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Archive for the ‘Losing’ Category

Linchpin.

I never would have guessed it, but it seems the key to the Dallas Stars’ success these days is Adam Burish. Sure, it’s nice to have Brad Richards back, and Jamie Benn has been out of this world, but when Burish is in, they win, and when he’s out, they lose.

Burish was injured on February 3rd against Boston and was out for eight games. In those eight games, the Stars went 1-6-1.

He came back on February 24th against Detroit for eight games and in those the Stars went 6-0-2.

Now that he’s out again, in the two games since he was hurt, the Stars are 0-2-0.

There is something that he brings that I can’t pin down from my remote perch, but it’s definitely something. And the Stars miss it when it’s gone.

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Stars 1, Canucks 7

That game was not good.

The Canucks worked the dive to their advantage and the Stars refused to dive, to their disadvantage. But that’s not why they got their heads handed to them.

A save would have helped. Even just a couple of penalty kills would have helped. Maybe a power play goal would have helped.

I was letting the previous game against the Flames kind of roll off my back since I didn’t have to watch it with my own eyes. And since they’ve been on such a run of wins, I couldn’t just dive into negativity after one loss, no matter how humiliating. But two in a row makes it hard to keep a brave face.

I’m going to try, though.

It’s not the end of the world yet. Two horrible games in a row could be a chance for the Stars to remember that it’s not going to be easy. They aren’t great yet. They’ve been pretty good, but they are going to have to work really hard to keep it up for the rest of the way.

The goalies, both Lehtonen and Raycroft, have been propping up the rest of the team for a little while. It’s probably going to be helpful that they get a good look at what the skaters need to work on.

Of course, that’s presuming that both goalies snap out of it right away. Even if other issues are improved, we’ll still need the great goaltending we’ve been having up until now.

And nothing had better be wrong with Jamie Benn. Forget all that other stuff. Nothing had better be wrong with Jamie Benn.

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This has been a very long year for me. I was stressing over the job situation and various other stuff all year, and the fact that the Stars missed the playoffs for the second year in a row just dragged me down further.

So, in an effort to keep from going crazy, I decided to brace myself for the ’10-’11 season and try to be okay with things going poorly. I went ahead and assumed that it wasn’t going to be a good year, that things weren’t going to change much overnight.

There have been some big changes, of course. Our beloved Mike Modano is gone now. I’m not sure what happened to him, but I hope he’s happy. Our once-beloved-but-lately-maligned Marty Turco is gone now. He went to play for the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks (a much easier story to swallow). I admit I haven’t been keeping up with how that’s going, but I hope he’s doing fine. (Blackhawk fans, it might take a while for the defensemen to get used to his puck-handling. Be patient. [Not that there might not be other troubles.].) And our beloved Jere Lehtinen is kind of forgotten but not gone. If I’m not mistaken, he’s still “thinking about it.”

There has been one big lack of a change – at coach – that bothers me a little. Not that I expected there would be a change, but I don’t expect any kind of championship run until there is. If even then.

I say all this to say that I’m okay with how things are going. The hot start was what I didn’t expect. I’m kind of glad it didn’t last long enough for me to get my hopes up too far. I’m calm. I can live with mediocrity this year because I prepared for it.

(more…)

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Why? WHY?! Why, of all teams, did you pick the Red Wings?

Are you trying to drive us crazy? You couldn’t go to the Kings? Or the Sharks or something? Ack!

Yes, that’s right. Our beloved Mike Modano has rubbed salt in our wounds by signing with the hated Red Wings. Sure, that’s his prerogative. Sure, he’ll have a dumb ol’ great time and probably get back to the stupid playoffs and look all great with those overrated Wings players everybody’s always raving about. But, but…it’s…it’s the WINGS. What the hell?!

I’m happy Mike found a place to land. I’ll be happy when he has fun and plays well and enjoys his likely last season on the ice. I want him to have a great season and score lots of goals and show another team up close what a great skater he is. And while all that’s going on, I still want the Wings to lose every game they play.

I’ve been on a streak of seeing the home opener in person for several years now. Also, I swore the last time I went to a game against Detroit that I’d never do it again. Then the schedule came out and, naturally, the home opener is against Detroit. What should I do? Which vow should I break? I still haven’t decided. And now that Modano is going to be skating around the AAC in one of those garish red-and-pink jerseys, with the sweat showing through his hideous red breezers, I don’t know what I’ll do. It’s a good reason to go and to not go.

I guess I’ll go. Hmfph.

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No more No. 9.

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Dallas 3, Colorado 5

They played a pretty good game. Had a lot of shots. Didn’t give up many shots. Yet the opposition still scored five goals.

Five goals a game. That’s the theme of this whole season.

I just have two questions:

1. Why was Sutherby scratched in favor of Barch?
2. Why did Mike Modano only get 8 minutes when he was doing so well in the first?

My guess? Crawford doesn’t know what he’s doing.

There was no way that the Stars were suddenly going to win a bunch of games in a row so it’s really silly to even contemplate it. The surprise was right before the Olympics when they were only one point out of the 8th spot in the standings. That fact was not an indication of the situation. Then, coming off the Olympic break, they went back to not surprising us.

I’m not looking forward to the day Turco moves on, but I am kind of looking forward to it. I know that sounds wrong but that’s the way it is. The problem is that I don’t know what we have with Lehtonen, but I don’t see Turco straightening out.

I think we’ll be a mediocre team while Crawford is leading it. I’m gonna go watch the Coyotes.

Wait. One more thing. Jamie Benn had a great game. And so did the new kid, Brandon Segal. I’m sure Segal will be healthy scratched next game.

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I’m listening to Marc Crawford on BaD Radio and after this and Mike Heika’s article on his current positive attitude, I think I have a way to explain it.

He thinks he has a bad team. He thinks the players aren’t very good so why get upset when they fail? “They’re trying hard,” he said. It’s not that they’re not trying, they’re just not as good as teams like Pittsburgh and St. Louis and Los Angeles.

He has no intention of adapting The System or figuring out how to win the game in front of them, even though the rest of the league can see them coming from a mile away.

He’s just biding his time until he gets a team that can win a Stanley Cup in spite of him, like he had in Colorado, 14 years ago.

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