a pair of skilled guys.
He’s a checking winger, and he likes it that way.
That’s a role he played when he was in Sweden, and a role he seems to embrace (he says his twin brother Henrik Lundqvist was always the star-type personality and he was always the guy who liked the behind-the-scenes role).
He can also score important goals. He’s been in the league two seasons and in each he scored three goals (in limited games). But he scored two goals in each year of the playoffs. That’s the sign of a big-game player.
Now that Nik Hagman and Antti Miettinen are gone, Joel should be able to get more ice time and make an even bigger statement. He needs to stay up with the big club all year.
Joel seems like a real sweet kid. His twin brother is quite the man-about-town in New York City, playing for the Rangers, but I think Joel is better-looking. Obviously it’s the haircut. And the gritty play.
His English seems to have improved by leaps and bounds, too. I enjoy seeing him interviewed because he’s so earnest he makes me want him to succeed.
I think this year might just be his year.
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Posted in Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow, Dave Tippett, Joel Lundqvist, Marty Turco, Playoffs, Post-Game, Steve Ott, Trevor Daley, Winning on May 18, 2008|
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Dallas 2, Detroit 1
Another bridge is crossed. Turco (and by extension, the Stars) win in Detroit.
I’m running out of things to say to express how proud I am of these boys. I just can’t get over what they’re doing.
I am not assuming anything for the future, I’m only reveling in what has happened so far. If this is as far as it gets, it’s still a great, great season. I’m trying really hard not to get ahead of myself here and start thinking about those bridges down the road.
Marty Turco was brilliant tonight. He did all the things that we Stars fans love to see him do. He stopped point-blank shots, he stopped breakaways, he stopped multiple shots in the middle of scrums. And he played the puck.
If you follow the Stars closely, you might get a little jaded by all the talk about how he’s like a “third defenseman,” but after a few games of not seeing it, you can really appreciate what it does for the team’s strategy.
In the first few games, he wasn’t able to play the puck as much as he likes because the Red Wings were really getting in past the defensemen more than they like. But tonight, he was able to not only move the puck out of the way of oncoming Red Wings, but also able to make long breakout passes to forwards to start their own forecheck. He was the primary assist on the game-winning goal by Joel Lundqvist, and the “third assist” on the goal by Trevor Daley. His first pass started that play.
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Posted in Brenden Morrow, Dave Tippett, Joel Lundqvist, Loui Eriksson, Marty Turco, Mattias Norstrom, Mike Modano, Nicklas Grossman, Playoffs, Post-Game, Sergei Zubov on May 14, 2008|
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Dallas 3, Detroit 1
Those are my boys, right there. I love those guys.
What a great game. They came out with the same kind of intensity they had early in Game 3, but they kept it up the whole game. They attacked, and they defended. And they didn’t give up.
Modano and Morrow both got goals from the dead slot. Modano must have gotten half his goals this season from that very spot. And with Zubov down in the corner instead of up on the blue line where the defenseman is supposed to be, it’s a perfect setup.
Zubov had a great game. He made some long, slicing passes that turned into some good chances and he assisted on two of the goals. He was doing some of his old dipsy-doodle moves and this time they were working. He seems to be back. And his playoff beard is beautiful.
Dave Tippett did a really good job of mixing things up, using what they’ve learned so far about Detroit. Putting Toby Petersen out there with Joel Lundqvist and Loui Eriksson worked out great. Petersen was all over the place. His line was out there against Zetterberg and Datsyuk most of the time and they did a fine job of defending them and they got a goal out of it. Loui seemed destined to get a goal, the way he was flying.
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Posted in Brad Richards, Brett Hull, Dave Tippett, Joel Lundqvist, Les Jackson, Loui Eriksson, Mark Fistric, Marty Turco, Mike Modano, Playoffs, Post-Game, Stéphane Robidas, Stu Barnes, Winning on April 20, 2008|
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Dallas 4, Anaheim 1
THEY DID IT! They did it they did it they did it they did it they did it!
What a great game! The Stars played a beautiful game. They forced turnovers, they swarmed the Ducks defensively, they got tons of chances.
Stéphane Robidas outdid himself. Again. He got the first goal, by squeezing past a Duck defender (I think it was Niedermayer) and just winging it on goal. Then less than a minute later, he came down the same side and made a sweet pass over to Stu Barnes who put it right into the gaping net.
And after what seems like twenty breakaways he’s been in on, Loui Eriksson finally puts one past Giguere to salt it away. The Ducks pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker with two minutes left. Usually, in less dire circumstances, coaches wait until about a minute and a half. But they had to get two. Then Pronger shows what kind of player he is and cross-checks Brenden Morrow at center ice and is sent straight to the penalty box, where, fittingly, he sat when the game ended.
To add to the poetry, Mike Modano had the honor of the empty-netter with three seconds left.
The bench went wild. The crowd went wild. I went wild!
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Posted in Joel Lundqvist, Loui Eriksson, Mark Fistric, Marty Turco, Matt Niskanen, Mike Modano, Nicklas Grossman, Philippe Boucher, Playoffs, Post-Game, Steve Ott, Stu Barnes, Trevor Daley on April 18, 2008|
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Dallas 3, Anaheim 1
See? Game 3 wasn’t the end of the world. The Stars snapped back and played a brilliant Game 4. Turco helped the skaters by keeping them in the game when the Ducks were trying to set the tone early, and the skaters helped Turco by scoring goals and defending.
Last night was stormy in more ways than one. The big hail-laden storm that swept through the Metroplex came to my neighborhood with just about six minutes to go in the third period. The satellite picture froze up and eventually went black, so I had to listen to it on the radio. I missed the last goal and the goalie congrats (which I always love to see).
Stu Barnes’ breakaway goal, I did get to see. Modano’s pass was perfect and Stu got Giguere to move just enough to get that puck past him. I didn’t see it until the highlights later, but Stuuuuuu also made a tricky pass to Steve Ott for the clincher goal. He just had a really great game all around.
Marty Turco came just seven seconds short of getting his fifth shutout in his last ten playoff games. He looked great from the first minute of the game. I was listening to Bob and Dan on The Ticket and Bob Sturm said he can always tell from Turco’s body language whether he’s going to be on that night. I hadn’t ever really thought about that, but at the beginning of the game, after he made the first couple of saves, I got the feeling that Turco was going to be on. And he was.
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Dallas 6, Colorado 1
I’d like to direct everybody to my first post where I explain how I’m lazy and lack dedication to anything.
So even though Friday night’s game against the Avalanche(s?) was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, I still haven’t posted anything about it. Part of the problem is that I’m being like Mike and getting all flustered by an event that is looming. I’m hosting my family’s Thanksgiving dinner this year and I can’t really concentrate on anything until that’s over. And it’s not like I’m getting anything done on that front, either, I’m just thinking about it a lot.
So, sorry I’m late.
It was just a great game all around. The Stars seemed to have the puck the whole time. The spent tons of time in the Avs’ zone and just kept them under their thumb the whole night.
I’m so thrilled for Jussi Jokinen. He got four goals in one game for the first time in his career. Three of them in the 2nd period alone. That had to be one of those games that you never forget. I’ve been on his side all along. I feel like he can be a great player, but it’s taking him a little time to get going. Sure, he’s a “shootout specialist” as lots of non-Dallas media like to call him. But he wasn’t brought in to do that–it was a pleasant surprise. He had a great rookie year even if you didn’t count the shootout fun. But, like many do, he had a little bit of a sophomore slump, and if you judge a player’s long-term worth to you based on his second year in the league, you’re going get burned a lot. Hopefully, this is the beginning of his figuring out how to be great in this league. If confidence was what he needed, I think it will be.
And don’t even get me started on Sergei Zubov. (more…)
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