Game Review – 10/10/08 (DAL vs CBJ)

by Chelsea

Pre-Game:

Last night, we hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets for Opening Night at the AAC. A sold-out crowd of 18,000+ gathered to watch the Stars kick off their 2008-2009 season.

It started on a reminiscent note that I think we’ll be hearing all season by bringing back 3 Stars to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the move to Dallas: Neal Broten, Shane Churla, and Andy Moog. Each were introduced and came out onto the ice, eliciting cheers from the fans. Afterwards, a 15-year-old hockey player from Dallas was brought out to to a photo-op with the 3 ex-Stars. It was a nice moment.

After they’d removed the mats used for that segment, it was time to introduce our Dallas Stars. They were brought out in numerical order, minus Mike Modano and Brenden Morrow. The crowd went nuts, particularly for goaltender Marty Turco. Back-up goaltender Tobias Stephan had a minor flop-isode, but recovered nicely. After the rest had been called out, cheered for, and lined up, Modano and Morrow were introduced, to MUCH enthusiasm from the fans.

The usual “stripes and bright STARS!” stuff took place, and then it was time for hockey!


Game:

We were sitting in the lower bowl, in the corner behind the Columbus net. There was a lot of back-and-forth between the two teams, leading to seven minutes of uninterrupted hockey. That was broken up by a couple of penalties (and unproductive power plays). Finally, with only 5 minutes left in the 1st, Jakub Voracek (CBJ) ripped a shot in past Turco. The goal had to be reviewed, but the officials sided with the Blue Jackets, and we lost the first goal of the season to Columbus.

Only a moment later, Krys Barch (DAL) rewarded the newly-disappointed crowd with a long fight sided heavily in his favor. He took on Jared Boll with a special Barch-like finesse that included spinning him around, slamming him against the boards, knocking his helmet off, and delivering a number of good blows straight to the head. Both got 5 minutes for fighting, but Boll also got 2 for roughing, putting us on a power play.

Regardless, the 1st period ended 1-0 Blue Jackets.

During intermission, we were introduced to a “Finnish or Gibberish” spin-off called “Is It Swedish?”. A contestant had to figure out if the player was speaking in Swedish or gibberish. The player tonight was Fabian Brunnstrom, who (according to Google), said something along the lines of “Vill du gå med i vår Bikini team” The contestant guessed that it was Swedish, and won a nice prize. Brunnstrom went on to tell us all that he’d said, “Would you like to join our Bikini Team?”. Silly Swedes.

Then we went to get nachos. Those delicious $8 takes-two-hands nachos. Mm, foreshadowing.

So the 2nd period started. I spent the first 15 seconds trying to figure out why we spent the first period getting outshot 4 to 10. Then Morrow got a hooking penalty and I spent the next few minutes mildly annoyed at that.

However, it wasn’t long before the Stars got, and capitalized on, a wonderful opportunity. With Blue Jackets Fedor Tyutin and Mike Commodore penalized for hi-sticking and hooking, respectively, only 20 seconds from each other, we had our first 5-on-3 advantage. Mike Riberio and Stephane Robidas produced a nice play that sent the puck straight to Morrow, who popped it in past LeClaire. We all hopped up, screaming and cheering, and the man in front of me almost had nachos in his hair.

There was a flurry of penalties, including a misconduct and game misconduct on Michael Peca (CBJ) and another on Tyutin (CBJ), this time for tripping.

Only a few minutes later, Robidas set up another nice play, sending a gorgeous pass straight to James Neal, who, at 8:04 in the second period of his first career game, got his first career goal. It was a beautiful goal, perfectly deflected past the netminder.

The 2nd period ended in another burst of penalties, this time an interference on Philippe Boucher and a hooking on Joel Lundqvist.

2nd period intermission involved a bunch of guys dressed up as beer bottles running around and falling over on the ice.

3rd period started, and almost ended, as an absolute mess. In the first 7 minutes, Blue Jackets Kristian Huselius, Andrew Murray, and Derick Brassard each nabbed an EV goal. (Some credit here to Steve Ott, who wiped out himself and Robidas, making way for the Huselius goal). We’d gone from having a 2-1 lead to facing a 2-4 deficit. Somewhere in this mess, a Blue Jacket saw fit to lay on top of Modano and rough him around a bit, getting no penalty but some very angry booing from the crowds.

After Columbus gave us two more powerplays that we failed to score on, up in the stands, we were bringing back “Believe”. Ignoring the fact that, at this point we had 4 minutes to score twice, we were doing our best to ooze with blind faith for our Dallas Stars.

We were soon rewarded for our conviction, when at 16:42 in the third, Brad Richards (finally) scored a goal, getting Lundqvist an assist and Robidas his third assist of the night. With the crowd still on their feet, Trevor Daley tied the game at 17:15 with a wicked slapshot from the line that whizzed past a Morrow-screened Leclaire.

The game went into a very tense overtime. Nobody in the crowd sat down. The collective breath was held. Unfortunately, with 20 seconds left, Rick Nash slipped the puck past Turco for a disappointing Columbus win.


Notes:

  • Since it was an OT loss, the Stars still earned a point for their efforts.
  • The game stars were (in order): Pascal Leclaire (CBJ), Stephane Robidas (DAL), Rick Nash (CBJ)
  • Despite having played nearly half of the game (28 minutes), Robidas still ended the game with a +/- of 0. He also led the team in points, with 3 assists.
  • James Neal played in his first NHL game, and scored his first NHL goal. He also registered 4 hits, and Dave Tippett said he was possibly the best player out there last night.
  • Marty Turco ended the game with a Sv% of only .815, and a hefty 4.62 GAA.
  • Matt Niskanen, who led the team’s +/- last year, left the game with a sad -3. He was also to blame for the turnover that led to Rick Nash’s OT goal.
  • Conclusion: We played a sloppy game, with 22 giveaways. Our top line ended at -3. There was no consistency. Too many scoring chances were lost. Even more was lost defensively.

On Ice SHR +/- :

Stephane Robidas and Nicklas Grossman: for excellent defense as a defensive pair; +2
Stephane Robidas: two for each assist and two for having no giveaways; +8
Matt Niskanen: for bad defense and sloppy turnovers; -3
Trevor Daley: three for the goal, two for style, and minus-one for stupid defense; +4
Mike Modano: two for the assist, one for putting up with being laid on, and two for no giveaways; +5
Brenden Morrow: three for the goal, two for leading in hits, and minus-two for sloppy gameplay; +3
Krys Barch: two for the fight and two for winning it; +4
James Neal: three for the goal, two for a great debut, and two for his big hit; +7
Steve Ott: minus-two for running into Robidas instead of the other team; -2
Tobias Stephan: one out of pity after his slightly-embarrassing fall before the game; +1
Marty Turco: minus-one for every goal he allowed that we know him to be better than; -4
Joel Lundqvist: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and one for stylish passing; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for being a good sport about being a healthy scratch; +1

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