Game Review – 3/10/09 (DAL at STL)

by Chelsea


Also known as “Another Crucial Game, Another Heartbreaking Loss” or “What Happens When a Team Reaches a New Level of Mental Exhaustion.”

As a fan, I won’t declare this season over until they name the 3 stars of game #82. However, seeing the team play like they think the season is over is getting old, fast.

Now without Brunnstrom as well, the already-depleted team was heading back on the road after a rough loss to the Canadiens on home ice. It was the kind of game that the Stars needed to see a leader step up and steal the win for. 

Unfortunately, that leader was not Turco, who picked a very poor time to have a prolonged brain fart. He let in three goals on the Blues’ first eight shots, putting the Stars in a 3-0 hole only twelve minutes into the first period. 

After the third goal, Krys Barch and Cam Janssen dropped the gloves off the following faceoff, going at it for nearly two full minutes. Barch’s helmet probably did more damage than his fists, as Janssen left the fight with some badly bloodied knuckles.

The dust settled to find Turco not in net, but replacing Tobias Stephan on the bench. It was the first time all season that Stephan was put into the game before it was completely lost. 

Stephan played the game with what seems to be a bit of a trademark. He let in a couple of goals, despite having made some sharp saves throughout, then locked it down for the rest of the game. He played well, so it’s unfortunate that the team in front of him did not.

While two Stars, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro, managed to score a goal each against goalie Chris Mason, it wouldn’t be enough. The Blues persevered and regained their three-goal lead each time Dallas scored. Still, even if Stephan had played perfectly, it wouldn’t have been enough as the Stars lost 5-2.

Though Loui Erikssons point streak ended, Ribeiro managed to extend his to five games. In those five games, he’s amassed five goals and six assists. 

Mark Parrish, who was toppled early in the game after receiving an open-ice hit from Jay McKee, left the game and did not return. He joins Morrow, Zubov, Richards, Petersen, Lehtinen, Brunnstrom, and Sawada on the “man we need them healthy” list. 

For all the times that “the injuries are rough, but they’re no excuse” has been said, there’s no denying after a game like this that all the key injuries have taken the Stars down a rough road. Ribeiro and his line are worn thin from being the last remaining offensive threat, Robidas is starting to struggle under the large load he’s been carrying as #1 defenseman and special teams core piece. Modano looks physically and mentally exhausted. The rest of the team looks like it may not be able to handle much more of Tippett’s “four months of playoff mode” hockey. 

When Marty Turco is saying in interviews that nobody is enjoying anything anymore, maybe it’s time to relax before the entire team drops of fatigue. 

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: one for leading the team with six hits; +1
Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
Brendan Morrison: one for being one of only two people to end up in the positive; +1
Krys Barch: one for the fight and one for winning it; +2
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Brian Sutherby: minus-three for the suicide pass but one for feeling so bad about it; -2
Chris Conner: minus-two for being a -6 in his last three games; -2
Steve Ott: one for being one of only two people to end up in the positive; +1
Tobias Stephan: two for making more and better saves than Turco; +2
Marty Turco: minus-two for getting bested by a backup that never plays; -2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3


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