It looks like Matty Norstrom will be retiring from the NHL and moving back to Sweden to be with his family. He had mentioned that as a possibility at the end of the season.
When Matty came to town, he seemed pretty expensive — he was making more than $4 million a year and we gave up a 1st, a 2nd, and a 3rd round draft pick to the Kings for him (I think we had to pay extra for them to take Jaroslav Modry). But there was not a single unkind word to be heard about him.
I liked him well enough, for a player that I didn’t know very well. Unfairly, probably, I kept my fingers crossed before the Trade Deadline that if any defenseman had to be traded, let it be him. But that was because I didn’t want it to be Boucher.
He struggled a little during the regular season, but I think even when he was struggling, he was still contributing a lot. He was a stalwart. He was the defenseman’s defenseman. I like that in a guy.
It’s my belief that the kids on the blueline — rookies Niskanen, Grossman, and Fistric — would not have done as well as they did without Norstrom around to wrangle them. Trevor Daley and Stéphane Robidas were a big help, but they’re pretty young, too. Norstrom seemed like the calm dad that everybody looked up to.
Over at The Battle of California, Kings fan RudyKelly had some very nice things to say about Matty. I’ve heard more than once from Kings fans that they didn’t want him to leave, but if he had a chance at the Stanley Cup, they were okay with it.
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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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Dallas 3, San Jose 2, OT
It might be a little hard to tell how the rest of the series is going to go, based on Game 1 against the Sharks. Both teams kind of waded into it, it seemed to me. I imagine the pace will be ratcheted up in the next game.
The Stars played a pretty good game, I thought, but it wasn’t as frenetic as the games had been in Round 1. The Sharks seemed the same way, but I don’t know very well how they usually play. They got a lot more shots on Marty Turco than the Stars did on Evgeni Nabokov.
In fact, the Stars just had two shots in the first period, total. They allowed ten shots, but Marty stood his ground and kept them in the game.
The Stars often seem a little tentative at the beginning of important games, then when the opposition scores a goal, they relax and start attacking. The same thing happened in this game — the Sharks got the first goal in the second period. Then soon after, the Stars tied it and took the lead. It’s like when you buy a new car and you fret constantly about it being scratched. Then when you get your first door ding, you can relax and enjoy it.
The Sharks tied it up late in the third period to take it to overtime. I was worried about OT. We haven’t had that much success with it in the playoffs lately. But it only took about five minutes (almost all of which were spent in the Sharks’ zone) before Robidas made a great play by keeping the puck and taking it around the net, then as he was falling, pushed it out to Norstrom who sent it to Morrow for the one-timer that went right past Nabokov.
OT goals in the playoffs for the good guys are the best kind!
With the OT win, the Stars checked off another one on their Playoffs To Do list.
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Posted in Brenden Morrow, Dave Tippett, Loui Eriksson, Mark Fistric, Marty Turco, Matt Niskanen, Mattias Norstrom, Nicklas Grossman, Philippe Boucher, Playoffs, Post-Game, Stéphane Robidas, Things I Love About Hockey, Trevor Daley, Winning on April 11, 2008|
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Dallas 4, Anaheim 0
Unbelievable. That game was just how I imagined it could be, but light years ahead of what I thought it would be.
The Ducks did what I expected, which was a lot of elbowing and instigating and hitting for its own sake. And the Stars did what I hoped, which was to point out how stupid that strategy was by scoring goals while Ducks were in the penalty box.
The Stars scored four power-play goals. FOUR! You’d have thought, after the first period when the Stars scored two PP goals, the Ducks would try to clean up their act a little bit, but they jumped right into the second period with two more back-to-back penalties right on the heels of the one they were killing from the first period.
Things could have been even worse for the Ducks, penalty-wise. At the end of the first period, Todd Bertuzzi only got a roughing minor for crossing the rink to join a tussle that Boucher and Selanne were having, grabbing Bouche and slamming him to the ice. Not only should that have been an instigator penalty or even a “third man in” penalty and a game misconduct, I’m pretty sure it violates his parole. Surely he’s under some specific restriction against bouncing players’ heads off the ice.
Marty Turco was brilliant. The power play is getting the attention, but Turco got a shutout and it wasn’t as easy as it looked. There were several times when the puck was bouncing all over the place and all the players from both teams were within arm’s reach of Turco, yet he didn’t let the puck get by him.
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Dallas 1, Phoenix 2
What is it about the stinkin’ Phoenix Coyotes? They are not a good team, yet we can’t seem to beat them. Why is that?
Their forecheckers swarmed the Stars and kept them from establishing their own. The power play couldn’t get anything going. They just didn’t get any chances. The Coyotes worked harder and won more pucks, while the Stars seemed to spend all their time trying to get the puck back after it had been stolen from them.
Poor Bouche was hit hard on his first shift and sat on the bench wincing in pain, before leaving the game entirely. It appears to be his other shoulder; not the one that he just had surgically repaired. I just cannot imagine what I’d do if he was out again. I hope it’s nothing serious. I think I might have left up his picture too long and the fact that he’s in a suit might be bad karma. So I’m going to take it down for a while, see if that helps. Jinxes are sometimes hard to figure out.
Matt Niskanen joined the defense today for the first time since injuring his foot blocking a shot a few game ago. Nik Grossman was the odd man out, although I would have picked Norstrom. That’s probably why I’m not the coach. Nisky looked a little rusty, understandably, but he smoothed out as the game went on. He made a couple of really good plays keeping the puck in the zone or knocking it away from a Coyote who might have gotten a breakaway if he hadn’t.
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Posted in Brenden Morrow, Fun, Jeff Halpern, Jere Lehtinen, Marty Turco, Mattias Norstrom, Mike Modano, Mike Ribeiro, Niklas Hagman, Philippe Boucher, Sergei Zubov, Stu Barnes, Things I Love About Hockey, Toys, Trevor Daley on December 8, 2007|
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If you’re inclined, feel free to take a look at some of the pictures from the new Stars calendar.
They really don’t do the calendar justice, so mosey on over to the Dallas Stars Official Site and order one for yourself. Tell ’em the PK sent ya.
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