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Archive for the ‘Pre-Season’ Category

I think this bodes well for Robidas' season.

Just like Razor says that it’s preseason for the broadcasts, too, it’s also preseason for us fans.

As a newbie season-ticket-holder, I have some decisions to make and some ideas to try out before I settle in for the season. Last night’s game against the Avs was my first chance to do some tests.

I have a permanent place to sit. A couple of season ago, I had a ten-game package with Myra and company, so I kind of know what it’s like, but this is FORTY-ONE games. Not ten. So I was anxious to see what I was going like and dislike about the location.

First of all, what kind of purse should I carry, if any? I don’t want to carry a purse at all, but I have too much stuff for my pockets. My car key fob, credit card, driver’s license, phone. And when I do carry them in my pockets, I tend to drop stuff when I try to take other stuff out of my pocket. Also, I panic repeatedly when I forget I didn’t bring my purse. But my regular purse is a mess. It has a bunch of stuff I don’t need and it just gets in the way. Last night I tried a new cross-body purse that’s pretty small and hands-free as a kind of compromise. It will take some getting used to, wearing my purse like that. Not sure if it’s much better than just pockets — I somehow dropped my debit card and lost it. Dumb purse. I’ll have to keep working on that one.

The view from my seat is great. It’s right in the corner, on the first row of an upper section. The glass on the balcony doesn’t bother me at all. There seem to be some characters in the vicinity, but nothing I can’t handle yet. It was just the first preseason game, so I’m only guessing that these are other STHs like me.

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Brad

I guess it’s time to update my category list and move a bunch of players around. And coaches, too! Don’t forget coaches.

First of all, I’d like to say that I was shocked and saddened by the news of the plane crash carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv. I was already going to miss Karlis Skrastins and now I get all teary whenever he’s mentioned. It’s very sad. I really liked him while he was playing with the Stars. He was underappreciated, I thought. I’m a big fan of responsible, dedicated, unsung but important defensemen. They’re getting fewer and fewer these days. The defensemen that really should be forwards get all the press these days, but those like Skrastins are the ones that get the job done. From all accounts he was the nicest guy in the world and we’re going to miss him. We were going to miss him anyway.

On to less serious topics.

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After hearing about the exciting adventures Katebits and Heather B. had recently, I started to think maybe I should re-dedicate myself to some blogging.

Also, coincidentally, the season is about to start up. I’m finally starting to get really excited about it. I’ll be picking up the pace here pretty soon.

In the meantime, check out Top Shelf Cookies and The Willful Caboose to see what Heather B. and Katebits got to do. I can’t even comprehend the excitement and fear they must have been feeling. It must have been unbelievable.

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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.

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Cedar Park Center

I took a rare hockey road trip this week and took in the Battle of the Stars game Wednesday night with my sainted mom and dad.

We drove from their tiny little town over to Cedar Park, TX, to check out the new Texas Stars arena and the future Dallas Stars. (We might have also checked out a few new housing developments we saw along the way. We’re notorious house-hunters.)

For dinner, we picked a random burger place because we didn’t want to stray too far from the arena once we found it. It turned out to be some of the best burgers we’ve had in a while. If you’re ever in Cedar Park, you should try Moonie’s Burger House. The homemade hamburger buns alone are worth the trip.

The game was fun. There were the regular Stars we all know and love, and then on the opposite end of the rink were all the kids from training camp that we’ve been hearing so much about. Both sides looked in good shape.

The 5-1 score looks more lopsided than it really was. The Texas Stars had some good play on defense and they had a few good chances on Turco. Alex Auld started in goal for the kids, but they switched the goalies out in favor of Climie and Krahn at the halfway point or so.

When the Dallas Stars scored, they played the goal song and there was some reasonable cheering. I got the impression there were mostly Dallas fans in the arena. But when the Texas Stars got their goal, the place went NUTS! So it seems there’s a good start on a fanbase for the AHL team.

My parents had a good time at the game. They enjoy a good sporting event in general, but I think I might be wearing them down on hockey in particular. About five minutes into the game, after a ref got crunched against the boards, my dad said, “I think if I were one of those referees, I’d want a stick, too.”

It was a fun game to watch and the perfect tune-up to get ready for Saturday night’s game. I’m ready now. Nervous, still, but ready.

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It’s just the pre-season. It’s just the pre-season. It’s just the pre-season.

Last night’s 5-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues did not sound good. Ralph and Razor finally did the broadcast on The Ticket for the first time, so that part sounded good. But the game was awful.

Five goals on 19 shots is a lot for Marty Turco to give up, but I don’t know if they were his fault or not. It sounded like everybody on the Dallas side of the ice had no idea what was going on. I get that they are learning a new system and it takes a lot of skating and it’s not fully internalized yet, but I’m still worried.

I’m not convinced that when they do learn the system and it finally becomes second nature, that it’s really going to be much better. I only know Marc Crawford on reputation and it’s not necessarily a good one. He is not famous for having winning systems.

For some reason, everybody assumes that once his system is in place, the wins will start rolling in. I’m not really ready to assume that. If they get to the point where everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing, but they’re still losing, I doubt Crawford will say, “Yeah, that’s the system. It just doesn’t seem to work.”

I’m worried. I admit it.

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Mike Heika talked to Marc Crawford after Tuesday’s game about the “spotty” play of the Stars.

“We are going to correct the things we can and go back and reinforce the system’s strong points of play, but we are also going to demonstrate some patience as well. It’s going to take a constant reinforcement to get it.”

I think this is a good plan, this demonstrating some patience, but I don’t know if we’ll really see that when the games start counting.

The Dallas Stars got such a terrible start last season that they’re determined this one will be good. But if they’re still trying to learn the system and trust their own creativity and end up losing some extra games, I wonder if the coaching staff will bail on the whole patience thing and just play the half of the team that is already getting it.

I don’t think it will behoove guys like Fabian Brunnstrom to lose playing time because he might make a mistake. Or if he isn’t scoring like crazy in the first few games.

The same goes for the young defensemen like Niskanen and Fistric. Really all of the defensemen are going to need some patience.

Of course, I can’t see any of this new system yet, or how well anybody is playing it. I’m just going by what Mike Heika says, essentially. It just sounds, from the quotes I’ve been reading, that it’s pretty different from what our veterans are used to.

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