Posts tagged ‘Atlanta Thrashers’

March 21, 2009

NHL Overall Team +/- Examination

by Kristine

The Stars take on the Sharks tonight, but before they do I’d just like to point something out. Everyone knows that +/- doesn’t tell the whole story. However, I think it does tell some of the story. For example, check out what you find when you compare the overall team +/- score for the top five and bottom five teams in the league, with the Stars thrown in the middle…

1. DET   +177
2. SJS   +112
3. BOS   +281
4. NJD   +218
5. WSH   +110

21. DAL   -40

26. PHX    -163
27. COL   -188
28. ATL   -93
29. TBL   -148
30. NYI   -220

Obviously a team’s overall +/- is more related to the success of the team than people may realize.

Last season the Stars ended +85 and 8th in the league. In an even more drastic change, Colorado ended +73 and 10th in the league. First place Detroit ended +235 and last place Tampa ended -148. 21st place went to the Cancucks, who finished the season with a +2. Of course, there are anomonlies, almost entirely on the negative side – the Sharks finished second in the league last season, but with a -3; the Oilers finished with a horrid -156 but managed to pull 19th place overall. However, the basic trend is that the higher in the standings a team is, the better its plus-minus is going to be, and vice versa. So is having a strong team plus-minus the key to regular season success? I don’t claim to know for sure either way, but it’s an interesting stat to take into account.

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January 29, 2009

Game Review – 1/27/09 (DAL vs ATL)

by Chelsea

Game:

The Atlanta Thrashers came to town in for the first time in a number of years, and were greeted by a very sparse crowd. Thanks to some especially icy weather, most Stars fans were confined to their couches and TVs. 

With both teams fully rested after the All-Star break, it seemed like both would give a good show, despite what the standings implied. 

Stephane Robidas returned from his weekend stint in Montreal sans face cage, mentioning that the probably-permanent metal plate in his jaw made it stronger than it had been before. 

Besides Brenden Morrow and Sergei Zubov, the only still-injured Stars are Fabian Brunnstrom, Landon Wilson, and Steve Ott. Brunnstrom was recently assigned to the Manitoba Moose for a few days, after which he’ll be returning to the Stars’ lineup finally. Wilson’s still nursing a rib injury and there’s been no timetable set for his return. Ott, of course, has been playing, but as far as we’ve heard as not been cleared to fight with his still-healing hand. 

Mark Parrish was scratched for Chris Conner, apparently because he’s coming down with the flu. Get well soon, Parrish!

A couple of nice streaks coming into this game that are worth noting: Marty Turco entered the contest with a career record of 5-0-0 against Atlanta, and Thrasher superstar Ilya Kovalchuk had never scored a goal against Dallas in the 7 times he’d faced them. 

The first period started, the teams meeting each other’s shots, hits, and puck battle wins. However, it became clear which team wanted it more when Jere Lehtinen displayed some unexpected creativity in putting the puck behind fellow-Finn and Thrashers netminder Kari Lehtonen. 

Right off the bat, the Ott-Ribeiro-Lehtinen line had the same energy that made them such a force in the Panthers game (Ribeiro with a hat trick, Ott and Lehtinen each with an assist) and it once again paid off. Only 3:48 into the first, Ott stole the puck from a Thrasher and fed it up to Ribeiro, who threw it haphazardly towards Lehtonen. Lehtonen made the save, but the puck bounced up into the chest of Jere Lehtinen and he bumped it down into the net. 

The call on the ice was a goal, and the call stood despite further review. 

There had been some question from us about why the Thrashers have had such a rough season. It seemed to us that they had more than enough talent and an experienced if unproven coach. However, when instead of rallying after the Dallas goal, they followed it with a string of giveaways and penalties, the picture was a little clearer.

When two Thrashers took penalties within 30 seconds of each other, they all but gift-wrapped another goal for the Stars. However, the power play only managed a few shots on goal, and soon it was at even strength again. 

Marty Turco positively robbed Kovalchuk of the game-tying goal at 13:14 after he was left unattended in front of the net, making a sharp and much-appreciated save to hold Dallas’ lead.

Atlanta got their first power play when Krys Barch took a penalty at 15:07 for holding, but nearly surrendered a short-handed goal to Loui Eriksson. 

The first period ended 1-0 Dallas. 

Second period began.

In the first few seconds, the official raised his arm to signify a delayed penalty against the Thrashers. However, the Stars maintained possession as Ribeiro’s line struck yet again.

Ribeiro displayed some stickhandling wizardry to keep the puck away from the Thrashers, helped by Lehtinen, long enough to complete a pass down low to Trevor Daley. As Ott moved in front of the crease and shook off Rich Peverley, Daley slid the puck out in front. Ott buried it in the net at 00:28, negating the penalty before it was ever enforced. 


With the game set at 2-0, it became a good old-fashioned goalie showdown. Lehtonen on one end, fighting to keep the game within reach for his struggling team and Turco on the other, fighting to seal his team’s second consecutive win.

Lehtonen finished the second period by backing his team through two penalty kills, holding them within reach of the Stars two-goal lead. His team didn’t produce much offense, though, testing Turco with only 6 shots.

Second period ended, third period started.

The final period of the game would prove to be a test for both teams. For the Thrashers, the third is typically when they stepped up their game. For the Stars, a game with two strong periods to start usually ended in disappointment. 

Each team took a penalty in the third, but Atlanta finally managed to turn the momentum in their favor. Turco was peppered with more shots (13) in the third period than he’d faced in the entire first and second (12). This was mainly thanks to the heroic netminding of Kari Lehtonen, who blanked the Stars continually. Meanwhile, the rest of the Thrashers looked a little lazy with the puck.

Plenty of Stars fans will remember the game against the Avalanche in which it seemed Turco might get his first shut out of the season in a 1-0 game, only to let in a goal with less than a minute on the clock and put the game all the way to a shootout.

The Thrashers looked to create a similar situation when they pulled their goalie and put the pressure on the Stars. Turco responded by shutting it down and making a number of big in-close saves to claim his first shut out win of the season.

Notes:

  • Three stars of the game, in order: Turco, Ott, Lehtonen
  • Turco made 25 saves on 25 shots. Ott ended with a goal and an assist. Lehtonen made 31 saves on 33 shots.
  • The Stars outshot the Thrashers 33-25. 
  • Ribeiro’s two assists give him seven points in his last four games.
  • Conclusion: After a run that saw every game ended in overtime or a shootout, the Stars have now won their last two in regulation. Turco’s shutout and the team’s ability to stand up consistently in front of him were also a nice change. Can they reach that illusive 3-game win streak against Detroit?

SHR +/-: 

Nicklas Grossman: one for embracing his physical side; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for tying for the team lead in +/- with +2; +1
Trevor Daley: two for the assist and one for tying for the team lead in +/-; +3
Mike Modano: one for leading in takeaways; +1
Toby Petersen: minus-one for returning to his low-impact ways; -1
Jere Lehtinen: three for the goal and one for tying for the team lead in +/-;  +4
Steve Ott: three for the goal, two for the assist, one for leading the team in hits, and one for tying for the team lead in +/-; +7
Marty Turco: three for the shut out and one for winning it; +4
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and one for tying for the team lead in +/-; +5

December 6, 2008

Game Review – 12/05/08 (DAL vs COL)

by Chelsea

Game:

The Stars returned home to face the Avalanche at the AAC. Both teams played without their captains, both looking to climb their way up closer to a playoff spot.

Having just been dealt a painful loss to the Edmonton Oilers, the Stars brought their game faces to the night’s contest. Eriksson-Richards-Wilson acted as the starting lineup, with Robidas-Grossman on defense.

One end of the ice housed Marty Turco, who was tested not even a minute into the first period by Milan Hejduk. He made the save easily and with a limited amount of scrambling, setting a precedence for the rest of the game.

Doug Janik played as a fourth line forward, but during his first shift he exchanged hits with Chris Stewart. Though there’s no proof that Janik exited the ice worse for the wear, he did not get another shift for the entire game.

The first penalty of the game came at 7:09 when Ruslan Salei got a minor for tripping. It was followed by a lackluster Stars powerplay without any shots on goal.

The next power play (at 10:58, when Brent Clark got 2 for holding the stick) looked no better, also resulting in no shots on goal.

The final Avalanche penalty of the first game came at 16:48 when Daniel Tjarnqvist tripped Toby Petersen. Though the man advantage failed to produce once more, it did look better, with James Neal nearly cramming the puck past Budaj.

Turco made an excellent save on Paul Stastny at the end of the first, but an attempt to stop him from even getting a shot off, Stephane Robidas earned himself a hooking minor.

The first period ended 0-0, with the Stars outshooting the Avalanche 8-7.

Despite starting the second period on PK thanks to Robidas’ slip-up in the first, Dallas managed to build a bit of moment by successfully holding back the Avalanche.

Trevor Daley ate some of the momentum as he sat in the sin bin, having gotten called for interference at 3:38 – only two minutes after Robidas’ penalty expired. However, the Stars refused Colorado once again, leaving the PK unscathed.

A minute after returning to full strength, the Stars were on the assault again. As the puck cycled around the Avalanche’s zone, Matt Niskanen kept it from being cleared with a catch on the blue line and a pass to Mike Modano. Modano shot the puck, and Toby Petersen swept in to catch the feed and tip it in past Budaj.

Stars went up 1-0 at 7:57 with what would come to be their sole regulation goal.

Nicklas Grossman took the last penalty of the game at 11:25 in the second. Avalanche didn’t score, putting both teams at 0-for-3 for the night’s PPs.

The period ended 1-0 Stars, probably the first time all season that they held the opposition off the scoreboard for the first two periods.

Third period.

Both teams got ample scoring opportunities, but the game held at 1-0 for the majority of the period. Turco made some big saves, doing his best to steal a win for his apparently offensively-challenged teammates.

Turco came within 56 seconds of a shut out. Unfortunately, the Avalanche were not to be denied, and set up a killer play that resulted in a ridiculous amount of crease traffic and the puck flying over Turco’s shoulder. The goal was scored by Marek Svatos with assists from Stastny and Ryan Smyth.

As regulation ended and overtime loomed, we reflected on the records so far this season. The Stars had gone into 4 overtimes and lost all of them, including two shootout losses. Colorado had yet to lose in overtime and were on a shootout winning streak, having won all four of theirs this season and the last four from the season before.

Overtime passed with neither teams scoring, pushing the game into a fairly dreaded shootout.

First up for the Stars was Brad Richards, who went with a simple wrist shot that Budaj stopped.

First for the Avalanche was Wojtek Wolski, who also went with a wrister. His made it past Turco, putting shootout at 1-0 in their favor.

Next for Dallas was Fabian Brunnstrom, presumably awarded with his first shootout attempt for having a strong game that night. He tried a slow backhand that was also stopped.

With the game on the line and Svatos up next, Turco came up with a big save and kept the shootout at 1-0.

With the game still on the line, Tippett sent out Mike Ribeiro. He stood 1-2 on the shootout so far this season, having tried a creative between-the-legs move both times. This time, he threw off Budaj’s timing and popped the puck into the net with a simple but highly-effective wrist shot.

With the shootout now at 1-1 and Colorado sending out their last shooter, it was again in Turco’s hands. Hejduk did his best, but was also stopped by Turco, sending the SO into a fourth round.

Mike Modano was the fourth shooter for the Stars, and he also used a smart, simple move to beat Budaj. He eased up to the goaltender, flicking the puck past him with a smooth wrist shot that was oddly familiar. The puck went up, popped off Budaj’s glove, and went behind him into the net.

Turco, again with all the “game’s up to you” pressure, was left facing a determined Smyth, who had to score to push a fifth round. Smyth didn’t do so hot, Turco made a solid save, and the Stars won their first shootout of the season.

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Petersen, Svatos, Turco
  • My three game stars, in order: Turco, Svatos, Modano
  • The Stars are now at 10-12-4 and, with 24 points, no longer sit in the league’s cellar. That right belongs to the Atlanta Thrashers (8-14-3, 19 points).
  • Marty Turco stopped 26 of 27 shots for a sparkling .962 sv%
  • Mike Ribeiro is now 2/3 in this season’s shootouts, and Modano is 1/2.
  • James Neal led the team in SOG (5), followed closely by Toby Petersen (4).
  • Out of the 3 games in which Sean Avery has been suspended, the Stars have now won 2, backing up the best stretch of 10 games they’ve had this season (5-4-1)
  • Matt Niskanen now has 3 points in the last four games. Toby Petersen is on a four-game four-point streak.
  • Conclusion: It was a good win, coming despite all the injuries, drama, and barely-plugged roster holes. Still, the power play is a sore spot, having only produced twice in the last 37 chances. Toby Petersen is stepping up his game, but with Joel Lundqvist’s impending return, he could be seeing a lot more time on the wing. If Turco can continue to play well and the special teams righted, the Stars could very well claim their playoff spot before the year’s end.

SHR +/-:

Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for the redeeming game; +3
Mike Modano: two for the assist, two for the shootout goal, and one for outplaying people half his age; +5
Toby Petersen: three for the goal and one for an otherwise solid game; +4
James Neal: one for clocking an impressive 24:29 (second only to Ribeiro), one for leading in SOG, and one for checking someone so hard in the corner that he made the Ice Girls who were standing in the tunnel shriek; +3
Landon Wilson: one for leaving the bench to celebrate the win with his helmet on backwards; +1
Doug Janik: one concern point for being the only Star to deliver a hit in the first period and possibly getting hurt for it; +1
Marty Turco: three for being himself again through the entire game and one for the solid shootout; +4
Darryl Sydor: one for leading in blocked shots; +1
Mike Ribeiro: two for the shootout goal; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for a solid game and one for leading in takeaways; +2

Off Ice +/-:

Mike Modano: one for stating he’d not be discussing Avery after 11:15am and two for sticking to it; +3

October 31, 2008

Tonight’s NHL Results

by Kristine

For a summary of the wins and losses from Thursday’s games, including team points, click the link below.

read more »

October 26, 2008

Super Saturday Results

by Kristine

New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers: 3-1 Flyers in OT
Flyers: 7 points (2-3-3) | Devils: 11 points (5-2-1)

Atlanta Thrashers at Boston Bruins: 5-4 Bruins
Bruins: 9 points (3-2-3) | Thrashers: 6 points (2-3-2)

Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs: 3-2 Leafs
Leafs: 9 points (3-2-3) | Sens: 4 points (2-4-1)

Anaheim Ducks at Montreal Canadiens: 6-4 Ducks
Ducks: 8 points (4-5-0) | Canadiens: 11 points (5-0-1)

Carolina Hurricanes at NY Islanders: 4-3 Hurricanes
Canes: 9 points (4-2-1) | Islanders: 4 points (2-4-0)

Pittsburgh Penguins at NY Rangers: 3-2 Rangers in a shootout
Rangers: 17 points (8-2-1) | Penguins: 12 points (5-2-2)

San Jose Sharks at Tampa Bay Lightning: 3-0 Sharks
Sharks: 14 points (7-2-0) | Lightning: 5 points (1-2-3)

LA Kings at Nashville Predators: 5-4 Predators
Preds: 8 points (4-4-0) | Kings: 6 points (3-3-0)

Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild: 2-1 Wild
Wild: 11 points (5-0-1) | Blue Jackets: 6 points (3-4-0)

Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars: 6-5 Caps in OT
Stars: 8 points (3-4-2) | Caps: 9 points (4-3-1)

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks: 6-5 Wings in a shootout
Red Wings: 13 points (6-1-1) | Hawks: 9 points (3-2-3)

Florida Panthers at St Louis Blues: 4-0 Blues
Blues: 10 points (5-2-0) | Panthers: 8 points (4-3-0)

Buffalo Sabres at Colorado Avalanche: 2-1 Avalanche in a shootout
Avalanche: 10 points (5-3-0) | Sabres: 14 points (6-0-2)

Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks: 6-3 Canucks
Canucks: 8 points (4-4-0) | Oilers: 8 points (4-2-0)

Calgary Flames at Phoenix Coyotes: 4-1 Flames
Flames: 9 points (4-3-1) | Coyotes: 6 points (3-3-0)

Super Saturday killed my DVR. Literally – not only did it not record any of the games because it got overwhelmed, it also deleted everything I had not protected. So. There’s that. There’s also the facts that Stars are back to sloppy hockey (boo) and that Chels and I met Jen from the Shootout at the game tonight (yay!!). Chels is working on the game review right now, and tomorrow we’re headed to Frisco to watch the Stars hopefully get their act together in practice. Catch you later, loyal fans…

October 24, 2008

Tonight’s NHL Wins/Losses

by Kristine

New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets: 3-1 Rangers
Rangers: 15 points (7-2-1) | Blue Jackets: 6 points (3-4-0)

Anaheim Ducks vs Ottawa Senators: 4-3 Ducks
Ducks: 6 points (3-5-0) | Sens: 4 points (2-4-1)

Philadephia Flyers at New Jersey Devils: 6-3 Flyers (Beautiful that the Flyers’ first W of the season means a L for the Devils and a considerable hit on Martin “Fatso” Brodeur’s stats.)
Flyers: 5 points (1-3-3) | Devils: 10 points (5-2-0)

Atlanta Thrashers at Detroit Red Wings: 5-3 Red Wings
Red Wings: 11 points (5-1-1) | Thrashers: 6 points (2-3-2)

San Jose Sharks at Florida Panthers: 4-3 Panthers
Panthers: 8 points (4-3-0) | Sharks: 12 points (6-2-0)

LA Kings at St Louis Blues: 4-0 Kings
Kings: 6 points (3-3-0) | Blues: 8 points (4-2-0)