Posts tagged ‘Anaheim Ducks’

October 30, 2010

SHR +/-: Dropping the Ball

by Chelsea

October 21, 2010 @ FLA

Nicklas Grossman:
+2 for the assist; +2
Stephane Robidas:
+2 for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley:
+2 for the assist: +2
Jamie Benn:
+2 for each assist and +1 for coming back with a bang; +7
Adam Burish:
+2 for sticking up for Ribeiro by fighting Wideman and +1 for doing such a good job of it; +3
James Neal:
+3 for the goal; +3
Loui Eriksson:
+2 for the assist: +2
Tom Wandell:
+3 for each goal; +6
Steve Ott:
+3 for the goal; +3
Kari Lehtonen:
+2 for a good game; +2
Karlis Skrastins:
+2 for the assist: +2

October 23, 2010 vs. NSH

Nicklas Grossman: +1 for leading the team with 8 hits; +1
Toby Petersen:
-1 for consistent faceoff fail; -1
Tom Wandell:
see Petersen, Toby; -1
Kari Lehtonen:
+1 for a solid outing but -1 for the game-winning gaffe; +0

October 26, 2010 vs. ANA

Stephane Robidas: -1 for the penalty that put the Stars down a man for five minutes but +1 because it wasn’t really his fault; +0
Toby Petersen:
+2 for the assist; +2
Brian Sutherby:
+3 for the goal; +3
Loui Eriksson:
+3 for the goal and +1 for being the only one on his line that showed up; +4
Brandon Segal:
+2 for the assist: +2
Mike Ribeiro:
+2 for the assist; +2
Brad Richards:
+2 for the assist but -1 for losing 3x as many faceoffs as he won; +1

October 28, 2010 vs. LAK

Matt Niskanen: +1 for tying for the team lead in hits (what?) with 6; +1
Brenden Morrow: -1 for being uninspiring all night; -1
Jamie Benn:
-2 for that team-worst -3 but +1 because Crow should know by now that he doesn’t work on a line with Ribeiro and Morrow; -1
Toby Petersen:
+1 for centering the only line that didn’t suck; +1
James Neal:
+2 for the assist; +2
Brian Sutherby:
+2 for the assist and +1 for an overall solid game; +3
Loui Eriksson: +2 for the assist; +2
Brandon Segal:
+3 for the goal and +1 for an overall solid game; +4
Steve Ott:
+2 for the assist, +1 for tying for the team lead in hits with 6, but -2 for that team-worst -3; +1
Andrew Raycroft:
+1 for filling in nicely for Lehtonen; +1
Kari Lehtonen:
-2 for a completely unspectacular game; -2
Philip Larsen:
+2 for the assist, +2 for doing more in one game than some Stars D have managed all season, but -1 for a few rookie brainfarts; +3
Brad Richards: +3 for the goal; +3

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October 27, 2009

Power Rankings Round Up

by Kristine

Dallas continues to move up the power rankings. Let’s take a look at why…

Actual rank: 9th in league; 6th in West; 3rd in Pacific.
Record: 5-2-4. L10: 5-2-3.

ESPN by Pierre LeBrun
Stars: 14 this week; 13 last week. Snubbed by Team Canada at its Olympic orientation camp this past summer, Brad Richards has roared out of the gates with 13 points (3-10) and a plus-5 rating in nine games.“
Of Note: Anaheim at 22 this week; 20 last week. Here’s a deadly combo: 24th in offense and 27th in defense. So far, the balanced scoring we were supposed to see this season hasn’t materialized.”
My thoughts: There are plenty of people on the Stars roster with something to prove this season, and Richards is at the top of that list. Not only was he snubbed by Team Canada, he also has to carry the burden of a loaded contract and the pressure to follow up two less-than-healthy seasons. So far, he’s doing just fine proving the haters wrong. His offense is invaluable to the Stars, and the powerplay noticeably improves with him on the point. We all owe the unbalanced Ducks some thanks – for our win over them, and for Toronto’s win over them. The Leafs got their first win of the season versus them Monday night thanks to a hat trick from Nicklas Hagman, which means they won’t be coming into the AAC tomorrow night hungry for win #1.

The Hockey News
by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 11 this week; 15 last week. Marty Turco starting to hit his stride.
Of Note: Toronto at 30 this week; 30 last week. Maybe return of goalie Jonas Gustavsson can help right ship.
My thoughts: The three power ranking writers rarely agree on many things, but one thing they unanimously have been in agreement on this season is that the Maple Leafs are the league’s worst team. THN published their rankings yesterday, which means they correctly predicted Gustavsson’s return being beneficial to the team (he was in net when they beat the Ducks). With The Monster and his Leafs rolling into town tomorrow night, it’s starting to look like Dallas vs Toronto will be a goalie showdown more than anything. I predict fairly even save percentages, but with the Stars vastly out-shooting the Leafs. If THN is right, and Turco is hitting his stride at the same time our offense is finding its feet, the Stars are on their way to becoming quite the threat in the West.

TSN
Stars: 6 this week; 11 last week. Youth is being served in Dallas, too, as three of their scoring wingers — Loui Eriksson, James Neal and Jamie Benn — are all under 25. Key Injuries: C Mike Modano (ribs), D Matt Niskanen (head).”
Of Note: Buffalo at 1 this week; 6 last week. Starting goaltender Ryan Miller has yet to lose in regulation and his strong play backstops a Sabres team that may not be finishing enough, but is carrying the play, outshooting the opposition by double figures five times already. Key Injuries: None.
My thoughts: No, that is not a typo. TSN – notorious for Canadian team favoritism – has Dallas at 6th and Buffalo at 1st this week. They make a very valid point about the Stars; if it weren’t for our youth (qualifying that as TSN did, with players under 25) scoring, we would be less 17 goals and 27 assists. It’s also interesting to note that every single player under the age of 25 on the Stars roster has recorded at least one assist so far this season. Regardless of our explosion of youth scoring, the other rankers seem a little reluctant to jump on the Dallas bandwagon. TSN seems to be fully on board, which is fun, but a little odd. Last season I was continually frustrated with their lack of faith in the team. It’s nice to see them getting a bit of attention from the Canadian media. As for the Sabres, they’re sitting pretty at 3rd in the East with a 6-1-1 record so far. I chose to feature them for two reasons: they’re a team not named the Penguins who hold the first spot in a ranking, and they were in 6th last week. Can the Stars follow their lead and continue to move up?

In that vein, let’s look at the upcoming schedule. Our next three opponents are Toronto, Florida, and Nashville. If you average out the three power rankings, they are currently at 30th, 28th, and 27th respectively. The Stars are, on average, at 10th right now. On paper, we have the next six points in the bag. However, with Ott suspended until the Nashville game and a few big names already battling injuries, it would be a mistake to go into any of these games over-confident.

In any case, it’s exciting to watch the Stars move up the rankings this season after spending all last season watching them plummet. October is wrapping up, and it’s so nice to say “it’s been 10 games already” instead of “it’s only 10 games…”! Now they just have to keep getting wins and gathering points, and prove to ESPN and The Hockey News why TSN is on their bandwagon.

October 22, 2009

Artyukhin Suspended

by Chelsea

The NHL has decided to suspend Evgeny Artyukhin for slew-footing Matt Niskanen. As no penalty was called on the play, it seems likely that someone spoke up and brought it to the league’s attention, and it’s nice to see them take action.

Anaheim forward Evgeny Artyukhin has been suspended for three games without pay by the National Hockey League as the result of a slew-footing (see rule) incident against Dallas Stars defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was injured on the play.

The incident occurred at 4:23 of the second period of Dallas’ 4-2 win at Anaheim on Wednesday night. No penalty was assessed on the play.

Artyukhin, who was suspended for two games Jan. 19, 2009, now is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Accordingly, Artyukhin forfeits $34,756.11 in salary based on the number of games (82) in a season, rather than the number of days (193). The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Artyukhin will miss Saturday’s game against Columbus, Oct. 26 against Toronto and Oct. 30 against Vancouver. He will be eligible to return Oct. 31 at Phoenix.

October 22, 2009

Game Review – 10/21/09 (DAL @ ANA)

by Chelsea

Game:

Continuing their new habit of stealing wins on the road, the Stars roared into Anaheim and whipped up on some zombie Ducks for the better part of two periods. It was a relief for Dallas fans to see the other team sleepwalking after that slight embarrassment against the Kings.

They gained a lead late in the first with a great shift from Wandell’s line. The rookie center moved up in between James Neal and Loui Eriksson, who both seemed to be struggling to create offense without Brad Richards. The goal itself was classic Eriksson, who was fighting for position in the crease and  found space to shove Neal’s rebound past Jonas Hiller.

The pressure continued in the second period, when Stars fans were treated to a flash of the Ribeiro-Morrow brilliance that was sorely missing last season. It happened when Hiller attempted to play the puck, only to have his pass intercepted by Ribeiro, who proceeded to immediately slide it straight to Brenden Morrow. The entire play was so quick and effortless that Hiller couldn’t even recover before the puck was in the net.

Moments later, Evgeny Artyukhin pulled a very cheap move on defenseman Matt Niskanen, kicking his feet out from under him mid-check. As a result, Niskanen’s head hit the ice as he landed. Despite getting up on his own, he left the game and is now out with a head injury.

Not only did the officials neglect to call a penalty on the play, they called a crosschecking penalty on Sutherby when he tried to hold Artyukhin accountable for his actions.

Dallas responded by killing off that penalty and breaking their power play drought on the next Anaheim penalty. This one was thanks to Trevor Daley, who found his sweet spot in the high circle and whipped a shot past Hiller.

Despite stepping off the gas and allowing goals from Ryan Getzlaf and Joffrey Lupul, the Stars held onto their lead thanks to some hard work by Marty Turco. He stopped 13 of 14 third period shots and did not allow the Ducks to tie it. When they pulled their goalie, Ott was able to seal the win with an empty net goal.

Notes:

  • The three homertastic game stars, in order: Wisniewski, Eriksson, Getzlaf
  • Our three stars: Eriksson, Ott, Hiller
  • The game was Morrow’s 600th career game (all with the Stars), so it was fitting that #10 scored the goal that moved him into the 10th spot on all-time Stars goalscoring. Congrats!
  • Despite a somewhat slow start, Eriksson is on pace to score 36 goals again this season.
  • If Morrow were to stay scoring goals at the same pace he’s at, he’d breach 50 by the end of the season.
  • Nicklas Grossman continues to lead the league in +/-.
  • More Anaheim homerism: the Ducks outhit the Stars 30-11. Steve Ott was only credited with 2 hits, when he almost certainly had more than that in the first period alone.
  • Mark Fistric and Jamie Benn were the only Stars to have more than 1 blocked shot, with 3 and 2 respectively.
  • Francis Wathier, playing in his NHL debut, looked solid and got a good fight in against Mike Brown.
  • Conclusion: A good win. Came very close to stringing together 3 periods of solid play. Getting Ott back was big, and it was nice to see more than one line creating chances.

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: two for the assist and one for an overall good game; +3
Matt Niskanen: one angry upset concerned point; +1
Trevor Daley: three for the goal; +3
Brenden Morrow: three for the goal and one congrats! point; +4
Krys Barch: one for the fight; +1
Toby Petersen: one for looking solid in the third period when the rest of the team was struggling; +1
James Neal: two for each assist; +4
Brian Sutherby: two for trying to stick up for Niskanen but minus-one for being kinda meh otherwise; +1
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Tom Wandell: two for the assist; +2
Mark Fistric: one for a solid overall game; +1
Steve Ott: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Marty Turco: one for playing well overall and one for somehow registering a shot on goal; +2
Karlis Skrastins: minus-one for kinda having a rough game; -1
Francis Wathier: one for the fight; +1
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist and one for winning 14 out of 21 faceoffs; +3

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

March 10, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Welcome to the return of PRRU. I skipped last week due to the excitement of the trade deadline, and a lot has happened between the last one, on February 24, and this round. Petersen was placed on IR, we acquired Steve Begin from Montreal, Ott got mugged and suspended, we went on a five-game losing streak at home, we snagged Brendan Morrison off waivers from the Ducks, and Landon Wilson returned from his shoulder injury. Looking at that laundry list, it will be interesting to see how our rankings have changed. I’ll be noting not only where we are this week compared to last week, but where we were for my last PRRU post (pre-trade deadline).

Actual rank: 19th in league; 9th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 31-27-8. L10: 3-6-1.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 18 this week; 21 last week; 11 pre-deadline. “Stars’ come off solid 2-0-1 road trip by losing to Montreal to extend their home losing streak to six games.”
Of Note: Nashville Predators at 16 this week; 18 last week. “The Predators’ six-game winning streak ends with a 4-1 loss in Philadelphia. Nashville with a 12-5 edge in third period goals over their last eight games. “
My thoughts: See what losing six straight home games will do? Bump you down on EVERY list – including power rankings and playoff contenders and actual league rankings. What good does a solid 5-of-6-points road trip do when you can’t win a home game? If anything, the back and forth and lack of consistency is dooming the team to missing both the playoffs and a decent draft pick. In the mean time, while the Stars are busy losing, the Preds have been busy winning. They currently sit above the Stars in the 8th seed in the West and seem to be making a hard last-hour push. Are they the Stars’ biggest competition right now? I might say yes if I didn’t believe that the Stars’ biggest competition is themselves.

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 21 this week; 20 last week; 11 pre-deadline. “There’s no place like the road for the Dallas Stars? They matched a franchise record with their sixth consecutive home loss in Sunday’s 3-1 decision versus the Canadiens. Last time that happened? 1970.”
Of Note: Anaheim Ducks at 20 this week; 15 last week. “Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer are still in town, Travis Moen and Kent Huskins are not, and the Ducks seem to be slowly falling further out of playoff contention.
My thoughts: It’s no secret that I hate the Ducks. Their players are dirty and they’re just mediocre enough that I can’t respect them for their talent. So to hear that people consider them to be falling further out of playoff contention makes me happy until I realize that their L10 of 3-6-1 is exactly the same as our L10. Ouch. Going by that, if they’re falling out of playoff contention, so are we. ESPN touches on the fact that our six home losses is good for worst home losing streak since the Stars moved to Dallas. It amazes me, honestly, that anyone can still consider us playoff contenders when we’ve been on the worse side of inconsistent since the end of our five game winning streak at the end of January. Take a look at the last 20 games, which starts in the middle of said winning streak: W W W L W W L W L W W L L L L L W O W L. Can you imagine if you condensed that into a seven-game playoff series? Winning every other game won’t get you very far into the playoffs in that scenario, depending on if your series went W L W L W L W or L W L W L W L. Playing all seven games of every round would exhaust even the best teams. The Stars are going to have to find a way to win more than two games in a row soon if they want to even think about beating other teams in the post-season.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 22 this week;  25 last week; 13 pre-deadline. “Just seem to be sucking fumes these days.
Of Note: St Louis Blues at 19 this week; 14 last week. “Not dealing Keith Tkachuk shows St. Louis believes it can make the playoffs now.
My thoughts: I think THN sums it up well. It’s not the most insightful comment that could be made, but it’s true. The Stars seem to be running on empty lately. They’ll pull out a game or two here and there that will give everyone hope, and then it’s back to sloppy hockey (see: Anaheim, Montreal games). Sometimes they only manage a period or two of good hockey before sputtering out. Is it the result of playing with a playoff mindset for the entire last half of the season? Is the injury situation finally hitting home and wearing them out? Speculate all day if you want to, but I agree with the person who said we should change our motto to “Our Team, Next Time.” Obviously something just isn’t clicking this season, but the parts are all there and ready to work together next season. In the meantime, the Blues are hanging out at the bottom of the playoff race with 66 points. They’re 6-3-1 in their L10 and their next game? A home game against the Stars tonight. We lost to them 3-1 two weeks ago as part of our dismal homestand, and with them pushing for that 8th seed, it’s going to be a tough match-up.

TSN
Stars: 22 this week;  22 last week; 19 pre-deadline. “Grabbing Brendan Morrison off the waiver wire isn’t exactly making a big push for the postseason, but he’s a serviceable stopgap on the Stars’ decimated forward ranks. Key Injuries: C Brad Richards (wrist), RW Jere Lehtinen (upper body).
Of Note: Phoenix Coyotes at 28 this week; 28 last week. “In the grand scheme of things, the Coyotes aren’t necessarily much worse off without Olli Jokinen, Daniel Carcillo, Derek Morris and Mikael Tellqvist, but they’re on a streak of six straight games in which they haven’t scored more than two goals, so it’s hard to say they’re better. Key Injuries: None.
My thoughts: You can add “Fabulous Fabian” Brunnstrom to that list of key injuries, as I consider him to be an important cog in the duct-taped machine that is the Stars this season. I’m disappointed in the lack of impact Morrison has had so far; the only thing he’s really done has been to center Neal and Brunnstrom, which was not nearly as fiery as when Sutherby centered it. However, like TSN points out, he’s a body, and we’re short on those right now. It’s also important to note that no matter how bad we are, we still aren’t the Yotes! Our franchise is firmly planted here in Dallas, and we’re in the 9th seed and not the Coyotes’ 14th. As far as division rivals go, the Coyotes may have our number this season, but we seem to be the only team they can beat right now.

As always, what do you agree or disagree with? I’d love this series to be an open forum for you guys to share your thoughts on where the Stars are at and how they’ve been playing, so please feel free to comment.

March 2, 2009

Weekend Review

by Chelsea

It was a disappointing weekend for the Stars (and Stars fans), who saw the season’s longest homestand end with a pair of back-to-back losses. The typical game reviews for those losses are getting lumped together here in a fabulous fowl-filled Weekend Review! 

The Good:

Mike Ribeiro spent most of Saturday looking positively pissed. He came out with the kind of determination that it takes to win games, and tried his best to drag the team behind him as he collected two goals and an assist. It says a lot when a guy from the losing team gets first star of the game. After the loss, he still looked mad, going as far as to snap at a pushy reporter. Sure, it wasn’t very nice of him, but we’d rather he be mad enough to do something rather than take part in the rest of the team’s pity party.

Sunday’s story was Loui Eriksson, who scored the Stars’ lone goal in the 4-1 drubbing from the Penguins. It took Dallas 46 minutes to get on the board, and by then it was far too late. To look at this in a positive way: Loui displayed enough determination when the game was already lost to get the puck past a hot goaltender and somewhat salvage a deflated power play. Also, Loui scoring again is just good news, if it means he’s getting over the post-Richards growing pains.

It’s probably just coincidence that the season Hull upset hockey karma by signing Sean Avery, Dallas sees the loss of Morrow and Zubov for the entire season. It’s probably also coincidence that Jere Lehtinen, Fabian Brunnstrom, Brad Richards, Landon Wilson, Toby Petersen, and Steve Ott all missed/are missing big chunks of time with injury. And it’s probably also coincidence that Marty Turco has spent most of the season being some goalie that can’t play nearly as well as Marty Turco. And it’s probably just a coincidence that the Stars went from basement to playoff-possible following his removal from the team. Regardless, we’re taking the news that Avery has been put on recall waivers today and will be gone after 24 hours as very very good news. 

The Bad:

Trevor Daley passes Loui Eriksson the puck when he’s in a vulnerable position, and Eriksson gets smushed by Sheldon Brookbank. Daley tries to make up for it by fighting Brookbank and ends up with 17 penalty minutes. Ducks score on the following power play. 

Then Daley comes back and takes two more minor penalties in the game vs. Anaheim. His issues continue against Pittsburgh, and he left the weekend with 23 more PIM than he started with.

Evgeni Malkin introduced his elbow to Darryl Sydor’s head and got away with it. Seconds later, Krys Barch got called for holding, and Malkin scored on the power play.

Stars outshot their opponents 54-41 over the two games, and still lost 8-4. This could be partially attributed to Marty Turco being mentally asleep, as he let in 4 goals on 18 shots against the Ducks. When he got a break Sunday, the Stars responded by giving backup Tobias Stephan little to no support. 

Fabian Brunnstrom ended the Ducks game having not gotten a point in his last four games, and with an even +/- in that span, despite putting out tremendous effort during the homestand. He was benched on Sunday. This didn’t really explain why James Neal, who has had no points in his last 7 games, is a -5 in his last four, and whose overconfidence led directly to at least one goal, still got to play.

The Ugly:

Steve Ott pisses off the entire Anaheim team, who responded with a good ol’ fashioned mugging after the final buzzer. The Stars kinda half-heartedly tried to help out. After the game, Robidas seemed extremely sorry for having let Moen beat Ott’s face in, but Modano seemed to think Ott should have known better than to pick the fight in the first place.

Then, Sunday against the Penguins, Malkin gets away unchallenged with a headshot on Sydor. While you’d expect someone to come to the defense of their veteran player, nobody rose to the occasion. After the game, Sydor seemed rather appalled at the lack of camaraderie as he held an ice pack to the back of his head.

The Stars went into a 6-game homestand sitting on top of a playoff-hopeful log jam. They won their first game… and then went on their worst losing streak of the year to finish it up. 2 out of a possible 12 points saw them straight to the bottom of that log jam.

SHR +/-:

Stéphane Robidas: two for the assist, one for playing a ridiculous 30:05 Saturday, but minus-one for apparent exhaustion that lead to poor defense Sunday; +2
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal and one for actually utilizing his size; +4
Trevor Daley: minus-three for the very bad weekend but one for at least trying to make up for his mistake by defending Eriksson; -2
Mike Modano: two for the assist but minus-one for his complete lack of impact against the Ducks; +1
James Neal: minus-three because we are just fed up with his nonchalant overconfident attitude and bazillion turnovers; -3
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Chris Conner: two for the assist; +2
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist and one for actually having a good game Saturday; +3
Mark Fistric: two for getting 13 hits in the two games; +2
Steve Ott: two for each assist but minus-one for the stupidity surrounding his suspension; +3
Tobias Stephan: one for a valiant effort; +1
Marty Turco: minus-two for urrrggg not this againnnn; -2
Steve Bégin: two welcome-to-the-team points; +2
Darryl Sydor: two for the assist and one for showing that veteran leadership everyone keeps talking about; +3
Mike Ribeiro: three for each goal, two for the assist, and one for having 10 shots on goal and 5 hits over the two games; +9
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for effort and one spite point because he really shouldn’t have been benched over Neal; +2

February 16, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Since we’re going into the all-important last leg of the season with a team that’s had some serious momentum lately, I thought I’d start a new feature here at Stop Hitting Robidas. Andrew’s, ESPN, THN, and TSN all release their power rankings on Monday, so let’s take a look at where each of them has ranked the Stars, and their reasoning behind it.

Actual rank: 14th in league; 6th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 27-21-7. L10: 7-3-0.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 11 this week; 9 last week. Marty Turco, who has started a franchise-record 26 straight games, is at the top of his game right now for the Stars.”
Of Note: Anaheim at 16 this week; 15 last week. “Ducks, who have played just three games in nine days, give up a season-high eight goals in dismal loss to Atlanta Sunday night.”
My thoughts: Turco is the story of the week in Stars-land. Everyone seems amazed that he isn’t tired but it’s true – he’s playing his best hockey of the season right now. Of course, there is concern that he’ll exhaust himself by the time we get to the playoffs, but that’s something that will have to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis. If he keeps playing spectacularly, and Anaheim keeps dropping games (they’re 5-5-0 in their L10), the Ducks will find themselves continuing to wave up at us as we sit firmly at 2nd in the Pacific, and wouldn’t that be sweet?

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 12 this week; 12 last week. “Why did defenseman Stephane Robidas recently describe goalie Marty Turco as ‘Superman’? The dude has made 26 straight starts for the Stars.”
Of Note: Vancouver at 11 this week; 17 last week. 27-21-8. “We may learn to regret giving the Canucks the jump this week, but they’ve won five of their past six games, even without Roberto Luongo looking spectacular in net.”
My thoughts: Interesting how much of the rankings in the west are goalie related. Not only do the Stars and Canucks get goalie-related calls, the Blue Jackets get a jump based on Mason coming back from mono (21 last week to 16 this week). In a bit of unfortunate irony, the Nucks jumped above us in ESPN’s power rankings on the day they sit a point above us in the conference.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 11 this week; 7 last week. “Consistent production from rookie Fabian Brunnstrom would sure help down the stretch.”
Of Note: Blue Jackets at 9; 19 last week. 6-3-1 L10. “Get ready for a March with meaningful games, Jackets fans.”
My thoughts: THN rarely elaborates on their choices the way ESPN does, but they’ve been generous with the Stars all season. I think 7th was a little too generous last week, but they hit the nail on the head with this week’s buzzword, “consistency.” If the Stars can’t keep it, they’re not going to keep that playoff seed. The return of Steve Mason to net for the Blue Jackets has everyone buzzing, and our game against him (oh, and the rest of the Jackets) tonight is going to be a big indicator for both teams.

TSN is running a little late with their power rankings this week, but I’ll update as soon as they post them.

What do you think? Where would you rate the Stars this week, and why?

January 27, 2009

Game Day Update

by Kristine

Now that the excitement of the All-Star Game has died down, it’s back to business for the Stars. The biggest news of the day comes from Andrew’s, who reports that Fabian Brunnstrom will be playing a few games with the Manitoba Moose (AHL) and is expected back in the lineup this weekend at Columbus. Great news! Bunny brings a certain spark to games that we feel has been missing since he’s been out. It’s interesting that he’s being sent down for a few games when they were so adamant about not sending him down at the beginning of the season, but it will be good for him to get up to speed and get his game legs back before he returns at the NHL level. Not to mention he’ll be in good hands – the Moose are second in the entire AHL, behind only Washington’s farm team the Hershey Bears and down by only one point.

On to tonight. It’s a big game day if you look at the standings. A lot of the games involve teams we are currently battling with for that elusive 8th seed – not surprising when you consider almost the entire West is in the running for it. First up, Columbus takes on Detroit. It wouldn’t do us many favors for Detroit to win, because we play them Thursday. However, not only do we play the Blue Jackets this weekend, they’re also currently sitting one spot above us with 49 points. So they need to lose more than Detroit needs to lose. Next up, Minnesota hosts Toronto tonight. Obviously, the Leafs need to win this one. Minnesota is 9th in the West with 49 points. Later in the night, San Jose will be paying the Avalanche a visit. Even though the Sharks are in our division, we have no real hope of catching up to them; the Avalanche, however, are 12th with 47 points. The Stars, for the record, also have 47 points and have played two fewer games than the Avs, winning us the 11th spot in the West. While the Sharks and Avs fight it out, the Oilers will be taking on the Sabres. The Oil is another team battling for a playoff spot, only they’re fighting to keep theirs. They’re 6th in the West with 51 points, but 7th and 8th place Canucks and Ducks also have 51 points. A loss tonight would keep them within reach for the Stars. Finally, in the biggest lose-lose of the night, the Coyotes are hosting the Ducks at Jobing.com Arena. Both teams are in playoff seeds as it stands now. The Coyotes are 5th with 53 points and the Ducks are 8th with 51 points. If anything, it would be most beneficial to the Stars for the Coyotes to win as they are at least a little farther ahead already and thus a little harder to catch up to.

Now for the Big Ifs. If we win tonight, and if the Jackets and the Wild both lose, the Stars will be tied with them for 49 points. As we have fewer games than both of them, that would put us at 9th place, and one win out of the playoffs. Continuing hypothetically, if the teams that need to lose continue to lose, and the Stars beat Detroit on Thursday, we’ll have 51 points and fewer games than Edmonton, Vancouver, and Anaheim – landing us firmly in the 6th spot. So now that we know what needs to happen short-term for the Stars to claim their playoff seed, it’s time to tidy up your shrines and start making offerings to the hockey gods.  You can start by asking for a win tonight at the AAC. Go Stars!

December 31, 2008

Pacific SHR +/- Roundup

by Kristine

Being horribly behind, having another game tonight, and wanting to be caught up for the new year, here’s the SHR +/- for the last two games (substituting for game reviews):

12/27/08 (DAL vs ANA):
Stephane Robidas: one for leading in TOI and tying for the lead in takeaways: +1
Mike Modano: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Toby Petersen: two for the assist; +2
James Neal: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Steve Ott: two for the assist, minus-one for taking a penalty that they scored on, and one for leading the team in hits with eight; +2
Darryl Sydor: one for leading in blocked shots with four; +1
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, two for each assist, and one for leading in SOG; +8
Brad Richards: three for the goal, two for the assist, but minus-one for leading in giveaways; +4

12/29/08 (DAL vs SJS):
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal; +3
Mike Modano: minus-one for the team-worst +/-, but one for leading in SOG with six; +0
Steve Ott: two for leading in hits with a crazy eleven and one for winning all three of his faceoffs; +3
Marty Turco: one for effort; +1
Mike Ribeiro: minus-one for taking dumb penalties; -1