Archive for April, 2009

April 26, 2009

Lundqvist Not Returning

by Kristine

The Stars have so many free agents this summer that it’s no surprise that news is already starting to roll in about who’s staying and who isn’t. First out of the gate is Joel Lundqvist, who told a Swedish media outlet today that the Stars have already told him they will not be offering him a contract. He will become an unrestricted free agent in July. I don’t think this surprises anyone. The writing was on the wall – or should I say, on Brian Sutherby’s contract. With Sudsy in, it was pretty obvious there wasn’t room for Lundqvist. I felt like he spent all season trying to play catch-up after his injury, and he never quite made it. Mark at Andrew’s Stars Page points out that he had only six points in 43 games. Hopefully another team will see his potential and offer him a contract. Another option would be for him to play in Sweden.

Mark’s report is here, and features a link to the originial Swedish article.

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April 14, 2009

2008-2009 Season Reflections

by Kristine

As the season winds down for Stars fans, here at SHR we thought it would be nice to acknowledge how each of us individually felt about the season, and what we came away from it with. In our own words, here are our season reflections…

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Kristine

I came into the 08-09 season as a new hockey fan. I watched the Stars in some of the 07-08  playoffs, but I didn’t get very involved in the sport itself. Chels and I got free tickets to a few pre-season games, so to catch up I started watching some highlight videos and learning a little about the rules. I had no idea how quickly I would become totally hooked.  Looking back now, eight months later, I’m amazed at all the things my first season of being a real hockey fan has taught me. The most obvious are things about the game: what it means to backcheck somebody, how sudden-death shootouts work, which penalties are more commonly called than others. I learned how long twenty minutes of intermission feels in a tense game, and that the hockey world is surprisingly small. I discovered that I’m a fan of the game itself as much as I am of the team I cheer for and that the game, the sport, is also a community. Hockey fans are great people, and hockey blogging is a great way to cultivate some very real friendships. I’ve been amused at how impressed people are to find a girl who knows hockey better than they do, and I’ve realized that it’s okay to embrace the “squee” aspect of hockey as long as you can back it up with a conversation about stats or rules (otherwise, you’re a puckbunny, and to a real hockey fan  that’s not a flattering term). Knowing that I can do just that makes me comfortable enough to acknowledge that I’ve noticed that hockey players are bad artists, a lot more Swedes know what deuces are than you might expect, how many hockey players’ kids are twins, and that players are generally either very pretty or very not.

That kind of comfort in myself and my own fandom has also been a good lesson as the season progressed. Silly as it might sound, being a hockey fan taught me a lot about myself. I discovered how much I like proving people wrong when they have misconceptions about me, how dedicated I can be to things I truly care about, and that speaking my mind is easier than it used to be but sometimes best avoided. I learned that I love cities – the idea of them, the differences between them, the exploration of them – and that I need to learn at least five more languages to be contentedly multi-lingual. Finally, there are the little things I’ll be taking away from the season, like the going rate of silver sharpies and how many gallons of gas it takes to drive from Denton to Frisco. I learned the best stop to get off the DART train in search of food, that stereotypes are made to be broken, and that the party scene in Sweden is amazing. You know, just to name a few.

I’ve been trying to sum up the season in a few concise words here, but I just can’t. To say that hockey has quickly become a life-long passion seems both an exaggeration and a total understatement. I regret that the season was not the fairytale it should have been for the Stars, but I will always look fondly back on the 2008-2009 season as the year I began finding myself as a hockey fan, and as a person.

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Chelsea

I came into this season in the same way a lot of Stars fans did – the 2008 spring playoff run transformed me from a casual fan and left me wanting more. Even when the Stars were eliminated, I kept watching. At that point, though, I was still strictly a Stars fan. I didn’t even know who Sidney Crosby was, even though I watched the entire series between Detroit and Pittsburgh.

I honestly don’t remember why now, but when the 2008 Icebreaker rolled around, Kristine and I were so set on going that we drove through a hurricane at 7am to be at the front of the Modano line. We stood for hours to get 4 autographs, and could not have been happier. That’s where we got our first free preseason tickets, and I was hooked.

That preseason game started so many things for me, I consider those tickets the best gift I’ve ever been given. It was at that game that we came up with our +/- system, which in combination with our excited ramblings after the game, lead us to starting this blog. Through the blog we’ve met so many amazing writers and other Stars fans. We were so in love with that first game that we ended up going to 15-20 more over the season, which lead to so many more amazing memories.

Hockey became more than just 60 minutes of sport. It opened up a whole world to me that I’m sure I will be a part of for the rest of my life. The blogs, the news, the practices, the games, the pictures, the books, the stats, and especially the people… I’ve learned that it’s about so much more than the product on the ice.

While the Stars players may feel like they disappointed their fans with the end result of this season, they should know that they really didn’t. We got to see career years from Ott and Eriksson, the rise of our rookies, our sophomore defensemen come into their own, the return of Sydor, a bucketful of highlight reel moves from Ribeiro, a couple crazy saves from Turco, Stephan’s first NHL win, six hat tricks, Modano and Robidas in the All-Star Game, a couple of blowouts in our favor, Stu’s first year coaching, previews of a couple of promising prospects, brand-new penalties (clipping, really?), and 82 games of countless other moments.

I am very sad to see this season end, yeah. At the same time, I’m so excited for next season. I know that this fall, another whirlwind of hockey starts, and with it even more amazing memories. I sincerely hope that everyone that follows us on the blog or on Twitter sticks around for next season too, because what are good times without someone to share them with? On that same note, a sincere thank you to all the people who have followed us, even when the Stars were losing and we were slacking off on posting.

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From both of us here at SHR, thank you guys so much. This has been an amazing first season for the blog and for us as fans, and we’ve loved getting to know all of you. Of course, we look forward to suffering through the long offseason with you.

Sometime this week, we’ll be putting up a gallery of our favorite pictures from this season. If you have any, you should definitely suggest them.

April 11, 2009

SHR +/- “OMG Are We Really That Far Behind?” Catch-up

by Chelsea

When the Stars were pretty much eliminated (and then officially eliminated), we kinda went “so what’s the plan for the blog in the postseason, then?” and basically fell asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, we’ve also sorely neglected our duties (like the +/-) for the end of the regular season.

On that note, here are the +/-s for the large handful of games we were missing.


3/24/09 – DAL vs VAN:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley: one for sticking up for Turco; +1
Brendan Morrison: three for the goal; +3
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Loui Eriksson: two for having a ridiculous 7 takeaways and 0 giveaways; +2
Mark Fistric: two for the assist but minus-one for his exceptionaly careless penalty; +1
Steve Ott: minus-two for acting like a thug instead of helping his team; -2
Marty Turco: minus-two for not helping his teammates out and making only 17 saves on 21 shots; -2
Steve Begin: two for the assist; +2


3/26/09 – DAL vs LAK:

Stephane Robidas: one for playing 27:01 to pick up Daley’s slack when he went out; +1
Trevor Daley: one 😦 point for getting injured; +1
Krys Barch: one for standing up for Daley and one 😦 point for getting hurt in the process; +2
Landon Wilson: two for getting nine really solid hits; +2
Jere Lehtinen: one for the shootout goal; +1
Mark Fistric: two for a really solid game; +2
Marty Turco: three for pitching a shutout and earning the team a point, but minus-one for an iffy shootout performance that lost them the other point; +2


3/28/09 – DAL vs FLA

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Stephane Robidas: 😦 ; +1
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal; +3
Brendan Morrison: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and two for not having any giveaways for the sixth game in a row; +4
Chris Conner: three for the goal; +3
Mark Fistric: 😦 ; +1
Steve Ott: two for the assist but minus-two for continuing to act like a thug; +0
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, two for the assist, but minus-one for stinking at faceoffs; +4


3/30/09 – DAL at PHX:

Dan Jancevski: one welcometoDallas! point; +1
Matt Niskanen: two for each assist; +4
Brendan Morrison: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Chris Conner: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Andrew Hutchinson: three for the goal; +3
Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Garrett Stafford: two for each assist and one welcometoDallas! point; +5
Darryl Sydor: three for the goal; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist but minus-one for stinking at faceoffs; +5


3/31/09 – DAL at LAK:

Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
Brendan Morrison: three for each goal; +6
James Neal: minus-one for being overrated; -1
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist; +2
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist; +2
Andrew Hutchinson: one for the solid game; +1
Steve Ott: two for each assist; +4
Marty Turco: one for playing decently; +1
Steve Begin: one for getting six hits; +1
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, one for style, but minus-one for STILL stinking at faceoffs; +3


4/02/09 – DAL at CGY:

Matt Niskanen: one for learning how to get more than one (probably accidental) hit in a game and one for leading the team in shots on goal; +2
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Marty Turco: one for a decent showing; +1
Joel Lundqvist: two for the assist: +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for scoring the team’s only goal and one for style; +4


4/04/09 – DAL vs STL

Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley: three for the goal and one for saving the game in the third period; +4
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for each goal; +6
Tom Wandell: two for each assist; +4
Chris Conner: minus-one for being the only one with a -2; -1
Steve Ott: three for the goal and one for not being thug-Ott anymore; +4
Darryl Sydor: two for the assist and one for being an impressive +4; +3
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist; +2


4/07/09 – DAL at MIN:

Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Ivan Vishnevskiy: one welcometoDallas! point; +1
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist but minus-one for really really stinking at faceoffs; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal; +3


4/09/09 – DAL at COL:

Loui Eriksson: two for the assist; +2
Tom Wandell: one for improving at faceoffs; +1
Mark Fistric: two for the assist; +2
Mark Parrish: three for the goal; +3
Ivan Vishnevskiy: two for the assist and one for having a wicked shot from the point; +3
Mike Ribeiro: one for that shootout goal and one for style; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal; +3


4/10/09 – DAL at ANA:

Last-game-of-the-season special edition.

Nicklas Grossman: one for leading in hits and two for having stepped up big-time as a physical stay-at-home defenseman; +3
Stephane Robidas: one 😦 point for having not gotten to play the last few games of the season, two for carrying the entire defense on his shoulders all year, and one for escaping this season with his nose intact; +4
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for finally showing that he can play without his training wheels (Sydor); +3
Trevor Daley: one 😦 point for having not gotten to play the last few games of the season and one for stepping into the #2 role nicely; +2
Mike Modano: two for his age-defying efforts at the beginning of the season and one don’t-end-your-career-this-way-please point; +3
Brenden Morrow: five points for how ridiculously sorry we are that the Stars didn’t push their season far enough to allow Morrow to come back and play; +5
Brendan Morrison: one thankyou point for stepping up and scoring PPGs when nobody else could; +1
Krys Barch: one 😦 point for missing the last games of the season and two for being the trustworthy (and frightful) Stars cop; +3
Sean Avery: one thankyou point for finding somewhere really far from Dallas and staying there, but minus-six for sticking us with half of that bloated contract and getting what he wanted in the end anyway; -5
Toby Petersen: one 😦 point for having missed the last few games of the season; +1
James Neal: minus-one point for the mixture of severe tunnel-vision (“puckpuckpuckpuckpuck”) and ego (“RAHHH I’M JAMES NEAL”) that lead to him being less-than-effective as the season went on but two determination points for having still tried; +1
Brian Sutherby: two points for coming onto the team from a rival, being willing to work hard, and making a place for himself; +2
Loui Eriksson: one for ending the season on a thirteen-game streak of not having a single giveaway, two for leading the team in goals and for being the 3o-goal-scorer we needed when Morrow went out, one for leading the team in +/-, and one for escaping injury and not missing a single game all season; +5
Landon Wilson: two for being dependable, stepping up as someone who gave 100% when the rest of the team looked mentally exhausted, and putting up with getting scratched way too often; +2
Tom Wandell: one for being a Swedish rockstar; +1
Chris Conner: one for constantly creating chances with his surprising speed; +1
Jere Lehtinen: one for leading the team with 8 shots on goal, one for being the Legendary Leaping Lehtinen, and two please-please-please-take-a-hometown-discount-because-we’d-cry-if-the-Stars-let-you-go points; +4
Andrew Hutchinson: two thankyou points for going from healthy scratch to dependable veteran when Robidas and Daley went out, and doing it admirably; +2
Mark Fistric: one for coming back up from the AHL as the hard-hitting defenseman we all remembered from last year’s playoffs and one for not backing his butt up into Turco’s face as a “defensive maneuver” anymore; +2
Steve Ott: three for each goal, two for the assist, one for the highly-entertaining clip of him sitting on the bench making faces at the Ducks through the plexiglass, and two for growing into a better player and leader; +11
Tobias Stephan: two 😦 points for ending up as the #3 goalie and not getting a decent chance to prove himself because Tippett is stubborn and used Stephan’s career to make a point which is dumb and we could rant about it all day but won’t, two hopeful points for moving on from the Stars after this season, and one sad goodbye point; +5
Marty Turco: minus-one for apparently going from a good shootout goalie to a super-impatient flop-across-the-crease one, minus-two for being Mr. Inconsistent all season, but one for taking responsibility for it, two for his strong play in the middle of the season, and one for showing enough flashes of awesome that we’re reminded there’s still an All-Star under there somewhere; +1
Mark Parrish: two for seeming to have an unbeatable optimistic attitude and two because we have a feeling he won’t be around next season and would be very very sad to see him go; +4
Joel Lundqvist: one 😦 point for having not really come back from his shoulder injury as the Lundqvist we remembered from last season and two because we’re worried Sutherby stole his spot and we’d be very sad to see him go; +3
Phillipe Boucher: two because he is awesome even if he has to play for the Penguins; +2
BJ Crombeen: yaayyyy at least one of our rookies gets a chance at the Cup this season; +2
Steve Begin: two points for sacrificing himself on the PK every night and being a very solid player for the Stars; +2
Darryl Sydor: one 😦 point because he missed the last period of the season, another because his future with the Stars is so uncertain, and one for being Niskanen and then Vishnevskiy’s training wheels; +3
Sergei Zubov: three pleeeeasseee-take-a-hometown-discount-and-come-back-next-season-our-PP-needs-you-so-bad points; +3
Ivan Vishnevskiy: two for the assist and one for looking a little bit like a baby Zubov out there; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist, minus-one for the dumb penalties, one for leading the team in points and matching his assists from last year, and one for (thankfully!!) not missing a single game all season; +5
Brad Richards: one 😦 point for the tragic comedy that is his injury situation, one for being an important player when he was playing, and one for proving us wrong about his importance by showing us what happens to the team when he’s not there; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for ending the season by playing impressive hockey and showing everyone a preview of what they can look forward to next season; +6

April 11, 2009

Better Late Than Never

by Chelsea

Teri, being an excellent Stars fan, found this mention of Robidas on another blog and sent us a link.

Stephane Robidas get Dallas’ Masterton nomination.

It’s a good summary of why he was nominated and what he’s done for the Stars this season, so if you missed that bit of news for whatever reason, there you go.

Also, that blog has some other really interesting posts (like a discussion of players that are 40+ and what they do for their team) that are definitely worth looking at.