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.

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4 Comments to “2008-2009 Season Reflections”

  1. I’d just like to say what a treat it’s been following your blog and Twitter (I’m joshfish, btw). Going to school in Waco has made it difficult to follow all the games, but your dedication to the team and to your followers is a credit to you. I’ve enjoyed sharing this season with you two, and look forward to ’09-’10.

    Go Stars!

  2. I read this a couple of days ago and neglected to comment, but I just LOVED this post. I even got a little misty.

    It’s really been fun hanging out with y’all and the other Stars bloggers this year. It just amazes me the kind of people I’ve met after starting a blog.

    • Aww, thank you so much, Patty. I’m so glad we finally got to hang out in person at HOB. 🙂 We’ll definitely have to have a lot more blogger get-togethers next season.

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