October 11, 2010

SHR +/-: Opening Weekend

by Chelsea

For anyone who is unfamiliar with SHR +/-, it’s how Kristine and I rate the Dallas Stars players after every game. We use a standard +3 for goals and +2 for assists. Other things like being a good teammate or doing something with style will usually get them +1. We’ll take away points for things like really bad giveaways, stupid penalties, and so on. Sometimes the good and the bad cancel out, so the player ends up with +0.

The table here shows everyone’s totals, the top and bottom players, and past winners and losers.


October 8, 2010 @ NJD

Stephane Robidas:
+2 for the sliding skate save; +2
Trevor Daley:
-1 for tipping a goal past Lehtonen, -2 for sliding into him on the second goal, and -2 for spending the majority of the game standing around looking like he forgot how hockey works; -5
Brenden Morrow:
+3 for the goal, +1 because it was classic; +4
Jamie Benn:
+1 for putting Volchenkov over the boards; +1
Adam Burish:
+1 for yayyy Burish is a Star; +1
James Neal:
+2 for each assist; +4
Loui Eriksson:
+3 for each goal, +1 for style, and +2 because we decided he’s so awesome that he gets some of the points we took away from Daley; +9
Mark Fistric:
+2 for the assist, -1 for falling at a really bad time but +1 for spending the rest of the game making up for it; +2
Steve Ott:
-1 for all of the pointless penalties; –1
Kari Lehtonen:
-1 for an iffy start but +2 for more than making up for it with a strong finish; +1
Mike Ribeiro:
+2 for the assist, +1 because it was also classic; +3
Brad Richards:
+3 for the goal, +2 for the assist; +5

 

October 9, 2010 @ NYI

Nicklas Grossman: +2 for the assist, +1 for not taking weeks to get his first point of the season this year; +3
Stephane Robidas:
+3 for the goal, -1 for each of those dumb third period penalties; +1
Matt Niskanen:
that beard has got to go; -1
Trevor Daley:
+2 for the assist, -1 for making us all very nervous during the 25:47 he was on the ice; +1
Brenden Morrow:
+3 for each goal; +6
Jamie Benn:
+3 for the goal, +1 concern/pity point; +4
James Neal:
-1 for that timid waste of a shootout attempt; -1
Steve Ott:
+2 for the assist, -1 for more pointless penalties; +1
Kari Lehtonen:
+1 for stealing a point for the Stars and +2 for stealing the second point with a stellar shootout performance; +3
Mike Ribeiro:
+2 for each assist, +1 for his “starry cranium”, and +1 for shootout awesomeness; +6
Brad Richards:
+2 for each assist; +4

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October 11, 2010

Ribeiro Made Headlines Today…

by Kristine

…headlines that read something like “Dallas Star Mike Ribeiro Arrested for Public Intoxication.”

I wish I was kidding. I wish I had been able to log in here and write a few thoughts about our first two games, as I had originally planned. I wish one of our players wasn’t that guy.

However.

Let’s look at this from another angle. If you go to the Dallas Morning News Plano Blog (I live in Plano and was unaware such a thing even exists until now), they have a post with the hardcopy of his arrest documents in a nifty little PDF widget. In it, you can find one detail that is being left out of news reports about the incident: somebody he was with was arrested for assault at the same time. Now, I’m not making excuses for Ribeiro. I’m sure a big part of his arrest can be attributed to his mouth – we know how sassy he can be. I can just picture the police showing up because of something his friend did – assault – and Ribs, who has been celebrating a good start to the season and is intoxicated, tries to defend his friend to the police. A commenter on the DMN post points out that often times “arrests of this type are when someone can’t shut up when a police officer tells them to.” From my own experience working in the food industry, and having friends who do as well, this rings very true.

So while I’m not crazy about the negative publicity this is sure to bring to us – overshadowing the good news that we’ve had our best start in four seasons – I’m looking on the bright side. After all, at least it was just a PI charge, not assault. And I’m going to believe that the whole incident wouldn’t have happened if his friend hadn’t assaulted somebody. And honestly, if our players want to celebrate like that once in a while, I don’t really care. If it doesn’t affect their time on the ice, what they do with their time off it is their own business.

Update: The CBS story explains that Ribs, his wife, and another couple were out to dinner and other diners made comments towards the women. Ribs and the other man defended them, but an off-duty officer intervened and escorted them outside, where they were then arrested for PI. So again, please. Give him a little slack here. He might have been drunk, but he was probably arrested unnecessarily.

October 9, 2010

by Kristine

We're back!

Sorry for disappearing last season, everyone!  We spent the first few months of it trying to muster up enthusiasm for something we were quickly losing faith in. Blogging started to feel like work. Chels got burnt out on her losing-game-after-losing-game reviews, and I started to hate reporting another slide in the weekly power rankings. Then at some point Chels put off her game review for a few extra days. I skipped a Picture Fantastic. Before we knew it, we weren’t updating the blog at all. Other parts of our life took over and the blog became something we just didn’t make time for. We were even making less time for hockey.

But we’re done doing that. We missed the connection the blog allows us with other hockey fans. We missed being excited to talk to everyone about every little detail of the games. So now we’re back, and we’re letting you know that we’re really excited about this season. It’s probably no surprise that we won’t be missing Turco, and we agree with those of you who wish Mo had just retired but we do like how losing him shifted the balance towards being a younger team. Plus we like the addition of Burish – we watched Hawk team videos just to watch him and we’re sure that his energy is infectious – and we feel like the team has found all the chemistry that was missing last season. So we’re going to be here, talking about that, all season. We’re going to start out slowly with just a few features: SHR +/-, the Weekly Power Rankings, and Chemistry by the Numbers. And, of course, if we have some thoughts to express about anything at all, you’ll be sure to know.

Also, SHR 2.0 features a more user- and Stars- friendly layout, an updated sidebar and footer, the ability to “Like” posts (from the comment page), an organized list of tags for you to browse posts by, and the ability to subscribe to an email alerting you to SHR updates. We love it and we hope you do too!

Excited to be back,
Kristine

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November 11, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

The big word in the power rankings this week is “goals.” Let’s see why…

Actual rank: 12th in league; 8th in West; 4th in Pacific.
Record: 7-4-6. L10: 4-3-3.

ESPN by Pierre LeBrun
Stars: 13 this week; 13 last week. “Marc Crawford’s group is producing goals: 3.18 per game, eighth in the NHL.
Of Note: Montreal at 19 this week; 18 last week. “Win one, lose one, win one, lose one, win one, lose one. …
My thoughts: The Stars can score… Or can they? They started off the season scoring at least four goals in almost every game, but have scored only two goals in each of their last four games. They’re not quite at the “win one, lose one, win one, lose one” pace the Habs are at (and the Stars were at most of last season), but they will be if they don’t rediscover their offensive prowess. With their next three games on the road – two of which are against Pacific teams – they need to really get their legs moving and hope that more pucks start finding the back of the net.

TSN
Stars:
14 this week; 11 last week. “Goals are suddenly at a premium in Big D, as they’ve managed eight in the last four games, after scoring 21 in the previous five. Key Injuries: LW James Neal (groin).
Of Note: San Jose at 1 this week; 1 last week. “Eight straight games without a regulation loss, the Sharks get to keep top spot for another week and the forecast gets even better now that Joe Pavelski has returned to anchor the second line. Key Injuries: D Rob Blake (shoulder), RW Devin Setoguchi (leg).
My thoughts: See? Even TSN has noticed that our goal scoring has dropped considerably lately. The Sharks are not afraid to get the puck on net, averaging 31.5 SOG/game. However, they’re also allowing 29.3 SOG/game. Maybe the biggest key for this game will be just to get the puck to the net and see what happens. The Stars do love breaking win streaks (remember the first Calgary game this season?) almost as much as they love being the underdogs.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 19 this time; 11 last time. “Brad Richards has recorded a point in every game he’s played except two this season.
Of Note: Detroit at 15 this time; 21 last time. “Speaking of banged up teams, Red Wings lose another body as Jason Williams sustains broken leg.
My thoughts: I love when we lose eight places but the comment is something positive. On the opposite side, the Wings jumped up six places but the comment is about an injury. What gives, THN? I think what they mean is “Brad Richards is recording points, but the Stars are not.” I honestly don’t have much to say about dropping so far down except that it doesn’t surprise me. One handful of less-than-stellar games and plenty of people go back to discrediting the Stars. I think they’d be sitting on top the division and people would still be waiting for them to fall.

I guess overall I’m a little frustrated. The Stars are having trouble finiding consistency, which makes it easy to forget that they’re still at a .588 point percentage for the season. Regardless, I get discouraged when I see them losing to teams they should be able to easily beat (ahem, Minnesota), and it seems like the power rankers feel the same way. They moved down 3 at TSN, 8 at THN, and somehow stayed the same at ESPN. They’re also ranked highest at ESPN (13th), and lowest at THN (19th). They play the Sharks and Coyotes before the next rankings come out, which could mean a big jump (if they beat at least one of them) or a big fall (if they lose to both). My bold prediction: They manage a win against the Sharks, but turn around and trip over Tippett’s Yotes.

November 6, 2009

Notes and +/- (DAL vs CGY)

by Chelsea

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Iginla, McElhinney, Richards
  • Stars were 0-5 on the power play and 3-4 on the penalty kill. Once again, they did not capitalize on a lengthy 5-on-3.
  • Dallas gave up their one-goal lead with 50 seconds left in regulation. They then failed to kill off a bad penalty in overtime, resulting in the 3-2 OTL.
  • The Stars outshot the Flames 40-23 but were outhit 36-25.
  • Tom Wandell led the team in takeaways with 3.
  • Stephane Robidas led the team in blocked shots with 5.
  • Karlis Skrastins assisted on both of the Dallas goals.
  • Conclusion: Stars should have taken advantage of at least one of those five power plays. They should not have allowed the game-tying goal with under a minute to play. As horrible as it was to lose the game on a ridiculous call against Grossman in overtime, they should not have gotten to that point in the first place. Still, they outplayed the Flames for most of the game, which is something to be positive about.

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: one for a solid game; +1
Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Mike Modano: one welcome back! point; +1
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Jere Lehtinen: one welcome back! point; +1
Karlis Skrastins: two for each assist; +4
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2

November 5, 2009

Weekly Picture Fantastic

by Kristine

Welcome to the WPF! This week we’re looking at Halloween weekend up until the Flames game last night.


October 30 was Coach Crow’s 1000th NHL game coached, and the Stars honored him before the puck drop.


We finally got Lehts and Mo back November 4th against the Flames.


I’m not sure why Morrow has a black eye when the last time he fought was… last season after Brown nailed Ribs into the boards?


The most exciting new line we have this season – Swedes and Sudsy.


I have a new love of the Ice Girls for getting our Stars to pose with their pompoms. You can see more Stars with poms here.

November 3, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

After a somewhat dismal group of games to close out October, let’s see what the media is saying about the Stars this week.

Actual rank: 10th in league; 6th in West; 4th in Pacific.
Record: 6-3-5. L10: 5-3-2.

ESPN by Pierre LeBrun
Stars: 13 this week; 14 last week. Backup netminder (at least in theory) Alex Auld drew back-to-back starts in losses to Florida and Nashville as the Stars continue underwhelming (2-2-2) play at home.”
Of Note: Phoenix at 6 this week; 16 last week. The Coyotes continue to prove they are for real with three straight wins, and Ilya Bryzgalov continues to shine in goal. (He’s allowed just 25 goals in 13 games.)”
My thoughts: Underwhelming is one way to put it. You could also substitute “pathetic” or “uninspired” and be okay. For a team that had a 16-19-6 road record last season, the Stars are winning road games they should not be winning – and losing home games they should not be losing. This season’s 4-1-3 road record is definitely better than 2-2-2 at home, but the L5 of 2-1-2 isn’t stellar. No matter where they play, the Stars need to pick it up. Having a goalie with a breakout season like Bryzgalov would go a long way towards that, but so would some solid defense and consistent special teams. Sound familiar?

TSN
Stars:
6 this week; 11 last week. With four points in the last four games, Fabian Brunnstrom is starting to contribute offensively, giving the Stars all kinds of depth up front. Now, they just need Marty Turco to get over his illness, because he’s been much better than Alex Auld so far this season. Key Injuries: G Marty Turco (flu).”
Of Note: Boston at 20 this week; 20 last week. Not the Bruins handle the man advantage much better, going 2-for-36 (5.6%) over the last 11 games, a trend that might prompt a change in power play personnel, like getting Dennis Wideman back on the first unit in place of Derek Morris, for example. Key Injuries: C Marc Savard (foot), LW Milan Lucic (finger).
My thoughts: Finally, Fabian Brunnstrom gets some credit. Everyone is so busy talking about Holy Cow Jamie Benn that they’re overlooking the fact that Bunny has quietly accumulated six assists and a goal so far. It’s also nice to hear that our starting goalie has been better than our backup goalie this season, considering that’s kind of how it should be. Turco’s been a bit shaky at times, giving up goals at critical times, but his overall game is much better than it was last season. So far he’s got a .917 sv%. More importantly, he’s sitting with a 2.26 GAA in front of a team that’s scoring 3.43 goals per game on average. That’s behind only Calgary, Washington, and Philly, in case you were wondering. It helps that, unlike the mighty Bruins, the Stars are occassionally managing to score on their PPs. With Brad Richards back and healthy, our middle-of-the-league power play should improve. As long as that happens, and Turco keeps up the good work, the Stars should also continue to improve.

Yahoo by Ross McKeon
Stars: 16 this time; 17 last time. “Marty Turco is off to a better start this season than last. You don’t think it has anything to do with it being a contract year, do ya?”
Of Note: Colorado at 2 this time; 30 last time. “Best story of the early season, bar none. Craig Anderson is emerging as a star in goal. And if you haven’t gotten a glimpse of teen-aged rookies Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene you really are missing something.”
My thoughts: Another ranking, another talk of our goaltending. Turco needs to have a big year, but more than that, the Stars need Turco to have a big year. Of course, Turco being off to a better start this year than last doesn’t say much, considering he started last year with 29 goals against in his first eight games. At least this year, he has a viable backup in Alex Auld (who I still believe in despite his rocky back-to-back starts last week). Meanwhile, Colorado has in Craig Anderson what we wish we could have in Turco, as Anderson has been leading the surprise charge to first place in the West for the Avs.

Overall, despite a less than stellar handful of games to close out the start of the season, the media seems to be remaining pretty optomistic about the Stars. It has been an encouraging first month. They have points in 11 of their first 14 – points that could be very valuable when the playoff crunch rolls around. For November, I’m hoping they start picking up those points in regulation instead of giving away points in a good third of the games they play. As much as the points we’ve gained in OT losses could help us in the final crunch, the points we’ve given to other teams could hurt us. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

At time of publication, The Hockey News had yet to update their power rankings for the week.

November 2, 2009

Mr. Monthly Monday: Brad Richards

by Chelsea

Mono. Shoulder problems. Broken wrist, broken hand. Combine all of these things, and you get one overpaid underwhelming center. Last season, we were quick to jump on Brad Richards. He didn’t play to expectations, seemed to be constantly unhappy, and apparently required a leadership role to feel comfortable with the team.

Now he’s (mostly) healthy and has started to look a lot more like the guy who won a Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in Tampa Bay. He seems to really thrive in Crawford’s new system and finally looks like he’s finding a place on the team. From all accounts, he’s become an actual leader and is playing a big role in James Neal’s hot start.

In fact, Richards has a point in 10 of the 12 games he’s played in this season. He’s had 2 or more points in 6 of those games. That comes out to 33 goals and 80 assists (113 points) if he keeps this up for the remaining 68 games. As unlikely as that is, it means he could drop his production by 25% and still challenge for the highest point total in Dallas this season.

In the stretch of four games near the beginning of the season (Oct 6-14) when the power play was at its best (appr. 29.4%), Brad Richards had 3 goals and 5 assists. He had a hand in 3/5 of the power play goals scored. It would be very interesting to see what would happen to his point totals if the special teams started clicking again.

His 17 points are good for 11th best in the entire NHL, and his 12 assists put him in the top 5.

To put it simply… Brad Richards keeps up the good work, and the Stars will almost certainly have a chance to compete for this:

Lastly, for those of you that are not satisfied by this post and/or want to read about the pre-Dallas Richards, there is actually a Brad Richards book. For those of you that fit into the previous categories but not to the extent that you want to hunt down said book, there’s always his Wikipedia page.

November 2, 2009

Weekend Notes and +/-

by Chelsea

Notes (DAL vs FLA):

  • The three game stars, in order: Reinprecht, Wandell, Horton
  • All three of Reinprecht’s goals came while the Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn line was on the ice.
  • The Stars recovered from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime, but were once again unable to score in the shootout.
  • The game was head coach Marc Crawford’s 1000th behind an NHL bench.
  • Ribeiro’s line was a combined -9, while Wandell’s (with Brunnstrom and Sutherby) was a combined +6.
  • Wandell’s line also combined for 2 goals and 4 assists, including Brunnstrom’s first goal this season.
  • James Neal lead the team with 6 hits.
  • Stephane Robidas and Karlis Skrastins each had 5 blocked shots.
  • Conclusion: The Stars are not going to make the playoffs if they continue to play below their ability every time they face the Eastern Conference.

SHR +/- (DAL vs FLA):

Stephane Robidas: three for the goal; +3
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Brenden Morrow: two for each assist but minus-one for an overall bad game; +3
Jamie Benn: two for the assist but minus-one for an overall bad game; +1
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Tom Wandell: two for each assist and one for being the Stars’ best player; +5
Alex Auld: minus-one for a rough outing; -1
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal but minus-one for an overall bad game; +2
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5

Notes (DAL @ NSH):

  • The three game stars, in order: Dumont, Hornqvist, Klein
  • Alex Auld played in both back-to-back games due to Marty Turco being out with flu-like symptoms.
  • The Morrow-Ribeiro-Benn line was a combined -6, while the Sutherby-Wandell-Brunnstrom line managed a combined +3.
  • Wandell’s line accounted for half of the Stars’ scoring (1 g, 2a).
  • Wandell also tied for the lead (with Mark Fistric) in blocked shots with 3.
  • Conclusion: The Stars’ power play had the opportunity to put the game away for the second time in two games, but came up short. The top two lines need some rearranging if Dallas wants to get more than 1 out of every 4 available points.  Hopefully the return of Modano and Lehtinen can help stabilize the team while they get back on track.

SHR +/- (DAL @ NSH):

James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal; +3
Tom Wandell: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: three for the goal; +3
Mike Ribeiro: meh; -1
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist; +2

October 30, 2009

Notes and +/- (DAL vs TOR)

by Chelsea

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Ribeiro, Kulemin, Richards
  • Matt Niskanen returned from his head injury in style, getting assists on both of Richards’ goals.
  • Whoever was recording hits went a little nutty, as each team was credited with 33. Brenden Morrow led all skaters with 6.
  • Brad Richards led in shots on goal with 5.
  • Richards and Ribeiro both struggled with faceoffs, winning 40% and 41% respectively.
  • Despite being outshot 10-2 in the first period, the Stars managed to get 34 shots on goal in the last two periods to match Toronto.
  • Conclusion: Last season, this game would have ended as a 4-2 defeat when the Stars pulled their goalie and had their empty net scored on in the final few minutes. That is why, despite the truly awful first period, I can say this game was still a good win. In about six minutes, they went from being down by one (0 points) to forcing overtime (1 point) to actually winning overtime (2 points!) which is not something they managed very often last year. Still, it is kind of annoying that the Stars can beat teams like Chicago and Calgary but look lost playing a team that took three weeks to get their first win.

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: two for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: two for each assist and one for an overall solid game; +5
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist; +2
Jamie Benn: two for the assist; +1
James Neal: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for an overall solid game; +6
Marty Turco: two for the win but minus-one for staring at the rebounds he allowed instead of stopping them from getting in the net; +1
Karlis Skrastins: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for drawing penalties in style; +6
Brad Richards: three for each goal; +6