Catching Up

by Chelsea

So… I’ve been sick, and Kristine has been working, so a lot has happened that hasn’t made it onto the blog. Apologies for the ghost site SHR’s been this week. Instead of catching up on Thursday night, we went to the Blue Jacket’s game instead, and it was absolutely worth it.

Now we’re a bit backlogged though, so it’s all getting thrown out in one long, slightly outdated post. 

—–

SHR +/-:
(for the  12/13/08 Dallas at Nashville game)

Nicklas Grossman: one for leading the team in hits in Robidas’ absence; +1
Matt Niskanen: minus-two for a sloppy game; -2
Trevor Daley: one for leading in TOI in Robidas’ absence; +1
Tobias Stephan: three for a solid performance despite the rest of the team flaking; +3
Doug Janik: one for tying with Parrish for most takeaways; +1
Mark Parrish: one for tying with Janik for most takeaways; +1
Brad Richards: two for leading the team in SOG but minus-one for failing to score on any of them; +1

—–

 Game Notes and SHR +/-:
(for the 12/16/08 Phoenix at Dallas game)

  •  Three game stars, in order: Turco, Eriksson, Bryzgalov
  • Loui Eriksson scored twice, and was the only Star to score in the 2-1 win. His second was the game-winning OT goal.
  • Eriksson’s goals gave him 14 for the season- tying his previous season high recorded in 07-08 over 69 games.
  • Marty Turco made 22 saves on 23 shots for a .957 sv%
  • The game was defenseman Nicklas Grossman’s 100th in the NHL.
  • Conclusion: The Stars got the lead early, went 0-for-3 on the power play, and ended up having the game tied half-way through the first. For being such an important win, the team should not have had to depend so entirely on Turco and Eriksson. 

Nicklas Grossman: one for tying for the lead in blocked shots but minus-one for leading in giveaways; +0
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for leading the team in hits; +3 
James Neal: one for leading the team in SOG; +1
Loui Eriksson: three for each goal and one for helping carry the entire team; +7
Tom Wandell: one goodbye point for playing his last game here this year; +1
Chris Conner: two for the assist and one goodbye point; +3
Marty Turco: two for playing well again after his night off; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist; +2
Brad Richards: two for the assist and one for leading in takeaways; +3

—–

Injury Update: 

Stephane Robidas (broken jaw), Steve Ott (broken hand), and Joel Lundqvist (shoulder injury) all returned to the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Blue Jackets. 

Robidas was injured when he took a puck to the mouth December 10th, requiring braces on his bottom teeth, stitches galore, and a metal plate in the jaw (had surgery on the 11th to fix it). He returned only a week later, sporting the classic cage from last season. 

Ott broke his hand during a fight on November 22nd, when he took on Steve Montador of the Anaheim Ducks. Having apparently jammed it trying to grab Montador at the beginning of the fight, Ott finished the scrum- and the rest of the game. With the injury, he can’t fight again for awhile, but that definitely won’t stop him from his other agitating duties.

Lundqvist’s shoulder injury was bad enough to cost him 21 games, as he couldn’t handle full contact without risking re-injury. He returned in full form though, logging a game-high 9 hits in his return.

Jere Lehtinen is said to be close to returning, but it looks like we won’t see Sergei Zubov for awhile. It was announced Thursday that he’ll have to undergo another hip surgery and will likely be sidelined the rest of the season. Fortunately, he also expressed a willingness to continue his career, and will have all summer to rehab. 

Trevor Daley also seemed to be injured, leaving the game against Columbus early, but he seems likely to be alright to play on the upcoming road trip. 

With the return of some key veterans came the loss of some young hopefuls. Chris Conner was reassigned to Peoria and Tom Wandell returned to Sweden. It seems unlikely that we’ll be seeing much of either for the rest of this season, but you never know.

—–

Holy Cow, Jamie Benn:

Stars prospect Jamie Benn has been lighting up the Western Hockey League, with 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists) in 27 games, including a streak of six games in which he earned 18 points. 

His offensive prowess garnered the attention of quite a few with his recent success in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, getting three goals and an assist in three intra-squad games. Benn earned himself a spot on Canada’s World Juniors roster along with possible 2009 #1 draft pick John Travares.

The World Junior teams for Canada and Sweden faced off in an exhibition game on Friday. Canada came out on top of the 4-2 match that showcased goals from Tavares, his competition for #1 overall (Viktor Hedman), and our very own Jamie Benn.

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