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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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Dallas 2, Edmonton 3 (SO)

I was listening to the postgame show on The Ticket and Bob and Dan were saying the same thing I was thinking. Everybody wants to say that the defense is too young and inexperienced, but the problems aren’t always on defense. The defense had a good game. Turco had a great game.

The forwards need to score some goals. This is a group that is built to be high-scoring, yet they’re stuck at 2 goals a game most nights. That puts pressure on the defense, whether they’re young or not.

The other thing that is really getting tiresome is the way they let teams get back in the game. They were up on the Oilers 2-0 most of the way through the 2nd period. They were still up 2-1 with just over three minutes left in the whole game, and let the Oilers score the tying goal.

I doubt there were many in the crowd that thought they’d get it back in the overtime or the shootout. Especially the shootout, of course.

I was at this game (I feel like I’ve been going to all the home games lately), and from my un-Ralphie-aided position, I thought the Stars looked good most of the game. The defense actually did pretty well, I thought.

Mark Fistric had a great game back on the blue line. He made a lot of hits and some fancy stick-checks and generally was on the ball the whole game. He had 8 hits and 5 blocked shots.

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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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I’m going to attribute it to the long off-season, but I am going to need more work to be able to follow what’s going on.

First, the Tampa Bay game last night, broadcast on Tampa radio (online) really shone a light on how out of shape I am. It’s hard to follow on radio as it is, for a TV girl like me, but it’s even harder when it’s a crazy stranger calling the play-by-play. I’m a big fan of Dan McDowell’s “Homer Call of the Week” bit on the Ticket, and the Tampa guy would be a perfect candidate. He just about blew out my computer speakers when Tampa scored and when Dallas did, he just said, “Score.”

Still, I was grateful for a chance to hear the game. It sounded like Brad Richards was really into it. He had a goal and a shootout goal, and I hear that he was all over the ice. Just the stories about him and how he’s 100% healthy and 100% on board with the new system make me assume that he’s just beaming all the time.

This could be very good for us. If Morrow and Ribeiro continue with their top-line-ness, and Brad and Loui are the 2-punch, it could be very good.

I’m listening to the game against the Avs on Denver radio and while the play-by-play guy is a little more normal, Peter McNabb is the color guy and he is not my favorite. Far from it, in fact. But, you take what you can get.

The score is not in our favor as I listen, but I can’t tell why that is. I’m easily distracted. He’s mentioned Beaudoin several times, and pronounces it differently each time.

I think I need a few more workouts, maybe a couple of play-by-play listening drills before I’m ready for the start of the season.

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In case you missed it on The Ticket today, you can hear all three segments over on DallasStars.com. It’s too bad we didn’t get to hear from him much this season. I’m looking forward to his radio show next year. When he’s on with the BaD Radio boys, he loosens up quite a bit.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

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Dallas 0, San Jose 1
Dallas 1, Chicago 3

BradG, in the comments section of Mike Heika’s post about Toby Petersen’s broken foot, explains it all:

The hockey gods called.

They said, “Even if we have to injure every single Dallas Star, you’re not making the playoffs this year.”

During the Chicago game, when the Stars were meandering around and not really doing much, Razor kept saying that they’re just not as good as the Blackhawks. I am not ready to debate that right now. I don’t like to think that that’s true, because I am used to the ‘Hawks being terrible. I see that they’re not terrible any more. I see that they’re legitimate this season.

But I’m not ready to say that we’re not as good as they are.

Now, the Sharks? We might not be as good as they are.

We are limping along with a team made up mostly of recently ex-AHL players. Bob Sturm was making this point on BaD Radio today, and I think it’s a good one. These are pretty good players, most have the potential to be great, but half the team was in the minors this season or last season. Several were in the minors a month ago.

Now that Petersen is injured, we’re really low on centers. I guess it’s a good thing our centers are the ones being injured, because we have a lot of them. But even with our big pile, we’re running out.

I took my friend Chris (in Allen) to the Chicago game and we had a great time (except for the score). I have a hard time seeing what’s really going on in a game I’m seeing live. (more…)

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Dallas 4, Edmonton 2

I used to be much more observant that I seem to be lately. I didn’t even realize until I read it in Richard Durrett’s post on Heika’s blog this morning that Steve Ott was wearing an “A” on his sweater.

Ott said he came in and it was [sewn] on his jersey.

“It’s a big honor to wear a letter for your team and I am very proud to have that ‘A’ on my chest,” said Ott

I got an immediate mental picture of Ott in the dressing room, clutching his jersey to his chest as his eyes well up with tears.

Ott has a chance to wear the “A” as an alternate captain because Brad Richards can’t do it for a while. In hockey, the “A” is pretty important, especially to a guy like Ott who is working hard to be a leader on the team in the absence of Brenden Morrow and Sergei Zubov and now Richards.

To me, this is just more of Dave Tippett’s genius. Tipp knows what works for each of his players. This season he has uncharacteristically called out Richards a couple of times in post-game interviews and Brad responded by going on scoring streaks.

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