Archive for November, 2008

November 18, 2008

St Louis Blues Claim BJ Crombeen

by Kristine

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, but the St. Louis Blues have claimed BJ Crombeen off waivers. They must now keep him on their active roster; if they put him back on waivers, the Stars Brass will be able to reclaim him if they want to. In the meantime, James Neal is expected to be called back up from the Moose and will probably be at practice in Frisco tomorrow.

Also, apparently poor Lehtinen has a “new” issue and is being evaluated. Officially he’s still a possibility for Thursday, but I’m going to put my money on him not playing.

Lastly, the Stars unveiled their third jersey today, which Puck Daddy immediately – and correctly – labeled boring. The design is a white version of the black home jersey, with green and gold stripes, letters, and numbers. Could our jersey designers be any lazier? They will be debuting them at our next two home games. So will every player for both teams will be wearing white on Thursday and Saturday?

My whole Stars world is being turned upside down this week! Boucher gone, Sydor back, Crombeen gone, Neal back, Lehts possibly injured again. What next?

UPDATE: The Stars have officially announced that Crombeen has been claimed and Neal has been recalled.

Also thanks to Amy and Jen for pointing out that the other team will wear their home darks. I hadn’t thought of that because, well, it’s moronic that they have to. Sorry Stars Brass. Not a big fan of the home/away mashup you dialed in.

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November 17, 2008

Mr. Monday: Loui Eriksson

by Chelsea

He’s got points in 8 out of 17 games this season. He’s had two 2-goal nights and three 2-point games. His was the game winning goal in the most recent game. He’s scored in 6 different games, and had a shooting % of 100% in 4 of those. He leads the Stars in goals, with 8. He regularly puts in 15-20 minutes of ice time. He’s worked lines with Richards, Modano, Ribeiro, and Petersen. He’s already beat his own rookie season goal tally, and is over halfway to beating his second season’s.

I did something with Ribeiro once, calculating where he’d be if he played with unfaltering consistency all year. Doing the same for Eriksson, we can widely assume he’ll end the season like so:

Projected Season Previous Best
82 games played 69 games played
38 goals 14 goals
19 assists 17 assists
57 points 31 points
10 PIM 18 PIM
5 GW 0 GW
178 shots on goal 120 shots on goal

These are all very valid reasons to be at the top of our SHR +/-, but they aren’t the main ones. If you watch Eriksson in any given game of late, he’s doing things our big-money players aren’t; he’s pushing to the net. It sounds obvious, but it really is impressive. He challenges opponents for the puck when everyone else is backing out to center ice. He fights for it along the boards (and wins). He carries it into the offensive zone instead of dumping it. Whenever he is on the ice, he’s focused in a way we’ve sorely missed. His many of self-made opportunities are why he’s so high on the list for us.

In case it slipped your attention, I’m going to go ahead and point out that Eriksson is only in his third full season in the NHL. He was Dallas’ second round draft pick in 2003, and played in Sweden (his country of origin) until 2005. He won Rookie of the Year honors his first year in the Swedish Elite League (2004) and later helped his team win the Swedish ice hockey championship (2005).

His debut in North America came with the Iowa Stars, the then-affiliate of the Dallas Stars. After putting up an impressive 60 points that season, he was voted Rookie of the Year for the Iowa Stars and RBK AHL Rookie of the Month for that March. He didn’t debut in the NHL until fall of 2006, where he became one of a small group of Stars to score in their NHL debuts.

Since debuting, he’s played in 145 games, gotten 28 goals and 34 assists, and only 45 PIM.

Even Tampa Bay superstar turned Dallas Star Brad Richards recognizes Eriksson for his talent.

“If there’s anyone I’ve felt comfortable with since I got here, it’s Loui,” Richards said. “He’s a very smart player and does so much defensively, which helps me a lot. He’s very talented.”

Eriksson has a contract with the Stars until 2009-2010, having gotten a 2-year extension last year worth $3.2 million total.

Eriksson is a versatile player. Though he seems to prefer playing with Richards, he has, as mentioned, played with just about every line you can think of. He’s said that he doesn’t mind being either a LW or a RW. He’s also said his strengths as a player are his skating speed, good shot, and going to the goal. Loui’s been a bit of a Stars brass project, given time and space to develop into the player they felt he could be. Meanwhile, he’s done his part by working hard to meet those expectations.

Last year’s playoff run seems to have given Eriksson the burst of confidence he needed to prove his place among our top six forwards, securing himself a starting roster spot this year without any real debate over whether or not he deserved it. And, if there had been debate, he’s surely shushed nonbelievers now.

We at SHR! like to call him Louibot, an affectionate term stemming from this picture:


He’s got a little bit of an evil robot stare, but I greatly prefer it over his french facial hair catastrophe from last postseason.

There’s really not much dirt to dig up on Loui Eriksson. He’s relatively new to the game, and the only dust he stirs up is on the ice. He’s been compared to Jere Lehtinen for his play on the ice, but I’ve got to commend him for his Lehtinen-like ability to keep his private life absolutely private. What we know about Loui is what he wants us to know – that he likes steak, Braveheart, Friends, and Forsberg.

Something he may not want everyone getting a good look at, though:


Few things are as priceless as draft pics.

Ones on couches with dogs (named Bella) aren’t too bad either, though.

November 17, 2008

Practice Update

by Chelsea

Kristine went to practice and had a few things to report back.

Sydor was wearing 55 and appeared to be enjoying hanging with Zubov again. Lehtinen did not practice because he was resting.

Crombeen and Ribeiro were working together, and apparently looked really good.

TSN is saying we’ve put Crombeen on waivers, though, so there’s a chance that he could get picked up by another team.

November 16, 2008

Game Review – 11/15/08 (DAL at PHX)

by Chelsea

Game:

Putting aside the Boucher-Sydor trade craze for a moment, one recalls that we did actually just win an important game yesterday.

The puck dropped at 7:00 PM CT at the Jobing.com Center in Phoenix, kicking off a game against two Pacific division rivals.

It was airing on KDFI instead of FSN-SW, and while I’m still annoyed at FS about the Sharks thing, at least they didn’t have a few seconds of black screen every five minutes. That got frustrating.

Tippett considerably juggled the lines, putting out Morrow-Modano-Lehtinen as our starting line. The second line was Avery-Richards-Parrish, the third was Brunnstrom-Petersen-Eriksson, and the fourth was Ott-Ribeiro-Barch. I was pretty happy with this, because it meant a little more ice time for Barch and Brunnstrom. Defensive pairings were Robidas-Daley, Grossman-Zubov, and Niskanen-Janik.

The game itself did not start out so hot for our Stars. Thirty seconds in, Coyote Olli Jokinen struck Dallas defenseman Trevor Daley across the face with his stick. Blood was drawn, fans were alarmed, and Jokinen was given a double hi-sticking. This gave us a full 4 minutes of 5-on-4 with which to take the lead.

As the minutes ticked by, there were painfully few SOG for the Stars. In fact, the only true scoring chance was in the last twenty seconds of the PP when Steve Ott nearly deflected a shot from Ribeiro past Ilya Bryzgalov. It was blocked, and the game continued scoreless.

The first period continued on without points on the board, but also showed a distinctive change in the Stars play. We were directing instead of chasing, and it’d pay off shortly.

Around 11:03, Ribeiro got a hilariously awesome scoring chance when he dropped the puck between his own legs and flipped it from there up into Bryzgalov’s face. Highlight-reel wonderful.

The actual goal started off with some good ol’ fashioned Turco puckhandling behind his net, sending the puck to Robi and then Eriksson. Eriksson and Ribeiro carried it out of their zone and through center ice. Eriksson swept the puck up (possibly deflecting it off the Phoenix goalie) into the net to take an early lead.

The goal came at 17:06, with Mike Ribeiro getting the first assist and Stephane Robidas the second.

The first period ended, and in the first intermission Ralph interviewed… Coyote captain Shane Doan. Supposedly as a favor to Razor, who was MIA during the entire thing. Doan jokes that he felt obligated because of Razor’s three Emmy’s. We find out that Turco said he likes playing against Doan and Doan says Turco is one tough cookie. (My words, not his). They talk about the Coyotoes and the playoffs and Ralph asks if Doan’s ever won an Emmy, to which he replies, “I dont even know what they look like.” So basically nothing to do with us, but still funny.

The second period kicked off with the same momentum we’d seen building in the first. Coyotes Kevin Porter did have a near-breakaway, but his shot was blocked by a dive-and-slide by Robidas. Seconds later, Barch forcefully upended Steven Reinprecht in center ice, turning him into Coyote kibble.


I love Barch, so I was a little annoyed when Doan went and smashed him into the boards. Just sticking up for his teammate, I guess.

Reinprecht got good revenge, unfortunately, putting the puck behind Turco without any real challenge from our defense. Keith “Jillian” Yandle and Shane Doan got the assists.

Avery got tired right about here and tried to hitch a ride on Yandle by clinging to the back of his jersey. Shockingly, they called him on holding. Turco performed excellently and held the game at a tie through the Coyotes power play.

I guess Phoenix’s Viktor Tikhonov was so annoyed that he felt like hooking Avery, so he did, and we went on the PP. Less than a minute later, at 8:13, Parrish deflected a Zubov slap shot for a PP goal. Ribeiro got the second assist.

3/4 of the way through the second, Carcillo started trying to pick a fight with Steve Ott after Ott knocked him silly in the corner. Carcillo pushed and shoved but got nothing from Ott but a few choice words. Barch skated over and got between them with his gigantic self and looked all intimidating (or, as Razor said, “Here comes the stars cop, like ‘no, you don’t'”). Carcillo fought the official, trying to get at Barch and Ott, who stood there and chirped at him. Ott and Carcillo both got unsportsmanlike conduct minors.

It may have been a move to chill them both out, but the officials didn’t plan that very well. Both exited the box at the same time, and ended up “chucking knuckles” within seconds. Despite some issues with his shoulder gear, Ott still put in some solid hits. Both got 5 for fighting.

A few moments later, at 19:05, Mike Ribeiro did something clever. Again. He’s always clever, but yeah. He carried the puck into the Coyote’s defensive zone, hesitated, and tried a slap shot. It was pretty uncharacteristic, and provided a wonderful cheesy rebound. Petersen shuffled for the puck, getting it around Bryzgalov to Eriksson, who netted it for his second in the game.

Despite the best efforts of Zubov and Turco, the two-point lead was quickly notched down by a Coyotes goal at 19:22 by Kevin Porter with assists from Mikkel Boedker and Martin Hanzal.

Second period ended.

Ott interview in the second intermission, where he mentions that he didn’t want to fight Carcillo because it could give the Coyotes momentum to tie the game, but had just had enough. Way to use good judgement, Otter.

Third period started.

Hanzal is a fun name, but not a fun guy. He laid out Brunnstrom in center ice early in the third, angering us at SHR and apparently Toby Petersen (who I think only gets along with Swedes). The camera moved away, so I’m not sure what happened, but apparently Petersen skated up to challenge Hanzal. Petersen got two minutes for slashing and Hanzal two for elbowing. Sounds like a fun confrontation.

The rest of the period was less exciting. Sean Avery got another stupid penalty, but we killed it off to maintain our 3-2 lead.

At the end of the game, Olli Jokinen had a key chance to tie it up and force an overtime when the Coyotes went open net. He was thwarted by Turco, who kicked the puck away for the first save and protected their win with his goalie stick for the second.


Win (and two points) for the Dallas Stars! Much-needed, to say the least.

Notes:

  • Three game stars (in order): Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson, Daniel Carcillo
  • It was a three-point game for Ribeiro, who had an assist in each goal. It was Eriksson’s second 2-goal game this season.
  • Marty Turco stopped 25 in 27 shots, raising his sv% to .870.
  • Both of Petersen’s only two assists this season have come off goals by Swedish players (Brunnstrom and Eriksson)
  • This was Doug Janik’s second game with the Stars, having left the first five minutes in with a nasty facial laceration. He played a solid game, putting in 12:49 in ice time and ending the game +1.
  • Sergei Zubov now has points in each of the last 3 games.
  • The Stars won 71% of their faceoffs, led by Mike Modano, who won 14 in 16 for 88%.
  • Stephane Robidas led in shots and blocked shots, with 4 and 6 respectively.
  • Conclusion: Maybe just a small step up, but this win showed that the Stars are practicing what they’re preaching; simple, tightly defensive hockey, earning every step forward.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: minus-one for ending the game -2; -1
Stephane Robidas: two for the assist, one for leading in shots and blocked shots, and one for work ethic; +4
Matt Niskanen: one for pleasantly surprising us; +1
Mike Modano: one for absolutely owning in the faceoff circle; +1
Brenden Morrow: one for leading by example and one for going the entire game without screwing up passes; +2
Krys Barch: one for being the Stars cop and one for leading the team in takeaways; +2
Sean Avery: minus-two for not improving in his weakness (stupid penalties) when the rest of the team did; -2
Toby Petersen: two for the assist, minus-one for his huge turnover at our blue line, and one for standing up for Bunny; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for each goal and one for just playing so well lately; +7
Steve Ott: one for trying to keep himself out of the penalty box and one for sticking up for himself in the end anyway; +2
Doug Janik: one for having a very solid game back; +1
Marty Turco: three for letting in only two goals in four of the last five games; +3
Mark Parrish: three for the goal; +3
Philippe Boucher: five for being scratched because he was being traded and awww, Boooo, we’ll miss youuuu; +5
Sergei Zubov: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and one for style/creativity; +7

November 16, 2008

It’s Official: Darryl Sydor Returns

by Chelsea

The Dallas Stars announced this morning that Darryl Sydor would be returning to Dallas, at the cost of Philippe Boucher to Pittsburgh. 

The release is here, with lots of quotes from Sydor but nothing from Boucher. 

“Boucher has been a good player and a great guy for us,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “I think the change is going to do him well. We feel that Sydor brings that calming factor back there that we had with (Mattias) Norstrom. He’s a smart player.”

Added Brett Hull, “Both guys needed a change, and I think it works for both teams. We hope Syd comes in and does what he does best, which is lead by example on and off the ice. He stabilizes our room. He has some solid relationships starting with Mike (Modano) and (Sergei) Zubov and throughout our organization. You hate to lose a guy like Bouch, but it’s the nature of the beast with how we were going.”

The Penguins also broke the news today, with this small piece.  Penguins fans seem pretty excited to be rid of Sydor, who’d been nothing but a bench buddy for their team, in exchange for some much-needed power play help.

Tracey Myers has this on her blog, a quote from Boucher.

 “I’ve been around here for a while, and you hope you can retire here, but things like that aren’t always realistic,” Boucher said. “When the team’s not doing well, you have to do certain things. My family’s handling it pretty well. Hockey-wise, it’s a great opportunity for me. That’s how I have to see it. I can’t look back for too long. But when I do, I will be very grateful for the time I’ve had here.”

 

As much as I understand the need for a little shakeup, it is sad to see it come at the expensive of someone as classy as Philippe Boucher. It was Boo who signed all the pink helmets to raise money for cancer during games, after losing his father to the disease. Boo who nearly lost both his eyes for us. Boo who wanted to retire here. Boo who now has to uproot his family. I really feel that he sees this not as much as an opportunity for him, but also as another something he’s willing to sacrifice for this team. 

Best of luck to Boucher with the Penguins.

A couple questions arise, though. What number will Sydor be wearing? Will Niskanen give up the 5? Now that we have 7 apparently-solid defensemen (Grossman, Robidas, Niskanen, Daley, Janik, Zubov, Sydor), who gets scratched? Does Sydor return to being paired with Zubov? And will he get a hat trick in Thursday’s game?

November 16, 2008

Quickly: Boucher for Sydor?

by Kristine

It’s being reported by RDS (who is supposedly a very reputable source similar to TSN) that tonight’s healthy scratch Philippe Boucher has been traded for current Penguin and former Star Darryl Sydor. Apparently the Pens need Boo for their PP, and we need Sydor because Boo hasn’t been stellar this season? Hard to say at this point. Neither the Stars nor the Penguins are announcing anything officially, but Sydor has been asking to be traded for a while now. The two defensemen have nearly identical contracts, and each team has valid reasons for wanting the trade. As of right now it’s just a [very large] rumor, but we’ll see where things are in the morning.

Original RDS article (in French; Google can help you translate). If you don’t feel like taking that extra step to translate, TSN has now broken the story, with RDS as its main source.

November 15, 2008

Robidas Votes Removed

by Kristine

“The NHL is stupid.”

So, anyone that’s checked the All-Star Games starting line voting leader board may have noticed that votes were removed from a majority of the players, probably in an attempt to make up for cheating.

Most obvious are the votes removed from the Dallas Stars, removing Mike Ribeiro from first place, removing Morrow and Turco from anywhere near the top, and knocking Modano and Robidas off the board completely.

Also obvious: the Canadiens, who started this cheating scandal, are still all hovering at 200k votes – each. That fills the entire Eastern Conference with Habs, who thanks to the new no-cheat restrictions in voting, have their win pretty much cemented. For the West, its no surprise that the Red Wings seem to have gotten a boost when all the other players had votes removed.

We put a lot of cheat-free work into putting Robidas, Morrow, Ribeiro, Modano, and Turco at the top where we felt they belonged. This kind of obvious rigging that negates our efforts is just an embarrassment. For shame, NHL, for shame.

November 14, 2008

Game Review – 11/13/08 (DAL vs LAK)

by Chelsea

Game:

Remember earlier in the season, when we went and lost that away game to Nashville, and then came home and whooped them with a Bunny hat trick?

This game was supposed to be like that, except with more fire because of what happened with Ribeiro at the end of the last game. Oh, and this time Brunnstrom was scratched for a guy who played 2 shifts.

Speaking of that guy, anyone catch the pregame interview with Ribeiro and Crombeen? Someone got his tooth fixed!

Being a home game, us SHR girls were actually there. First period started out with me wondering why the crowd was more enthusiastic than the players. Maybe it was the fact that the officials were whistle-happy against the Stars, cutting off any momentum they might have built.

Philippe Boucher got the first, whistled at 6:10 for hooking Alexander Frolov. I didn’t actually see the hooking, but knowing our defensemen, I don’t really doubt it happened.

The Kings were limited to three SOG during that power play, before Krys Barch began his short-lived attempt to pummel them all. He checked them, they checked him, they chirped, they argued in faceoffs, they tried to fight but were separated by the officials…

Sean Avery apparently missed the attention so he stole the puck and tried to put it in the net. He was cut short by LA netminder Erik Ersberg (who I personally think looks awful feminine for a goalie). Ersberg then stuck his leg out as Avery went across the crease. Avery tripped up but did not fall. Ersberg… did fall. I found it a little suspicious. He stuck his leg out, tripped Avery, and HE fell?

Anyway, Avery got a tripping penalty at 9:49 that gave me a dirty taste in my mouth. That taste worsened when they hadn’t even finished announcing the power play when the power play ended because the Kings scored with a shot from the point. We entered a 1-0 hole at 9:53 thanks to Michal Handzus, with help from Peter Harrold.

I guess Ribeiro was the only one who was feeling the same fire from Tuesday, because he was one of the few people exchanging hits with the Kings. Ott took some hits, and Morrow tried to land some, but the momentum was pretty much shot already.

In another “kick us when we’re down” moment this season, the sluggish Stars were scored on again. This time it was Jarret Stoll at 13:11, with assists from Frolov and Sean O’Donnell. Again, it came off the point, with LA following up on Turco’s loose rebound.

Someone let out Toby Petersen, who got another “Top 10 Easiest Shots to Stop” SOG when he tried an unsuccessful wraparound instead of passing to a centered BJ Crombeen. Barch continued his campaign for vengeance by getting a lot of pushing and griping and almost-fighting in, but the officials were determined to keep the game fight-free.

Barch, not so easily distracted from his goal, responded by absolutely clobbering a King along the boards, which provoked yet another near-scrum with the entire LA team. Crombeen hopped in to try and help out, but the officials pulled everyone apart. (The NHL play-by-play says that he hit Gauthier, but charged Ivanans, but I’m pretty sure the number on the jersey was 42, which would make it Preissing) Because Barch did leave his feet before smashing into whoever it was, he got a penalty for charging, and Tippett didn’t give him another shift for the rest of the game.

Turco made a couple solid saves, and that penalty was killed.

Then, Kyle Quincey got two for interference on Loui Eriksson, finally giving the Stars a power play at 17:45 in the first. About a minute into that, Mike Modano checked a King, provoking Gauthier to get the Kings another interference, this time on Modano. This gave the Stars thirty seconds of 5-on-3.

With a mere :22 left in the first, Brad Richards set a trend that would not be shaken over the course of the game. Sergei Zubov faked a shot, instead sending the puck to Richards. Richards smacked it from the point right past Ersberg. Brenden Morrow got the second assist.

Snacks happened in the first intermission.

Second period started 2-1 Kings.

It started like this: Mark Parrish hits someone, Dustin Brown shoots the puck at Turco, and Stephane Robidas gets a hooking penalty. Makes the Stars sound more like clumsy thugs than, y’know, a team that can actually keep possession of the puck.

I think Robidas felt pretty awful about that penalty, and rightfully so. At 3:24, halfway through their power play, the Kings scored again. It was sad. Turco made at least 4 sprawling saves to deny the Kings, who just learned from their early goals and sent the puck to the point, where Quincey shot it in for an easy point. Oscar Moller and Frolov got the assists.

Momentum for the Stars really picked up here. Jere Lehtinen and Sergei Zubov both got shots off, Ribeiro continued to check people, and then a minute later, Ribeiro tripped someone. Less than ten seconds later, Toby Petersen hi-sticked someone.

Yeah. 5-on-3 in favor of the Kings, for nearly an entire two minutes. Would you believe it if I told you they barely got a shot off on Turco?

With that effectively killed… Stephane Robidas took another penalty, this time for tripping. Oh, but wait. Our PK looked so good, we were actually going “Oh no, only 20 more seconds to get a SH goal!”. Trevor Daley and Loui Eriksson had PP-like hustle in front of the Kings net in what was actually a Kings PP.

This chunk of play looked good. The Kings looked a little frustrated and picked up their hitting, while the Stars got some good shots off on goal and drew a slashing penalty on Stoll.

Because he’s a spiteful little punk, Ribeiro came out fully intending to park it in the net and score in this power play. Boucher sent it to Richards, who shot it, and Ribeiro tipped it in. Another PP goal for the Stars, putting the game within reach at 3-2.

O’Donnell gave us a chance to tie it by cross checking Steve Ott, but we never score on crunch-time power plays. Robidas did get a powerful shot off, but it was blocked.

Second period ended 3-2 Kings. Exactly at the disadvantage we found ourselves at coming into the period, hm.

Third period.

Avery slashes someone, he retaliates, double slashing. Not as funny as double tripping, but still.

Ribeiro continued to be one of the only people putting in 100%, shooting, catching his own rebound, shooting again, again going for his own rebound, and almost scoring like 3 times. Almost.

Both teams spend ten minutes getting good shots and hits off on each other. Goalies work hard to hold it at 3-2.

Somewhere in here, Parrish took a 2-minute slashing, the penalty was killed, he got a good shot off, and Grossman laid down on a Kings player behind the net and took a short break. Seriously.

Despite the fact that the Kings were pairing their worst line with our best, the Stars did not manage to tie it up, and the third ended just like the first and second; the Stars down by one.

Notes:

  • Tippett preaches that the team needs to build trust, and yet will not leave the lines alone.
  • Brunnstrom was scratched for Crombeen, who only got 2 shifts in the entire game.
  • Niskanen also had limited shifts, spending the entire third on the bench.
  • Toby Petersen was on the PP. Nevermind that he literally has never scored a goal as a Star. Not even in the 16 playoff games he played in last spring.
  • Conclusion: Not sure where Tipp’s head is. We think he’s got some master plan that involves confusing the other team so much that they just stand around and watch us score. Even then, does he really think Petersen will find the back of the net?
  • Suggestion: Stu Barnes for head coach!

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for using a King as a couch; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for leading in blocked shots with four, one for solid defense, and minus-two for the careless penalties; +0
Matt Niskanen: one pity point for being so Nisky-like; +1
Trevor Daley: one for getting a SH SOG; +1
Mike Modano: one for leading in takeaways and minus-one for tanking in faceoffs; +0
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist; +2
Krys Barch: two for having a fire nobody else did but minus-one for using it stupidly; +1
Sean Avery: arrrgggg; -1
Toby Petersen: aaarrrrrgggggggg; -2
James Neal: two for scoring shorthanded with the Moose tonight in their 2-1 win over the Marlies and two for being on a four-game point streak; +4
Loui Eriksson: one for being surprisingly good on the PP; +1
Mark Fistric: two for being +6 in four games with the Moose; +2
Marty Turco: two for some really good saves; +2
Philippe Boucher: two for the assist; +2
Sergei Zubov: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, one for leading in hits, and one for being one of the only people who looked like they were trying; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Fabian Brunnstrom: one pity point for getting scratched; +1

November 13, 2008

Game Review – 11/11/08 (DAL at LAK)

by Chelsea

Shameless Promotion:

Game:

Puck dropped at 9:30 PM CT. It was very weird, getting started that late.

First period was pretty boring.

Parrish found himself in the penalty box at 6:23 when the Stars got called for having too many men on the ice. At a crucial point when he should have been killing off the penalty, Mike Modano got a little clumsy and tripped a King. This gave the Kings almost a full 2 minutes of 5-on-3.

Oy. It didn’t take them 2 minutes. It took them about 10 seconds instead. At 6:50, Jared Stoll beat Turco with a slap shot that ended 1/2 of the PP. Luckily, Turco held them at 1-0 through the otherwise-successful PK.

It took about 10 minutes of them skating circles around us for Stars fans to be reminded of why exactly we so missed our veteran players. At 14:17, Jere Lehtinen managed to be in the perfect place at the right time for probably the fiftieth time in the game already. This time, it converted to points, and Lehts tied it up with help from Brad Richards and Steve Ott.

Call it home ice advantage, but that goal served to motivate the Kings more than the Stars, and they broke the tie only two minutes later when LA captain Dustin Brown scored. Anze Kopitar got the assist.

The rest of the second was a lot of “Ooh, Stars :(” and then it ended.

The second period, the Stars brought a little more fire. We were again reminded the value of our vets, with Lehtinen and Zubov cleaning up several mistakes by the rookie defense.

Zubie also pitched in at 9:46, playing monkey-in-the-middle with Mike Modano (Kings as monkeys) and the puck. It paid off, obviously confusing some part of the LA defense, and Mo was able to sneak one off past their goalie to tie it up again. Loui Eriksson got the second assist.

Sometime in the second as well, Brown did the second most annoying thing in the game, which was checking Stephane Robidas into the Kings bench. Haha, Brown, but not cool. I hope you get checked into the stands during Thursday’s game.

Second period ended 2-2.

Third looked better. More hustle on both ends. Turco did not turn the puck over with 30 seconds to go. The veterans continued to shake off what little rust they’d gathered.

Then Brown did the single most annoying thing he’d do ever, which is attempt to bash in the skull of Mike Ribeiro. Ribs fired a shot, Brown decided that he was just vulnerable enough in doing so that he could knock him horribly off balance so he rammed him but Ribs had turned and ended up with an awful gash above his left eye.

I wanted to puke when they showed Ribeiro removing his helmet and the inside was filled with blood. I don’t care if he has been a stupid, immature “diver” in the past, but you can’t deny that he was bleeding all over the ice. It may have been a clean hit, but it was a careless one.

Rightfully so, Morrow skated over and pummeled Brown with a look on his face that said, “Why is my Ribbons bleeding and how hard do I have to punch you to produce the same effect?” Brown tried to get a few hits in, but seemed a bit stunned.

So, this all happened in the final 2 minutes, and both Morrow and Brown were assessed penalties to match. Brown got 5 for boarding, 5 for fighting, and a game misconduct. Morrow got 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting, and a game misconduct. Rules state that instigating during the end of a game like that will get you a 1-game suspension and your coach a $10,000 fine, but the NHL appealed it in consideration of the spirit in which the altercation took place. So, alright.

Started OT on a PP. No goal.

Went into shootout.

After two rounds, it was 1-2 Kings and 0-2 Stars, and who would be left to take the deciding shot but… Ribeiro! In a lovely, spiteful move that he learned from healthy scratch BJ Crombeen, Ribeiro kept the Stars in the game by scoring (and then shushing the taunting LA bench).

Unfortunately, another King scored but Eriksson and Modano could not, so the Kings walked off with 2 points. Ouch.

Notes:

  • Three stars of the game, in order: Kingsguy, Modano, Kingsguy
  • Turco let in only 2 goals for the third game in a row.
  • This was the first game of the season for Jere Lehtinen, who has been struggling with a lower body injury.
  • Toby Petersen finally did something helpful, winning 3 out of 4 faceoffs. I guess being on a line with Sean Avery has its advantages.
  • Speaking of lines, we at SHR love how Tippett keeps them the same during practice, only to start switching things up 10 minutes into the game.
  • The Stars were outshot 21-26 and outhit 36-30.
  • Loui Eriksson led the team in shots, with 4. Sometimes I wonder if the other players shouldn’t be following Loui’s example more; he pushes hard to the net, and has a determination similar to captain Brenden Morrow.
  • Stephane Robidas led in hits, with 6.
  • Sergei Zubov led in ice time, with an impressive 25 minutes.
  • Conclusion: Very hard to write a review for the game that solidified our spot at the body of the Pacific division. On the positive side, the Stars are (again) looking more like the team we saw in the playoffs. On the negative side again, how many games do we stop saying that they’re looking more like the team we saw in the playoffs and start asking if we just aren’t that team anymore? On the positive side again, Turco made it through an entire game without mishandling the puck, which is a good sign.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for a solid game; +1
Stephane Robidas: two for all the hits and one for looking like a totally unfazed prairie dog after being knocked into the LA bench; +3
Matt Niskanen: two for looking considerably less timid, minus-one for still having some major goof-ups, and minus-one for being unable to play competently unless Zubov is out there; +0
Trevor Daley: one for a solid game and one for lots of fun sliding blocked shots; +2
Mike Modano: three for the goal, minus-one for yet another stupid penalty, and minus-one for being so inconsistent lately; +1
Brenden Morrow: two for the fight, one for winning it, and one for being an excellent captain; +4
Krys Barch: an unfortunately necessary minus-one for being the only person on the team to end the game in the negative for +/-; -1
Toby Petersen: one for rocking faceoffs, minus-one for STILL not knowing how to share the puck; +0
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and one for leading in shots; +3
Jere Lehtinen: three for the goal, one for being rustless, one for cleaning up defensively, and one for style; +6
Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Marty Turco: two for a good game but minus-one for a less than stellar shootout; +1
Philippe Boucher: two for hitting lots of people and blocking lots of shots; +2
BJ Crombeen: two for coming up with the shootout move that Ribeiro used and one for offering it to him; +3
Sergei Zubov: two for the assist and one for solid defense; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for the shootout goal, one pity/panic point for the injury and consequent stitches, and one for style; +4
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2

November 12, 2008

Small Update

by Kristine

Fan voting for the 2009 All-Star game started at midnight, and guess who the number one and number two forwards currenly are? Our very own Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow! Thanks to a guerilla voting effort, Stephane Robidas is on the leaderboard for defensemen (help keep him there; write him in!), and Marty Turco is in third for goaltenders. Cast your vote here; you can vote as often and as many times as you’d like.

Marty Turco has the number one save of the week again this week!

TSN reports that the league has reviewed Brenden Morrow’s instigator penalty and decided that he will not receive a one-game suspension. Expect him in the line-up for tomorrow’s game against the Kings.

Ribeiro’s beautiful shootout move, apparently taught to him by BJ Crombeen of all people, is already blowing up on YouTube. See a nice video of it, with it in slow-motion, here

Bob Sturm remarks that in our five-game road trip, the Stars had a shot advantage in only two of fifteen total periods. Hard to win hockey games that way, eh?

Edit:

Note: That “shhh” move after Ribeiro’s shootout goal? Apparently it upset LA’s Derek Armstrong, provoking a probably half-hearted apology from Ribeiro. Anyone else think they blew this out of proportion? 

And, speaking of saying sorry, guess who did NOT have anything apologetic to say. 

BROWN: “No. He’s a pretty honest player. We’ve both been in situations like that before and we’re both honest players. Obviously with a hit like that, it was a big hit and it turned into a bad situation, I guess, for Ribeiro. I think (Morrow) understood what happened. Had that been Kopi getting hit, I think the same thing (would have happened).” 

He guesses it was a bad situation. Meh.