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Archive for the ‘Mike Smith’ 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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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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At least. He won’t just be their third defenseman. He might be their first defenseman.

The Lightning have signed Mike Smith to a two-year extension. I think he’s the only non-forward they have so far. It seems like they’ve signed nothing but forwards since the new owners took over.

Congratulations to Smitty. I think he can help them with their goaltending, but I don’t think he can help them with their lack of players on defense.

I do think Lightning fans are going to love the kid. He’s funny and cute and he’s got great hair. He’s going to be a great goalie. If Barry Melrose (still can’t believe that) can coach a puck-handler like Smitty, they’ll be good. It’s an adjustment for defensemen to deal with a goalie that can pass to them. He’s not just going to stop it for them behind the net. There will be times when they’ll need to be ready for him to pass it to them and not just head for the net to get the puck.

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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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As I have mentioned before, I watch a fun show on HDNet called Inside the NHL, where the annoying Dan Moriarty interviews lots of players and they show highlights and features and such. I like to complain about the MSM ignoring the Dallas Stars all the time, but the last three or four episodes of the show have just been slopping over with Stars features. Here are some of the latest ones.

Philippe Boucher was mic’d up for his first game back after his (first) shoulder injury. It happened to be Brad Richards’ first game, too, so he was a little overshadowed.  But Bouche telling Marty, “You’re the man!” is so adorable, it makes up for it.

I’ve been suggesting they mic up all the players in a game and then cut it all together for an hour show you could buy on a DVD.   I’m telling the wrong people, I guess, because I don’t see it happening.  But this show’s version is a good start.

Mike Smith was interviewed next to the Lightning’s bus that was waiting for him, and Moriarty had to stand on a crate to talk to him.

Jeff Halpern did his interview right after that and they had to edit out the part where Halpie is yelled at to get on the bus.

Brenden Morrow shows us his new house and his adorable little daughter.

Stu Barnes meets Moriarty outside the dressing room after the game where he’s mic’d up.

Matt Niskanen is introduced as Matt “Neeeskinen” for his interview.

Mike Ribeiro reminds Moriarty that his old team had more banners than Detroit so he’s not that impressed. (Hee!)

Nik Hagman disses Jere’s musical tastes.

Jere Lehtinen defends his musical tastes.

Enjoy!

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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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