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Archive for the ‘Pre-Game’ Category

I’d like to apologize to my throngs of readers for being so lackadaisical (or lax-adaisical, as Razor says) about posting recaps of the games. With Twitter and IPB and emailing all through all the games, I pretty much run out of things to say about them.

So I thought I’d get some of my thoughts down before the game started and see if they relate in any way to what really ends up happening. People do previews all across the hockey blogosphere, so it can’t be too hard, right?

Up to now, the Stars are 1-0-2 in their first three games. They haven’t lost outright yet, but they’ve only won once. The thing is, they seem to be playing really well. They looked good in all three games. The famous “new system” must really be working because they’ve been in control of most of the games.

It’s hard for me to understand systems unless Razor spells it out for me, but I think I’m starting to see what they mean by bringing the defensemen in and having a forward cover for him. Razor showed some of it before the Oilers game, but Brenden Morrow, in his weekly visit with BaD Radio on The Ticket, really described it well. I think I can watch for it now.

It sounds like the defensemen can come in and the forwards can cover for them, it’s more like a rotation of all five, not just the forwards up by the nets and the defensemen at the blueline. It’s whoever can get the puck, goes for it and the nearest guy rotates up to cover for him.

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Stanley Cup 2009

The Stanley Cup is probably the most revered trophy in sports. It’s the most difficult to win, and it’s the ultimate dream of every kid that ever played hockey in his driveway. And every kid that ever played hockey in his driveway was playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

That’s what we have tonight. It’s the pinnacle of the entire hockey season. The Stanley Cup is the reason the National Hockey League even exists and it will be awarded tonight. There’s no tomorrow.

Go Pens!

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This losing streak is crazy. There’s no way they don’t get any more wins before the end of the season, but somehow I can’t picture it. I have forgotten what it’s like when they win. I’ve really forgotten what it’s like to expect them to win.

They get a bunch of great saves, lose 1-0. Get a bunch of great goals, lose 6-5.

They lose a guy a game. They barely have enough players to dress. The two kids they brought up, Jancevski and Stafford, had to be taken out of their playoffs.

I’m kind of looking forward to the summer. See who we get in the draft, with our shiny first-round pick. Maybe I should start reading up on who is available.

Tonight, against the Kings, I’m looking for small victories. We aren’t going to make the playoffs, but a rare win against the Kings would be nice. After all that good we did by beating Detroit 3 out of 4 times, we kind of wasted it by losing to everybody else.

Come on, boys. Let’s win one for Tipp.

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Drop the puck already!

Drop the puck already!

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

There’s nothing, really, that we can do now about this nightmare of a season, so my plan for the last nine games is to enjoy watching them, no matter what.

I’m going to pretend it’s early October and none of these games will have any bearing on whether we make the playoffs. I’m going to enjoy watching the boys skate and compete and just play hockey in general, because it’s almost over. In July I’ll be wishing for any hockey, good or bad.

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So let’s get some games going, for Pete’s sake.

This has been a long week. A long time to stew about what’s been going on. A long time to read articles and blog posts that lump our little Otter with the despicable Avery. Avery and Ott this. Avery and Ott that. It’s annoying.

But I’m learning to live with it. I still think that Otter, on his own, was already giving us all that Avery supposedly can give us. Now they’re competing to see who can get suspended first.

Otter may have been offended by Modano’s comments. Modano supposedly was talking just about the sparring with the fans and the refs, not the concept of agitating in general.

They’ve had time to work that all out now, during this painfully long week.

This five-day break could be just what the Stars need. They have had the last two games to seethe over for a while, then move past, then try to lighten up, and then try to tighten up. (See what I did there?)

When the game starts tomorrow night, a lot of things will be different. Our beloved Sergei Zubov will finally return. He has yet to play this season, but all indications are that he is fully up and running. He’ll bring several things with him: some calm, some fun, some smarts, and some confidence.

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My prediction for the season.

My prediction for the season.

There’s no backing out now, the ride is about to start.

Here are some suggestions for the Dallas Stars for this season:

  • Don’t presume you’ll get as far as you got last year. It takes the same amount of work.
  • Pretend all the “experts” think you’re going to miss the playoffs like they did last year.
  • Have fun, don’t panic, win games.

Now let’s play some hockey.

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The only thing I’m really feeling about this upcoming Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings is that I want it to get going. I can’t decide if I’m nervous or scared or confident or delusional.

There is plenty of analysis of the series around the internet and I’m sure they all make good points, but you can pretty much tell if they’ve just been reading the Stars’ box scores or actually watching their games. Most pick the Red Wings, but not all, so I’m not the only one that can’t tell how it’s going to go.

jamestobrien has a great post outlining everything over at The Battle of California. And, of course, you can never go wrong with Andrew’s Stars Page.

Those guys actually watch the Stars play.

As I’ve said many times, I don’t make predictions. I’m too superstitious, and I know how mean I am to people who make serious, earnest predictions that don’t come true and I don’t want to have to listen to that kind of thing myself.

I will say, though, that I’m not as afraid of the Wings as I was at the beginning of the playoffs and in the regular season. During the season I just found those games on the calendar and marked them as losses before they were even played. And during the first round, my second-most fervent wish for that round was for Detroit to be eliminated so we wouldn’t have to meet them.

But now, two six-game playoff series later, after dispatching the defending Stanley Cup champ Anaheim Ducks, and then kicking out the hugely favored San Jose Sharks fairly handily, I’m not so sure about that any more.

The Stars are just sloppin’ over with confidence, as Daffy Duck would say. It doesn’t seem to be the kind of confidence that gets you stunned by the opposition. I seems to be the kind of confidence you get from actually being a good team, from seeing what the other team is bringing and then turning them back.

They’re starting to convince me.

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