Archive for the ‘Winning’ Category

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!


Read Full Post »

Claw! Antlers!

Congratulations to the Texas Rangers for winning the American League Pennant! What a great bunch of guys, from the new owners to the GM to the manager to the coaches to the pitchers to the hitters to the fielders to the bench to the trainers and everybody else.

The Rangers have been helping me through the Stars’ off-seasons for a while now. My attention has waxed and waned, I admit, but I’ve been locked in this summer and it’s been a very exciting one.

I hope the Stars can gain some inspiration from what their former co-workers in the Hicks conglomerate have done.

Go Rangers! Good luck in the World Series — we know you can do it!

Read Full Post »

Dallas 8 (!), San Jose 2

That was a fun game to see in person. I was looking for something to cheer me up today and that pretty much did it.

The Stars beat the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks, 8 to 2. Eight to two! I have to say, I did not see that coming.

Just a few disjointed points I’d like to make about the game:
• That Brandon Segal is a keeper. He’s got 5 goals, 2 assists for 7 points in 7 games with the Stars. Good on Joe Nieuwendyk for picking him up off waivers from Los Angeles. He called in to the post-game show and sounded like a cool guy.
• Two short-handed goals in the same game is something impressive.
• Mike Ribeiro is a man on fire. He is just going crazy since he came back from that scary injury. He’s got six goals in ten games since he came back.
• Brenden Morrow hasn’t been able to buy a goal lately, but he got two tonight.
• I haven’t seen the replay of Robidas’ hit that got him kicked out of the game, but it didn’t seem that bad at the time. I have no idea why the refs thought it was that serious. I’ll have to check it out when I watch the game on TiVo.
• Brad Richards had three points in the game.
• Poor Mike Modano had to miss the game (and several upcoming games) because he had an emergency appendectomy. What is going on? Is appendicitis contagious? I sincerely hope he makes it back for a few games before the end of the season. And I hope he returns next season. He’s still got plenty to offer.
• Judging from just this game, Kari Lehtonen seems like a pretty good goalie. I can only hope that it is a good indication of what he really is. He made some great saves and I think it gave the defensemen and the forwards some confidence. I think that’s a lot of what they’ve needed all this time.

It’s too late for this game to mean anything, but it was nice to see. That’s all I’m looking for these days, just an enjoyable game.

Missing the playoffs two seasons in a row is no fun, but watching your team play hockey, no matter what, IS fun. I will continue to whine and complain about how things are going, but these are still the Stars. It’s the team I love, filled with players I love, so they’re not going to be able to get rid of me.

Read Full Post »

The players look like little ants.

The new video boards are beautiful. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dallas 2, Vancouver 1

That was much better. The Stars really do seem to dominate the play for long stretches and they had 47 shots on goal so they should have won. This time they did.

I saw this game in person, in my quasi-season-ticket-holder seat next to Myra and family. It’s so fun to sit with somebody that’s also a little obsessed with the Stars. We usually agree that they’re awesome. Heh.

I have to say, those video boards seem more and more impressive every time I see them. Before the game and before the skate-around, they showed a slideshow on that huge screen of some very cool shots. Pictures I hadn’t ever seen before, from the dressing room, from promos, from games. Still, the boards don’t distract me from the game. In the old days (before this season), I would actually forget to look at the video for replays. I’d just figure, when I get home I need to watch for that play. But now I don’t forget about the video.

And as you can see in the picture, it looks really cool during the anthem. Last night’s anthem was unusually moving. Bill Ollerman called for a moment of silence for the victims of the tragedy at Ft. Hood, then a cellist played the lovely Canadian national anthem and then the Star-Spangled Banner. Quite a lot of people were singing it out loud, which is unusual. It was very nice.

The game was great. The last ten minutes were very exciting and highly nerve-wracking. The crowd cheered every clear during the penalty kills and stood for the whole final minute and a half while the Canucks’ net was empty and the Stars were fending off some desperation from them.

It was a great win. I think the wheels are starting to turn, the engine is picking up a little steam. I hope they’re about to knock out a few wins in a row.

Read Full Post »

Wayne Gretzky finally did the Phoenix Coyotes a favor and stepped down from all his duties, most importantly his coaching duties. I know I’m not supposed to say anything bad about Wayne Gretzky, but he was a terrible coach. In his four years there, despite lots of high draft picks and plenty of young talent and the occasional overpayment for a veteran, he never got them into the playoffs. Yet despite that fact, he was never going to be fired. The whole Coyotes front office was stocked with his pals, and even if it weren’t, nobody would have ever fired him.

So he did them a favor by taking it out of their hands.

To replace him, the Coyotes tapped our beloved Dave Tippett to coach the team. Tipp will bring some actual coaching to the team and instill some discipline, some hard work, some commitment, and…well, a system.

Tipp is a great coach. He can whip that team into shape in no time. I think we’ll see right away the glaring difference between a team with the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, behind the bench, and a team that’s being coached by an actual coach.


Read Full Post »

Empty Netters is the best.

Okay, now I’m done.

Read Full Post »

You go and do something like this…

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

And TOTALLY REDEEM yourself!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »