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Archive for the ‘Jussi Jokinen’ Category

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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I know, I know. He’s gone, too. But he was a big part of the Stars these last three seasons.

I really liked the kid. He had a gimmick. He was the best shootout guy in the league when he was a rookie and it brought him some national attention. I think he had nine in a row to start the shootout era of the NHL, and then ended with 10 of 13 that season.

Of course, nobody could keep up that pace, but he was a good forward for us. Back in November, against the Avs, Jussi scored four goals for the first time in his career.

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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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Last week, we added a great player in Brad Richards to the team on Trade Deadline Day.  While I admit that it’s probably going to be a good thing, and Brad is a great player and could be what puts us over the top and all that, I am really upset about the other side of the trade. My heart just breaks for the boys that went the other way. After all that hard work to help build a winning team, it’s all yanked away from them.

Mike Smith has started every game for Tampa Bay since he got there, and he’s 1-3 so far. I am, sadly, not surprised. I knew that they were a terrible team, especially defensively, but it’s possible that the fact that goalies suffer there might be a trend.

Tampa Bay has crushed many a goalie since Nikolai Khabibulin left town. I just hate to see it happen to Smitty. Tonight he took a shutout to just a minute short of the end of regulation. Unfortunately, his teammates didn’t get one past the other goalie. The broadcasters, in the post-game show, just raved about Smitty’s goaltending, but being spectacular and still losing all the time can really wear on a guy.

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I may have been a little tired and a little tense on the eve of Trade Deadline Day when I railed against the idea of trading for Brad Richards.

I was a little upset, I admit it. I felt that a trade would upset chemistry and I wasn’t ready to give up Mike Smith yet. (Also, I was petrified that Bouche would be traded so I was lashing out at all trade scenarios.)

I don’t know that much about Brad Richards, so I did what I hate for people to do when they look at Stars players; I checked his line: 18 goals, 33 assists, 51 points, -25 (ouch). That doesn’t look too good.

Yet, I think Modano’s having a pretty good year and his line isn’t much better: 17 goals, 29 assists, 46 points, -12 (also ouch).

The reason I think Modano is having a good year is because I watch him every night and I see all the little details in his game, and how much those things help the team’s game. I never see Brad Richards, so I don’t know what his game is like. I was kind of a Tampa Bay fan when they won the Stanley Cup in 2004 because Darryl Sydor was on that team, and I watched Richards and thought he was great. But I quickly lost interest in them the next season and lost track of all their players.

So I don’t know much more than what I hear about him. Up until yesterday, I heard that he had a huge contract, and was struggling mightily on a team with a mountain of problems, not the least of which is their whack-a-doo head coach, John Tortorella.

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Dallas 6, St. Louis 2

Man, what a great game. The Stars’ sixth win in a row. I was expecting a tight game where we barely squeaked out a win, since it’s so deep into a winning streak. But the Stars trounced the Blues. I really don’t expect them to go past the franchise best seven-game win streak, because Razor’s already jinxed it by bringing it up during the last game.

During the pre-game show, we saw that Bouche is skating again. He joined the morning skate, tried some practice wrist shots and general skating, but no high-intensity drills or contact drills. I’m so happy. I can’t wait for him join the lineup again.

Brenden Morrow scored the first goal about five minutes in. It was the first of three power-play goals and it was kind of a softie. The first of a few that the Blues’ backup goalie, Hannu Toivonen, really should have had.

The power play seems to be slowly picking itself up again. The Stars scored three power-play goals on three power-play shots in the game. The PP has struggled some lately, but the 5-on-5 scoring has made up for it. Plus, of course, the league-leading penalty kill. I know that we won’t be getting three PP goals a game now, but it sure does help our average, and hopefully builds some confidence.

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