Game Review – 2/21/09 (DAL vs CHI)

by Chelsea

Season Series Sweep:

5-2

6-3

6-2

3-1

20-8 over four games. 

5-2 on average over those games.

All four in favor of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Loui Eriksson. Steve Ott (x2). Fabian Brunnstrom. Brian Sutherby. Brenden Morrow. Mike Modano. James Neal. The only Stars to score goals in those four games.

Cam Barker. Patrick Kane (x3). Brent Sopel. Andrew Ladd. Dustin Byfuglien. Ben Eager. Brian Campbell. Kris Versteeg (x2). Troy Brouwer. Martin Havlat (x2). Jonathan Toews. Colin Fraser. James Wisniewski. Matt Walker. Blackhawks to score goals in the four games.

Hawks had 4 PPGs. Stars only had 1.

Hawks took 19 penalties. Stars took 21.

The Stars were outshot 140-103, or 35-26 on average over the four games.

They were outhit by the Blackhawks in every game but the last.

To say that the most recent game was the best showing against that team that they’ve had this season is true, but generous. This time, those points were absolutely necessary. This time, the goalie was playing his best hockey lately and managed to limit them to three goals. If the rest of the team had shown up and played to potential, it was an entirely winable game.

Going back to who has scored for each team… the Stars got seven of their goals from wingers and one from a center. All of the eight goals came from players with top line talent, but none from the top points producers Richards and Ribeiro. Not much secondary scoring, either. 

For the Blackhawks, they got five goals from defensemen, at least five by their big name players, and a good handful of secondary scoring from their other lines. 

There’s just something about this matchup that brings out the best in the entire Chicago team, and the worst in the entire Dallas team. Stars took more penalties and less shots. Their special teams were not up to par. After each loss, they sighed and said “a lesson hard learned” but did the same thing next time they met. 

Here’s hoping we can write this off as a painful loss to a better team, and move on with the belief that we are still a team that can beat the Sharks. If not, we might as well forfeit that game too.

Turco, the Lucky Kick, and the Frustrated Captain:

This is one of those “if you haven’t seen it, watch it, but if you have, watch it again” videos.

Turco’s Possible Save of the Year

When Turco dropped for what he thought would be a fast (and low) one-timer from Toews, he found himself duped by the Blackhawks captain, who instead gathered the pass and prepared to shoot high. The netminder responded with an act of quick thinking and desperation; he flung his foot up and hoped the puck would hit it. It did.

An especially satisfying moment in an otherwise frustrating game comes at the end of the video, when Toews reveals some frustration of his own at what had just happened. 

While, when he’s off his game, Turco’s athleticism comes across as desperate and aimless flopping in the crease, it’s a whole different story when he’s focused. A good Turco is a Turco that uses every possible part of his body to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the puck, and that’s what we’ve seen lately.

Another fun goalie moment was at the beginning of the game, when Toby Petersen had his breakaway ended when Cristobal Huet zoomed up to the top of the faceoff circle, lunged at him, and I believe grabbed the puck as he did so. Good stuff.

Why Steve Ott’s New Hand Makes Him Shootout Material:

Little argument needed here. Go look at the lone Stars goal. Think back on the last time (anyone remember the specific game?) Ott was spotted for a breakaway and scored on that one, too. 

Ott is fast, with his feet and his hands. He is surprising. He is creative.

The next shootout should have Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and Steve Ott. No more of this letting Modano shoot high glove side in every single shootout ever.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for how much we like him being paired with Fistric; +1
Stephane Robidas: two for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: minus-one for being one of only two Stars who didn’t give a single hit; -1
Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: three for the goal; +3
Marty Turco: one for effort and one for the fancy kick save; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for looking like one of the only players that cared for most of the game but minus-one for still not produced; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for being one of the other few players that looked like he cared and one for diving to block a shot while everyone else just stood there; +2

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