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Archive for the ‘Mike Modano’ Category

Follow Modano

Awwww.

Our beloved Mike Modano finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. If it weren’t for the fact that his wife, Willa Ford, was the one that told us, I’d be skeptical. Apparently it’s legit, though. Unless she’s pranking us all.

You really should follow him, for obvious reasons — he’s Mike Modano, for Pete’s sake. But the real fun comes when you follow Willa Ford, too. They like to trash-talk each other and it’s funny.

She gave him a hard time when somebody corrected his using “there” instead of “they’re” (it wasn’t me!).

Cute couple!

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In Monday night’s game against the Kings, the thing I noticed the most was that the Stars had the puck most of the time.

It wasn’t easy, though, they had to fight for it, and catch it at the blue line, and pass it between forests of skates to keep possession of it. They spent an entire power play in the offensive zone at one point. I thought they might have to clear it themselves so they could get a change.

I probably should have been, but when the Kings scored first, I wasn’t nervous. I thought they were playing so well and spending so much time in the attacking zone that it was just a matter of squeaking a couple through.

I also wasn’t afraid that Kari would melt down or be otherwise fazed by giving up the first goal after all the work the skaters had done at the other end. He is really doing a bang-up job.

There’s still a long way to go before anybody gets any crowns, but it’s getting very exciting. I commend Joe Nieuwendyk for what he’s done so far. I know I was skeptical of his plan, but he seems to know what he’s doing after all. It appears that letting Modano and Turco go was really one of the biggest keys in this surprising (so far) season.

I am still a big fan of Marty Turco as a Star and a person, but it seems the two biggest pluses to this season hinged on letting him go. He’s (a) no longer running or splitting the room, letting Morrow get hold of it and giving the young guys some space to step up, and (b) no longer in the net. It’s pretty apparent that his window closed a couple of years ago and it doesn’t look like it’s going to open back up again this late in his career.

If Kari Lehtonen is playing like he will be playing until he’s 30, this could be really good for a while.

I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s hard not to. Not only is the net covered, but basically all four lines are covered. Guys like James Neal and Mike Ribeiro suffered through some slumps and came out of them. Now everybody seems to be scoring. Even in a game like this one against the Kings, where the score was only 2-1, it still felt like everybody scored.

And hmm, the defense seems to be doing fine. I’m stunned. (Not really. I thought they would be fine. It’s the “experts” who predicted they’d be the Keystone Kops all season.)

I’m not willing to trade anybody good for a disgruntled defenseman, and I don’t want one that doesn’t cost somebody good. I sure don’t want to pick up somebody like Souray off the scrap-heap. I’m willing to take this exact team all the way to the end.

Anyway, I digress. The point is, Woo hoo! The Stars are actually good!

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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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Dallas 4, Detroit 1

The Stars won again. Let’s see: they won their first game, against the Devils. Then the next night they beat the Islanders. Now here it is four days later and damned if they didn’t beat the Hated Red Wings.

How can that be?

The Stars have won three game in a row — something they failed to do all year last year. It’s so, so, so, so early, but that fact makes this one a better team than last year’s right there.

My lovely sister (in Keller) went to the home opener with me tonight and I’m glad we went. I was not sure I was going to enjoy it, what with Modano showing up wearing somebody else’s sweater. Not to mention all the Wings fans. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. The few Wings fans that were near us were very polite. I guess it was hard for even a Wings fan to be too pushy with that score.

The opening montage was probably the best one I’ve ever seen. It was well made and very creative and just generally great. All those shots of the players in street clothes tells me they might finally be getting it. I’m seeing some signs that this is going to be a good year for the multi-media on DallasStars.com.

It’d be nice if the boys could win at least one more in a row, because I’m having company at the next one. Don’t make me look bad, Stars!

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It’s been hard picturing what Stars Hockey is going to be like this season.

There are so many changes (and a few non-changes) that make the picture murky. I’ve been a Stars fan since about 1998 and Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen have always been there. Up until a couple of seasons ago, the Stars have mostly always been in the playoffs.

Over the years there have been plenty of peripheral players that came and went. I really liked some of them and wondered what we’d do without them. Then I forgot about them when the next season started. Others I can barely remember. And there are some, like Nik Hagman, that I miss terribly.

I still miss Philippe Boucher, even more so because he’s nowhere to be found. I can’t even watch him play on some other team.

I miss Sergei Zubov terribly, too, and I can’t watch him play anywhere, either.

Now I’ll miss Mike Modano terribly and [I’ll have to pretend] I can’t watch him on his new team. I’ll miss Marty Turco, too. I like the Chicago Blackhawks, so I think I can watch him on his new team. I really like their defensemen, so I am anxious to see what they think about a goalie that can pass as well as any d-man.

(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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A lot will be said over the next few days (maybe weeks) about Mike Modano and what he’s done for the Dallas Stars and what life will be like now that he doesn’t play for the Stars any more. What life will be like for the Stars, for Mike and not least, for us Stars fans.

This is a big day. A sad day.

Most of what will be said will be better than I can say it, but there will be plenty said by people in town that have no idea what it’s all about.

I may just update this one post with new things as the day goes on.

First of all, Mike Heika reminds us of this video retrospective. It made me misty when I saw it after the last game of the season, but today the tears are flowing.


(I did not write that title.)

• Richard Durrett got Brad Richards’ and Steve Ott’s reactions.

• Last night I happened to check the Stars site and found some great photo galleries from behind the scenes of the last two games of Mike’s Stars career. The pictures are all by Trey Hill, who I hope somehow becomes the Stars’ official photographer from now on. If he did our roster photos for next season, we’d be the envy of all NHL fans.

Mike Heika with Mike’s reaction. I hear he’ll have a press conference tomorrow morning, so we’ll be able to hear more. (I’m sure I won’t be able to hold back the tears then, either.) (You know, this is why I switched from movies to sports, so I wouldn’t have to cry all the time. It’s not really working out that well.)

When asked about his fit on the Stars, he said he wasn’t happy last season.

“No, but who on the team was,” he asked rhetorically. “It wasn’t a good season, it didn’t come together very easily. I just think you have to put that in the past and move on.”

• Here’s some more reaction, again courtesy of Mike Heika.

• Brad Gardner over at Defending Big D has a good take on the situation.

As badly as I want to admonish the Stars, I can find no fault with this hockey decision. As much as I want to beg Mike Modano to ride off into the sunset, you can’t deny that fire in him that wants to play. This situation is a “lose-lose” if ever there was one.

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