Posts tagged ‘BJ Crombeen’

October 25, 2009

Notes and +/-

by Chelsea

For games 10 and 11 for the Dallas Stars, there really wasn’t much to say, hence the lack of actual game review.

Notes (DAL @ LAK):

  • The three game stars, in order: Kopitar, Neal, Handzus
  • The Stars were down 4-1 entering the third, but forced overtime thanks to goals from Benn, Fistric, and Neal.
  • Mark Fistric’s goal was his first NHL goal.
  • Benn has now scored in both games against the Kings.
  • Stars power play continued to struggle, unable to cash in on 4 chances in the first two periods.
  • Steve Ott lead in hits with 6.
  • The only forward to block a single shot was Loui Eriksson.
  • Conclusion: It was rather nice to get the extra point, but giving the Kings 4 out of the available 4 points in the two games so far this season is not.

SHR +/- (DAL @ LAK):

Stephane Robidas: minus-one for kind of a rough game; -1
Jamie Benn: three for the goal; +3
James Neal: three for each goal; +6
Loui Eriksson: two for each assist; +4
Mark Fistric: three for the goal and one for the celebration; +4
Steve Ott: one for being Steve Ott; +1
Alex Auld: minus-one for kind of a rough game; -1
Mike Ribeiro: minus-one for not being able to win a faceoff; -1
Brad Richards: two for each assist; +4

Notes (DAL @ STL):

  • The three game stars, in order: Turco, Eriksson, Neal
  • Krys Barch, Brian Sutherby, and Steve Ott each had a fight. None of them really won.
  • Ott had the Blues very distracted, drawing 6 minor penalties.
  • The Blues also took 4 roughing and 2 cross checking minors, along with a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
  • The Stars, meanwhile, took 1 roughing, 1 unsportsmanlike conduct, 1 cross checking and 1 kneeing penalty.
  • Both teams also had a small handful of hooking minors.
  • In all of that, only one power play goal was scored.
  • Jeff Woywitka got his first point with the Stars against his old team. However, he also unintentionally aided the Blues in ruining Turco’s shutout. Oops.
  • Toby Petersen lead the team with 5 shots on goal.
  • Conclusion: It was a messy game and the Stars could have blown out the Blues had it not been for Conklin’s 21 saves in the first two periods. Despite the penalty madness, it was maybe the best three consecutive periods of hockey Dallas has managed all season.

SHR +/- (DAL @ STL):

Brenden Morrow: one determination point for trying to score regardless of where the puck was (like on top of the net) or the play having already been blown dead; +1
Krys Barch: one for the fight but minus-one for losing it; +0
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal and one for the fight; +4
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Tom Wandell: three for the goal; +3
Steve Ott: two for the assist, one for playing so physically that it completely changed the momentum of the game but minus-one for kneeing Crombeen; +2
Marty Turco: two for no mas Taco; +2
Jeff Woywitka: two for the assist but minus-one for helping score on Turco; +1
Brad Richards: two for each assist; +4
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist and one for earning it by getting run over by St. Louis players; +3

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October 6, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Hockey games that mean something are finally back, and that means so are power rankings that mean basically nothing. I’ll be updating every Tuesday with a look at what the experts think of the Stars, as well as other teams around the league. Let’s see where we rank as the season kicks off…

Actual rank: 19th in league; 9th in West; 3rd in Pacific.
Record: 0-0-1. L10: 0-0-1.

ESPN by Pierre LeBrun
Stars: 25 this week; 26 last week. “The blue line is a concern, but there’s not a lot of money to spend.
Of Note: St Louis at 4 this week; 12 last week. “Can’t wait for that season opener at the Scottrade Center. Just hope the roof doesn’t collapse from all the noise. A great market finally gets a team worth cheering for. Talk about a statement with two season-opening wins in Stockholm over the mighty Red Wings.
My thoughts: If even ESPN is worried about it, you know there’s some cause for concern. A Cup contender needs to have at least one of two things: a strong blueline, or an elite goalie. At this point, we definitely don’t have one and we’re twiddling our thumbs while we wait to see if we have the other. Our young guns on the line are constantly improving, but mistakes happen. When they do, Turco needs to be there as our final defense – and he wasn’t last season. As for the Blues, they have the honor of being the biggest jump this week – from 12th to 4th. They’ve got some very talented offensive players rising through their ranks in TJ Oshie and Patrik Berglund, and they added former Star Darryl Sydor to their blueline. Syd joins fellow former Stars BJ Crombeen and Brad Winchester, who give the Blues some grit. They’re definitely a team to be aware of this season. Finally, it’s interesting to note that this is week 2 of ESPN’s power rankings for this season, and they started the Stars at 26th. Wonder where we’ll be ranked this time next month?

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 18 this week; n/a last week. “Wonder what James Neal’s high-end output is; 35 goals, maybe?
Of Note: L.A. Kings at 27 this week; n/a last week. “Super sophomore Drew Doughty scores two points, but is a minus-2 in opening 6-3 loss to Coyotes.”
My thoughts: It’s Neal vs Doughty in the Pacific Division Battle Of The Sophomores, and James Neal is winning. His two goals and even plus/minus bests Doughty’s goal, assist, and -2 plus/minus. On Saturday, Neal reminded us why we loved him as a rookie: he missed an easy open net, banged a few bodies into the boards, and nailed an impossible shot that went straight to the back of the net. Twice. We saw the same thing last season. He gets frustrated and uses it as motivation. With that kind of attitude, 35 goals does seem like a reasonable thing to aim for (pun barely intended). As for Doughty and the Kings, here’s hoping they’re not quite the Cup contender the buzz made them out to be during pre-season.

Yahoo by Ross McKeon
Stars: 17 this week; n/a  last week. “Firing Dave Tippett was a big mistake. Dallas’ loss is Phoenix’s gain. And wouldn’t the Stars be shocked to have the Coyotes finish ahead of them? Just might happen. Either way, Dallas isn’t going to make the top eight in the West for the second straight year. And it’ll be Marty Turco’s last season in Big D.
Of Note: Phoenix at 20 this week; n/a last week. “Watch out here. Everyone thinks the disaster off the ice will make the Coyotes an easy mark. Not so. Dave Tippett is a solid coach who knows the Pacific Division very well. Phoenix is going to surprise even if they don’t finish in the top eight.
My thoughts: Yahoo is new to my round-ups this season. I both agree and disagree with them on their assessment of the Stars. I do think this may well be Turco’s last year – unless he is a maker of miracles and plays Vezina-level hockey all season – but I’m optimistic enough to believe we’ll finish in the top eight. And the reason I believe that is because I think firing Tippett was exactly the right move. It’s hard to judge with just one regular season game under our belts, but so far the Stars seem motivated and cohesive under Crawford. They’re working harder than they have in years, and I think it’ll pay off. As for Phoenix, maybe Tippett is their gain, but Tippett needs to take a more open approach to developing his youth than he ever did in Dallas. Phoenix is a young team, and Tipp prefers to coach older, more experienced players. It remains to be seen if that will be a problem there like it was here. Either way, Phoenix vs Dallas might become a bigger rivalry now than it has been in the past.

So let’s see here. Yahoo has us highest, at 17th. THN has us at 18th, and ESPN has us at a lowly 25th. Clearly, the expectations going into this season are low, at least from the media. I can’t say I’m too torn up about this; the Stars love being the underdogs, and this gives them a chance to blow some socks off. And if they come out of the gate flailing instead of swinging, nobody will be disappointed. Really, it’s a win-win (but fingers crossed for swinging).

At time of publication, Andrew’s and TSN had yet to update their power rankings. I’ll update this post with them as they come out.

January 17, 2009

SHR +/- Midseason Report

by Kristine

Now that the half-way mark of the season (the Monday game vs Detroit) has passed, and the SHR +/- has been updated to it, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at some trends and numbers.

Let’s start by looking at where everyone is at the 41 game mark.

Skater +/- Skater +/- Skater +/-
Grossman +37 Eriksson +98 Parrish +27
Robidas +76 Wilson +25 Lundqvist +16
Niskanen +42 Wandell +6 Boucher +31
Daley +52 Conner +14 Janik +8
Modano +76 Lehtinen +21 Crombeen +26
Morrow +57 Hutchinson +6 Sydor +7
Barch +52 Fistric 0 Zubov +18
Avery -42 Ott +49 Ribeiro +94
Petersen +24 Stephan +23 Richards +67
Neal +85 Janik +8 Brunnstrom +53
Sutherby +3 Turco +46

Obviously, some players have been way outshining others. Some big names – Mike Ribeiro, Stephane Robidas, Mike Modano, and Brad Richards – sit at or near the top, like you would expect. The top also holds a few surprises, with Loui Eriksson holding down the top spot and James Neal breaking into the top 5 early and staying there.

While the top ten or so spots in our plus/minus seem to be pretty accurate, the bottom is a little bit harder to judge. It’s kind of cluttered by people who were call-ups or are no longer Stars, like Tom Wandell or BJ Crombeen. It also doesn’t take into account injured players like Jere Lehtinen, Sergei Zubov, and Joel Lunqvist. If you take away those people, and only count players who are currently playing or have played more than ten games with us, the picture becomes a bit more clear. Darryl Sydor has only earned 7 points with us, Doug Janik is at + 8, and Andrew Hutchinson is +6. Toby Peteresen, at +24, has the lowest +/- to games played ratio. These numbers are fairly on par with our actual feelings about the players.

If you divide number of games with a negative +/- update by total games with updates (since not every player earns or loses points in every game), three players come out with 0%: Brenden Morrow, Fabian Brunnstrom, and Crombeen. Morrow and Brunnstrom each had 17 updates, and Crombeen had 10, and none of them earned negative marks in any of them. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Eriksson comes out on top after that, with only 1 of 26 updates in the negative (a -1 on Dec 12 for “struggling offensively and defensively), for 3.8%. The other players to wind up with less than 10% of their updates as negatives are Krys Barch (5%), Robidas (7%), Neal (8%), and Landon Wilson (10%). On the other end of the spectrum, and again no surprise, 56% of Sean Avery’s updates were negative. After him is Marty Turco, with 28% of his 32 updates being negatives. The only other players to end up with 25% or more of their updates being in the negative are Nicklas Grossman (25%) and Sydor (27%).

Loui Eriksson had a hot streak from October 22 to December 2, earning at least one point in sixteen straight games. The only person to come close to that is Ribeiro, with positive points in twelve games from October 18 to November 15. Eriksson has earned more than five points in seven of his 26 updates, and joins Neal, Mark Parrish, Richards, and Brunnstrom as the only players to earn more than 10 points in one game, with each of them earning 11 points once.

However, the record for most points earned in one game goes to Mike Ribeiro, who earned 15 points October 23 against the Islanders. It’s worth noting that while most of the players with 11 points earned them via hat tricks, Ribbons earned his 15 via one goal, a few assists, style, and being awesome with Morrow. The record for most points taken away in one game goes to Avery, who lost 50 points on December 2. Actually, he technically lost them last night, when we decided that his current -12 did not match up with our feelings about him. He had previously and initially lost 20 for the comment and the following stupidity, and yesterday we assigned him -15 for treating the Stars badly before the comment and -15 for ruining the Stars while he was here. Both are retroactive to the day of the comment, making him -50 for that day. Hey, it’s our plus/minus – we can adjust as we see fit. 😉 Aside from that debacle, the most points we’ve taken away in one game was 6, also from – shocking! – Sean Avery. If you pretend he was never a Star, which we like to do anyway, the most we’ve ever taken away in one game was four. That has happened to multiple players, multiple times. Obviously we’re much more generous for people who do good things than we are anxious to take points away from people.

It’s interesting to note that nobody has hit 100 points yet, although Eriksson is only two points away and Ribeiro is only four away. It’s also worth noting that Morrow hit 52 points in only 15 games. Had he continued at that rate, he would have hit 100 points ten games ago.

Let’s take a look at averages. Once again, we have Louibot at the top with an average of +4 points per game. Under him, averaging +3, are a ton of people. In no particular order: Neal, Parrish, Morrow, Crombeen, Modano, Brunnstrom, Philippe Boucher, Steve Ott, Tobias Stephan, Ribeiro, Lundqvist, and Wilson. The only person with a negative average is Avery with -2. Another real shocker in that one, hmm? Mark Fistric averaged evenly in his short time here, and Turco, Petersen, Matt Niskanen, Janik, Grossman, Hutch, and Brian Sutherby all averaged +1. The rest of the players averaged a middle-of-the-road but still good +2.

If you divide a player’s total number of games with SHR +/- updates by the number of games he’s played as a Star in the first half of the season, you can see who we consider a difference-maker and who is mostly invisible to us. At the top of that chart is Tobias Stephan, who has earned points in eight games despite only actually playing in seven. 😛 More accurate are the numbers for Mike Ribeiro, who has registered an update in 35 of 41 games, or 85%. Turco also makes a difference – although often a negative one – with points assigned to or taken away from him in 84% of his 32 games played. Morrow, when he was around, got positive numbers in 83% of the games he played in (and 0% negatives, as we mentioned before). Also registering highly was Zubov, who received an update in 8 of the 10 games he played in this season. At the bottom we have the people who don’t make much of a difference either way. The worst is Hutchinson, who has shown up in the plus/minus only five times in the 17 games he’s played in as a Star, which comes out to 29%. Barely above him is Parrish with an update in only 30% of the games he’s played with us. Brian Sutherby has only made waves three times in his 10 games, but we’ll cut him some slack and say he’s still getting comfortable here.

Finally, let’s narrow our view to the L10 games played. That takes us back to December 20. I think it can be agreed that the Stars showed vast improvement in the 2nd quarter, so how do things shape up in the plus/minus when you look only at the most recent games? A few players have really bought their A-game, notably Niskanen, Neal, and Otter. All three of them have registered positive updates in at least five games and a negative update only once each. On the other side of things, Robidas has received his only two negative updates in the L10 for a string of games in which he played frustrated and took unnecessary penalties. In the meantime, Hutchinson has updates in only three of the L10, despite playing in all of them, and two of Sydor’s five updates were negatives. Mike Modano has also had a rough, slightly quieter L10, earning negative updates in three games, nothing in four games, and positive updates in three games. On the whole, however, the number show that the team continues to step up and improve.

Overall, it’s pretty obvious that it’s King Loui tearing up the SHR +/- charts this season. If he continues to have a breakout season, his final report for the 08-09 season will look pretty damn good. Same goes for Ribeiro, Neal, Modano, and Lehtinen. It’s also interesting to note that while our top five all register at least 75 points, and the bottom five only register 10 or fewer points, the overall average is only 35 points. There’s actually a 71-point difference between Eriksson’s team-leading 98 points and Parrish, who is the team median with 27 points. I can appreciate that we have some people stepping it up in a big way, but I’d like to see more support from the rest of the roster in the second half of the season. We’re a few games into it as I post this and it’s looking like we might see some more shake-ups as the season continues. Good luck on the second half, Stars!

The SHR +/- page is updated after every game and includes a full roster, as well as the current top and bottom five players. Check it out by clicking here, or find it in the header links any time.

November 18, 2008

St Louis Blues Claim BJ Crombeen

by Kristine

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, but the St. Louis Blues have claimed BJ Crombeen off waivers. They must now keep him on their active roster; if they put him back on waivers, the Stars Brass will be able to reclaim him if they want to. In the meantime, James Neal is expected to be called back up from the Moose and will probably be at practice in Frisco tomorrow.

Also, apparently poor Lehtinen has a “new” issue and is being evaluated. Officially he’s still a possibility for Thursday, but I’m going to put my money on him not playing.

Lastly, the Stars unveiled their third jersey today, which Puck Daddy immediately – and correctly – labeled boring. The design is a white version of the black home jersey, with green and gold stripes, letters, and numbers. Could our jersey designers be any lazier? They will be debuting them at our next two home games. So will every player for both teams will be wearing white on Thursday and Saturday?

My whole Stars world is being turned upside down this week! Boucher gone, Sydor back, Crombeen gone, Neal back, Lehts possibly injured again. What next?

UPDATE: The Stars have officially announced that Crombeen has been claimed and Neal has been recalled.

Also thanks to Amy and Jen for pointing out that the other team will wear their home darks. I hadn’t thought of that because, well, it’s moronic that they have to. Sorry Stars Brass. Not a big fan of the home/away mashup you dialed in.

November 17, 2008

Practice Update

by Chelsea

Kristine went to practice and had a few things to report back.

Sydor was wearing 55 and appeared to be enjoying hanging with Zubov again. Lehtinen did not practice because he was resting.

Crombeen and Ribeiro were working together, and apparently looked really good.

TSN is saying we’ve put Crombeen on waivers, though, so there’s a chance that he could get picked up by another team.

November 14, 2008

Game Review – 11/13/08 (DAL vs LAK)

by Chelsea

Game:

Remember earlier in the season, when we went and lost that away game to Nashville, and then came home and whooped them with a Bunny hat trick?

This game was supposed to be like that, except with more fire because of what happened with Ribeiro at the end of the last game. Oh, and this time Brunnstrom was scratched for a guy who played 2 shifts.

Speaking of that guy, anyone catch the pregame interview with Ribeiro and Crombeen? Someone got his tooth fixed!

Being a home game, us SHR girls were actually there. First period started out with me wondering why the crowd was more enthusiastic than the players. Maybe it was the fact that the officials were whistle-happy against the Stars, cutting off any momentum they might have built.

Philippe Boucher got the first, whistled at 6:10 for hooking Alexander Frolov. I didn’t actually see the hooking, but knowing our defensemen, I don’t really doubt it happened.

The Kings were limited to three SOG during that power play, before Krys Barch began his short-lived attempt to pummel them all. He checked them, they checked him, they chirped, they argued in faceoffs, they tried to fight but were separated by the officials…

Sean Avery apparently missed the attention so he stole the puck and tried to put it in the net. He was cut short by LA netminder Erik Ersberg (who I personally think looks awful feminine for a goalie). Ersberg then stuck his leg out as Avery went across the crease. Avery tripped up but did not fall. Ersberg… did fall. I found it a little suspicious. He stuck his leg out, tripped Avery, and HE fell?

Anyway, Avery got a tripping penalty at 9:49 that gave me a dirty taste in my mouth. That taste worsened when they hadn’t even finished announcing the power play when the power play ended because the Kings scored with a shot from the point. We entered a 1-0 hole at 9:53 thanks to Michal Handzus, with help from Peter Harrold.

I guess Ribeiro was the only one who was feeling the same fire from Tuesday, because he was one of the few people exchanging hits with the Kings. Ott took some hits, and Morrow tried to land some, but the momentum was pretty much shot already.

In another “kick us when we’re down” moment this season, the sluggish Stars were scored on again. This time it was Jarret Stoll at 13:11, with assists from Frolov and Sean O’Donnell. Again, it came off the point, with LA following up on Turco’s loose rebound.

Someone let out Toby Petersen, who got another “Top 10 Easiest Shots to Stop” SOG when he tried an unsuccessful wraparound instead of passing to a centered BJ Crombeen. Barch continued his campaign for vengeance by getting a lot of pushing and griping and almost-fighting in, but the officials were determined to keep the game fight-free.

Barch, not so easily distracted from his goal, responded by absolutely clobbering a King along the boards, which provoked yet another near-scrum with the entire LA team. Crombeen hopped in to try and help out, but the officials pulled everyone apart. (The NHL play-by-play says that he hit Gauthier, but charged Ivanans, but I’m pretty sure the number on the jersey was 42, which would make it Preissing) Because Barch did leave his feet before smashing into whoever it was, he got a penalty for charging, and Tippett didn’t give him another shift for the rest of the game.

Turco made a couple solid saves, and that penalty was killed.

Then, Kyle Quincey got two for interference on Loui Eriksson, finally giving the Stars a power play at 17:45 in the first. About a minute into that, Mike Modano checked a King, provoking Gauthier to get the Kings another interference, this time on Modano. This gave the Stars thirty seconds of 5-on-3.

With a mere :22 left in the first, Brad Richards set a trend that would not be shaken over the course of the game. Sergei Zubov faked a shot, instead sending the puck to Richards. Richards smacked it from the point right past Ersberg. Brenden Morrow got the second assist.

Snacks happened in the first intermission.

Second period started 2-1 Kings.

It started like this: Mark Parrish hits someone, Dustin Brown shoots the puck at Turco, and Stephane Robidas gets a hooking penalty. Makes the Stars sound more like clumsy thugs than, y’know, a team that can actually keep possession of the puck.

I think Robidas felt pretty awful about that penalty, and rightfully so. At 3:24, halfway through their power play, the Kings scored again. It was sad. Turco made at least 4 sprawling saves to deny the Kings, who just learned from their early goals and sent the puck to the point, where Quincey shot it in for an easy point. Oscar Moller and Frolov got the assists.

Momentum for the Stars really picked up here. Jere Lehtinen and Sergei Zubov both got shots off, Ribeiro continued to check people, and then a minute later, Ribeiro tripped someone. Less than ten seconds later, Toby Petersen hi-sticked someone.

Yeah. 5-on-3 in favor of the Kings, for nearly an entire two minutes. Would you believe it if I told you they barely got a shot off on Turco?

With that effectively killed… Stephane Robidas took another penalty, this time for tripping. Oh, but wait. Our PK looked so good, we were actually going “Oh no, only 20 more seconds to get a SH goal!”. Trevor Daley and Loui Eriksson had PP-like hustle in front of the Kings net in what was actually a Kings PP.

This chunk of play looked good. The Kings looked a little frustrated and picked up their hitting, while the Stars got some good shots off on goal and drew a slashing penalty on Stoll.

Because he’s a spiteful little punk, Ribeiro came out fully intending to park it in the net and score in this power play. Boucher sent it to Richards, who shot it, and Ribeiro tipped it in. Another PP goal for the Stars, putting the game within reach at 3-2.

O’Donnell gave us a chance to tie it by cross checking Steve Ott, but we never score on crunch-time power plays. Robidas did get a powerful shot off, but it was blocked.

Second period ended 3-2 Kings. Exactly at the disadvantage we found ourselves at coming into the period, hm.

Third period.

Avery slashes someone, he retaliates, double slashing. Not as funny as double tripping, but still.

Ribeiro continued to be one of the only people putting in 100%, shooting, catching his own rebound, shooting again, again going for his own rebound, and almost scoring like 3 times. Almost.

Both teams spend ten minutes getting good shots and hits off on each other. Goalies work hard to hold it at 3-2.

Somewhere in here, Parrish took a 2-minute slashing, the penalty was killed, he got a good shot off, and Grossman laid down on a Kings player behind the net and took a short break. Seriously.

Despite the fact that the Kings were pairing their worst line with our best, the Stars did not manage to tie it up, and the third ended just like the first and second; the Stars down by one.

Notes:

  • Tippett preaches that the team needs to build trust, and yet will not leave the lines alone.
  • Brunnstrom was scratched for Crombeen, who only got 2 shifts in the entire game.
  • Niskanen also had limited shifts, spending the entire third on the bench.
  • Toby Petersen was on the PP. Nevermind that he literally has never scored a goal as a Star. Not even in the 16 playoff games he played in last spring.
  • Conclusion: Not sure where Tipp’s head is. We think he’s got some master plan that involves confusing the other team so much that they just stand around and watch us score. Even then, does he really think Petersen will find the back of the net?
  • Suggestion: Stu Barnes for head coach!

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for using a King as a couch; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for leading in blocked shots with four, one for solid defense, and minus-two for the careless penalties; +0
Matt Niskanen: one pity point for being so Nisky-like; +1
Trevor Daley: one for getting a SH SOG; +1
Mike Modano: one for leading in takeaways and minus-one for tanking in faceoffs; +0
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist; +2
Krys Barch: two for having a fire nobody else did but minus-one for using it stupidly; +1
Sean Avery: arrrgggg; -1
Toby Petersen: aaarrrrrgggggggg; -2
James Neal: two for scoring shorthanded with the Moose tonight in their 2-1 win over the Marlies and two for being on a four-game point streak; +4
Loui Eriksson: one for being surprisingly good on the PP; +1
Mark Fistric: two for being +6 in four games with the Moose; +2
Marty Turco: two for some really good saves; +2
Philippe Boucher: two for the assist; +2
Sergei Zubov: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, one for leading in hits, and one for being one of the only people who looked like they were trying; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Fabian Brunnstrom: one pity point for getting scratched; +1

November 12, 2008

Small Update

by Kristine

Fan voting for the 2009 All-Star game started at midnight, and guess who the number one and number two forwards currenly are? Our very own Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow! Thanks to a guerilla voting effort, Stephane Robidas is on the leaderboard for defensemen (help keep him there; write him in!), and Marty Turco is in third for goaltenders. Cast your vote here; you can vote as often and as many times as you’d like.

Marty Turco has the number one save of the week again this week!

TSN reports that the league has reviewed Brenden Morrow’s instigator penalty and decided that he will not receive a one-game suspension. Expect him in the line-up for tomorrow’s game against the Kings.

Ribeiro’s beautiful shootout move, apparently taught to him by BJ Crombeen of all people, is already blowing up on YouTube. See a nice video of it, with it in slow-motion, here

Bob Sturm remarks that in our five-game road trip, the Stars had a shot advantage in only two of fifteen total periods. Hard to win hockey games that way, eh?

Edit:

Note: That “shhh” move after Ribeiro’s shootout goal? Apparently it upset LA’s Derek Armstrong, provoking a probably half-hearted apology from Ribeiro. Anyone else think they blew this out of proportion? 

And, speaking of saying sorry, guess who did NOT have anything apologetic to say. 

BROWN: “No. He’s a pretty honest player. We’ve both been in situations like that before and we’re both honest players. Obviously with a hit like that, it was a big hit and it turned into a bad situation, I guess, for Ribeiro. I think (Morrow) understood what happened. Had that been Kopi getting hit, I think the same thing (would have happened).” 

He guesses it was a bad situation. Meh.

November 9, 2008

Game Review – 11/08/08 (DAL at SJS)

by Chelsea

Game:

After their win against the Anaheim Ducks, the Stars looked to collect back-to-back wins against the San Jose Sharks last night. Initially, the channel that had planned to broadcast the game chose to air college football instead, but we joined the game in progress only a few minutes into the first.

The first period started like most Sharks games- there was lots of hitting on both sides. Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro, and Sean Avery all got solid hits in. It only took five minutes for the gloves to come off, when BJ Crombeen took on Sharks heavyweight Ryane Clowe. It was a pretty even fight, ended with BJ half out of his jersey and a solid punch that knocked Clowe spinning to to the ice. Both got 5 for fighting.

Brenden Morrow has said multiple times that he’d like to see the Stars play 60 minutes every game with a one-nothing mentality. I’m not sure he meant it quite so literally.

At 7:013, San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle beat Turco’s glove hand to put the game at 1-0 for the Sharks.


This goal was really just a product of the Stars being outskated and unable to keep up with the determined Sharks, who were undeniably out for a little payback. Like the Ducks, we punted them from the playoffs last spring, and this was our first meeting this season.

The pressure worsened when Sean Avery took a sloppy penalty for cross checking. The Stars successfully killed off the penalty, and got on a power play of their own twelve minutes in when Christian Ehrhoff got a minor for hi-sticking. They did not manage to score, however.

For awhile, nothing happened besides the Stars getting physically trampled. The period ended on a Sharks PP when Avery took his second sloppy minor, this time for slashing.

Because Avery got his penalty at 18:20 in the first, the second period started with Sharks momentum as they had immediate power play time. The period continued with both teams trading possession, hits, and shots on goal.

Fabian Brunnstrom got a little payback for some big hits on Stars with a smashing hit on Ehrhoff that sent him sliding to the boards.

Stars momentum was given another boost when the Sharks took a penalty for having too many men on the ice, but they still didn’t manage to convert that advantage to points.

Brenden Morrow further secured his lead at the top of the “most minor penalties in the league” chart with a 2 minute tripping.

Thanks to the heroic goaltending of Marty Turco, the Stars stuck in the game behind only by one.

At 12:04, Joe Thorton and his Sharks bully buddy came together to sandwich Nicklas Grossman into the boards. He came out a little wobbly with a bloodied nose, and Thorton took two minutes for boarding.

Also in the end of the second, also from Joe Thorton, was a nasty hi-stick to Ribeiro off the faceoff that was not called. Let me emphasize. Faceoff, official there dropping the puck, Thorton smack Ribeiro in the face. Ribeiro falls to his knees at the feet of the official. It does not get called. Ugh. Ribs was alright though, aside from the steaming anger that threatened to erupt onto the ice.

Things improved towards the end of the second for Dallas, though, with Sean Avery and Mike Modano getting a handful of good shots on goal, giving Sharks backup goalie Brian Boucher his first real challenge of the night.

Second intermission, I believe, had Modano explaining that they had all the right ideas in the locker room, but their brains switched off somewhere between there and the ice.

Third period had the Stars still with a strong jump that they’d built in the end of the second. Their hard work would pay off with a little help with Loui Eriksson. If you remember, he had spent most of the Ducks game pushing and hustling towards the goal, with no points to show for it. He brought that same hustle out in the third, and this time it showed in numbers.

Eriksson started the play by claiming the puck from the corner of the Sharks defensive zone and sending it to a centered Ott. Ott’s shot ricocheted off past the net to the boards, and Eriksson came from the side to shovel the puck in behind Boucher.


His goal tied the game at 1-1, which threw both teams into tiebreaker frantic mode with fifteen minutes left in regulation.

The only penalty of the period came shortly after, when Jeremy Roenick got a minor for tripping. The Stars almost came out ahead when a shot from Brad Richards nearly produced another tip in, this time from Brenden Morrow. Boucher had learned from his mistake, however, and this time the attempt was blocked.

Unfortunately, as the third wore on, the Sharks picked up the pace once again. In comparison, the Stars did not seem to want the win nearly as much. Both teams continued exchanging shots and blows in a very tense final ten minutes.

It was Marty Turco, who had so fantastically held the Stars in the game, who would prove to be their undoing in the end. In attempt to handle the puck, Turco hesitated and accidentally sent it into Patrick Marleau’s skates instead of clearing it or sending it to the corner. Marleau did not hesitate to capitalize on Turco’s mistake, sweeping by and putting the puck in the net with 20 seconds left on the clock.

The game ended 2-1 Sharks, and the Stars were left without a point to show for their effort.

Notes:

  • The three game stars all went to Sharks.
  • Turco’s play in the game lowered his season GAA to 3.93 and raised his sv% to .858. He blocked 31 in 33 shots.
  • The Stars were outshot 24-33 in the game. They were also outhit 43-21.
  • Sergei Zubov led the team again in TOI, with 24 minutes.
  • Brad Richards led in SOG, but left the game -2 in +/-
  • Conclusion: Though we left without a point, the Stars managed to pull together a game that showed a more cohesive effort than they’d had most of the season, giving two consecutive solid efforts for the first time.
  • Conclusion metaphor: All season, the Stars had been out on a lake with a boat, paddles, and people but all floating freely. Now we’ve got the people in the boat with the paddles, and its just a matter of getting them to row in sync.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one pity point for how sad he looked when he got a bloody nose; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for covering all his bases (shooting, blocking, hitting); +1
Matt Niskanen: minus-two for  having nothing but giveaways; -2
Trevor Daley: two for leading the team in blocked shots; +2
Mike Modano: one for leading the team in takeaways; +1
Sean Avery: minus-one for the stupid penalties and minus-two for meeting Niskanen in giveaways; -3
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and one for effort; +4
Steve Ott: two for the assist and one for effort; +3
Marty Turco: three for being Turco again and holding us in the game, but minus-one for his slipup; +2
BJ Crombeen: two for the fight and one for winning it; +3
Mike Ribeiro: one for manning up after the hi-sticking by verbally mauling Thorton; +1
Brad Richards: one for effort; +1

November 8, 2008

Game Review – 11/07/08 (DAL at ANA)

by Chelsea

Pregame:

After throwing a total, huge, gigantic fit at the fact FSN-SW has casually decided not to air our Stars/Sharks game tomorrow (they’re showing college football instead… thanks), I settled down for some good ol’ rival-vs-rival hockey.

The game had a lot of special notes to it. Sergei Zubov was activated off IR and played for the first time in regular season since January. Mark Parrish, taken from free agency for a $500,000 1-year contract, had his first game with the Stars tonight. It was the first time meeting the Ducks since we ended their season during the playoffs. It was the first time the Stars played any of their division rivals this season.

Also, this is the first review in which I will be utilizing fancy tools such as print screen and copy/paste to bring you pictures! Blame whoever broadcasts for the poor picture quality, though.

So, alright. Puck dropped at 9:00 PM CT.

Game:

First period. Our starting line was Morrow-Ribeiro-Brunnstrom, who did well but would come to be overshadowed by our second line. Our starting defense pair was Robidas-Grossman again, who I think did a nice job despite being robbed of ice time by sneaky Russian Zubov.

The ice was on fire from the get-go, with Ducks trying to trample (unsuccessfully) the Stars, and the Stars skating with a caliber that we’ve come to miss lately. Brad Richards was the first to register a shot on goal, unfortunately stopped by Giguere. Then the Ducks pulled together a feathery charge at Turco, which brought the moment I knew that it was actually, finally Turco behind the mask.

Turco used his magnificent tumbling abilities to stop back-to-back attempts at scoring, showing a bit of the determination he’d been lacking so far this season. Yeah, Turks!

After that, something clicked in the Stars, who gained possession and gathered a couple of shots on goal and handful of good hits. Then, at 7:07, all that hard work paid off.

Mike Ribeiro, who many have accused of not being able to handle the new coverage that other teams are putting on him, used that very issue nicely to his advantage. Coming around behind Giguere’s net, he managed to draw the attention of the three Ducks and their goalie in front of the net. Two of those Ducks actually shouldered Brunnstrom out of their way in trying to cover Ribeiro. This, naturally, left Brunnstrom with a wide-open net.

Instead of trying to stuff the puck past Giguere, Ribeiro slipped it through a maze of legs to Brunnstrom. Brunnstrom, being right where he needed to be, backhanded it into the net before the Ducks could really react. 1-0 Stars! Morrow got the second assist.

Like most of their other wins this season, once ahead, the Stars would not be shaken from their lead. The Ducks frustration became apparent here (understandably, as they were behind already and had hoped for easy revenge. Oh, but if only they’d known…) and they began hitting more. Frankly, this was stupid of them, because it only took two minutes after Brunnstrom’s goal for Anaheim’s Travis Moen to get a minor penalty for elbowing.

Now, at this point, the Stars were 0-12 in their last 12 power plays. I know I had fully expected Zubov to bring his magic to the PP, but it wasn’t his presence that was felt the strongest.

At 10:44, Mark Parrish notched his first goal as a Star with his first shot on goal as a Star in his first power play as a Star in his first game as a Star.

Basically, Sean Avery pulled a Ribeiro and camped out behind the net with the puck looking for an opportunity. Parrish pulled a Morrow and camped out in front of the net waiting for said opportunity. Avery passed to Parrish, and Parrish did a successful one-timer that I have yet to actually see despite watching several replays. The puck was an unstoppable blur that put us up 2-0. Philippe Boucher got the second assist.

The next seven minutes were full of players hitting each other and players getting shots off on Turco and Turco stopping all of those shots. Also, apparently Sean Avery was sitting on the bench chirping at Chris Kunitz.  Also apparently, Chris Kunitz is easily provoked, but more on that later.

At 17:28, Anaheim’s Brendan Morrison (whose name sounds annoyingly like Brenden Morrow) cut the Stars lead in half with his first goal of the season. This goal was not a pretty one. Turco thought he had it, the Stars thought he had it, but the official and the Ducks persisted and managed to find it and put it in the net.


Way to be lookin’ all confused, Barch.  The assists went to Ryan Carter (#20) and Teemu Selanne.

With the game now 2-1, the Ducks began to build momentum to try and tie it up. Turco was forced to make more good saves, though wasn’t exactly covering his rebound, which led to having to make more good saves.

Remember that grump, Chris Kunitz? He decided to take his aggression on Avery out in the last minute of the first with a big, questionable hit that sent Avery into the boards. While Avery was trying to get the rink to stop spinning so he could stand up, Trevor Daley stormed in from nowhere and tried to beat the daylights out of Kunitz. The officials intervened, Daley gave Kunitz the dirtiest look I’ve seen this season, and Avery managed to skate himself off the ice. Daley and Kunitz each got 2 minutes for roughing, and Kunitz got a boarding penalty for the hit.

The first ended on PP for the Stars.

The first intermission was supposed to have Mark Parrish, but there were technical difficulties, so we got to watch a thing about the golf classic event. Funny clip in there with Ribeiro putting, not liking his putt, grabbing the golf ball, and sneaking a do-over.

The second period started with the Stars getting over a minute in PP time. Combining the end of the first and the Ducks having to kill a penalty with an intermission, and Duck momentum had been entirely squashed. Just to make sure it was wouldn’t be getting back up, Parrish went ahead and scored again.

Avery, not hindered by the brain-rearranging hit from earlier, was back on the ice with Parrish for the PP. When Brad Richards sent the puck from the point to Ribeiro, who seems to have directed it to Avery in front of the net, Parrish showed up and joined Avery in making a go for the puck.


It was so close, they originally gave the point to Avery. They wouldn’t correct the error until after Parrish scored again, so he didn’t really get to celebrate, but it would eventually become his point. Ribeiro and Richards got assists. The lead grew to 3-1. I think they scored with something like, five seconds left on the power play, putting us at 2-for-2 there.

Now, I’m not entirely sure what provoked it, but we got to see a rare glimpse at veteran Boucher drop the gloves and go at it with Anaheim’s Brian Sutherby behind the Stars net. Now, I love Boo, but his fighting inexperience showed. Sutherby got the majority of the punches in, and Boucher tried unsuccessfully to pull his jersey over his head. The fight did serve to build some Stars energy, however.

Now, for perhaps the funniest goal the Stars have gotten this season (Morrow on his side for second place), Scott Niedermayer tripped and fell on his butt.

To be more specific, at 5:46 Niedermayer got the puck in center ice and begun skating with it backwards into his defensive zone. At 5:47, he tripped over the blue line.


At 5:49,  Parrish swoops in like a caffeinated child and runs off, giggling, with the puck.

At 5:52, he puts it in the net, earning his sixth career hat trick. You can’t really tell by the picture, but it was a wicked shot that bounced from pipe to pipe and settled in the net behind Giguere. The goal was unassisted. Giguere responded by taking a sip from his stupid-straw, getting pulled so his backup could try to clean up his mess, and throwing a small tantrum.


Enter Jonas Hiller. He faced a 4-1 hole with a team that was growing more and more frustrated. And it was only the second period!

Mark Parrish continued celebrating being the second player this year to get a hat trick in his Dallas debut.

Stephane Robidas did something barely noticeable and got two minutes for interference. No luck for the Ducks power play, as Turco made some fabulous saves to keep their lead safe. Brenden Morrow drew a roughing call on Samuel Pahlsson, but this time the power play did not produce.

It was sometime after that that Chris Pronger got on the wrong side of Steve Ott. Everyone knows Ott is a scrappy, fighting type, and he didn’t hesitate to go after Pronger when Pronger put him into the boards and mouthed off a little.

Apparently, nobody told Otter to pick on people his own size.


Pronger managed to get a good hold on the front of Ott’s jersey, but I doubt he was expecting the staggering right hit Ott delivered to his face. The officials got in between them before any more damage could be done, and Pronger attempted (but failed) to spontaneously combust in the penalty box. Both got two minutes for roughing.

Before the period ended, Corey Perry led a 2-on-1 charge into the Stars defensive zone, with only Sean Avery and Marty Turco between him and a goal. Turco met him to stop the shot, and when the rebound got loose, stopped him again by diving out in front of him. Perry went flying and got his revenge by sitting on puck-covering Turco. Avery sat on Perry, and Grossman played goalie. Then Turco sat up, smacked Perry around a little, and the game moved on.

Second period ended.

Second intermission supposedly had Mike Modano. I missed it because I was making popcorn. Oops.

Third period. Started out with a sip of stupid from Giguere’s stupid-straw when Dallas took a penalty for having too many men on the ice only 44 seconds in. Modano heard from Parrish how much fun the box had been, so he went ‘oh, me too!’ and hi-sticked someone. Not to be outdone, Perry interfered with Brad Richards and took 2 minutes for that. Despite these three penalties, nobody scored.

I know I’ve been hard on Richards in the past, but the only thing I have to say about what he did next is, “Richards, hun, we already had a 4-2 lead. You didn’t have to go and HURT yourself.” But alright. Ott got a shot off that five-holed past Hiller, but didn’t seem to be going fast enough to still make it across the goal line unhindered. So, at 9:01 in the third, Richards sprawled across the ice to tip the puck in for a sure goal. Trevor Daley got the second assist.

I fully appreciate what Richards did, but to be fair, it seems to me like the puck was about to cross the line when he jumped in. (Highlighted Richards stick in gold, to illustrate) So, he did rob Ott of his goal, but Ott got the assist and the puck went in, so does it matter?

After that, the Ducks started mowing over anyone they saw, so Mo retreated to the penalty box (delay of game – puck over glass) and Scott Niedermayer made up a little bit for his slip-up by scoring the last goal of the game.

Eriksson tried to right that wrong by charging alone into the Ducks defensive zone multiple times, but nothing came of it. Perry cross-checked Robidas and got called on it, but our power play did not produce. We ended the game on PK, when Grossman got called for holding, but the Ducks wouldn’t manage to tie it. (or even come close, really). The game ended in a glorious 5-2 win for the Stars.

Notes:

  • Three stars of the game, in order: Mark Parrish, Brad Richards, Chris Kunitz
  • The loss was first for the Ducks since their Oct 19 loss to Carolina
  • Turco ended the game with a much-improved .913 sv%
  • The win elevated Turco’s sv% from .837 to .848 and his GAA from 4.34 to 4.11
  • The power play was 2-5 for the game. The PK was 4-5.
  • The Stars were outshot 26-30. Both Ducks goalies faced 13 shots; Giguere let in 4, Hiller let in 1.
  • Zubov led in TOI with 21:09.
  • Only the Barch-Petersen-Crombeen line finished -1. The rest of the Stars finished +1.
  • Brad Richards led in SOG, with 7.
  • Mark Parrish fired 4 shots. 3 of them went in.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for being forceful and defensive; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for delivering another solid defensive game; +1
Trevor Daley: two for his assist and one for backing up Avery; +3
Mike Modano: minus-one for the stupid penalties that gave the Ducks their second goal; -1
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist and one for containing himself and not getting a single penalty; +3
Sean Avery: two for the assist, one for also containing himself, and one for provoking Kunitz; +4
Toby Petersen: minus-two for still not learning how to share the puck; -2
Loui Eriksson: two for lots and lots of effort; +2
Steve Ott: two for the assist and one for taking on Pronger; +3
Marty Turco: three for resembling himself again and delivering a solid win; +3
Mark Parrish: three for each goal, one for being funny on the bench, and one for starting in style; +11
Philippe Boucher: two for the assist, two for the fight, and minus-one for losing it; +3
Sergei Zubov: two for leading in TOI in his first game of the season, one for hitting the puck so hard he snapped his stick in half, and two because omgwemissedyou; +5
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and one for weirdly having more hits than Morrow; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal, two for the assist, one for leading in SOG, one for injury concern, and minus-one for slightly robbing Ott; +6
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal and one for eager effort; +4

Off Ice +/-:

Brenden Morrow: five for rocking out on the bench and singing “Rock and Roll All Nite” to himself; +5
Tobias Stephan: three for hopping up and down with the Ice Girls during the golf classic; +3

October 30, 2008

Game Review – 10/29/08 (DAL vs MIN)

by Chelsea

Game:

For some reason, my brain keeps mixing up “Minnesota” and “Mittens”, which led to this review almost being “DAL vs MIT”. Pretty smooth, I know.

Last night, our Dallas Stars hit the ice at 7:30 to go up against the Minnesota Wild, a team who entered the match with a freaky 24/24 PK and a 6-0-1 record. It was the first game against ex-Star Antti “Mittens” Miettinen, who left Dallas as a free agent and was signed by the Wild. Upping the stakes further, it was the first season start for backup goalie Tobias Stephan.

I’ll admit to being nervous for Stephan’s sake, because we love Baby T and were worried that our struggling defense would make him look bad. As exciting as it was to get to see him start, it meant benching Marty Turco, which was very sad.

Steve Ott was back again, which had everyone from the fans to the team to the management absolutely thrilled. No so fun were the absences of Joel Lundqvist (newly out with a shoulder injury), Doug Janik (still having eye problems), Jere Lehtinen (still struggling with groin problem), and Sergei Zubov (won’t be off IR until Nov 7).

The starting line was Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson. The starting defense pairing was Grossman-Robidas.

The game itself kicked off unexpectedly quick, especially for the usually slow-starting Stars, when Brenden Morrow scored at 19:47 in the first period. It was the kind of smooth move we’d gotten used to from Mike Ribeiro last season; he won the opening faceoff, kept it deep in the offensive zone, and a few seconds later slid it very nicely to Morrow for a one-timer over Minnesota goalie Nicklas Backstrom’s shoulder. Loui Eriksson got the second assist.

Morrow said today on The Ticket’s BaD radio that 13 seconds is the quickest goal he’s ever scored.

The following five minutes of gameplay was impressive, with Stars defense playing a much tighter game in front of Stephan, who was there to make a few equally impressive stops when the puck did slip through.

It wasn’t until Ott, who’d prove to be the night’s fire starter, tripped up James Sheppard and got a two minute penalty that the Wild were able to churn up some real offense. The Stars PK struggled a little, allowing Marc-Andre Bergeron to escape unimpeded to Stephan’s left. With lots of free space, Burgeron sent a nasty, powerful slap shot past Stephan and into the net to tie the game at 1-1. Assists went to Eric Belanger and Kim Johnsson.

The rest of the first period, well, the Stars basically owned the Wild. Minnesota got one last shot on goal on Stephan, but then the Neal-Modano-Crombeen line came out and proceeded to wipe the ice with them. Crombeen got a shot off, Neal got a shot off, Neal hit someone, Robidas hit Miettinen (aww), and Bergeron got a minor penalty for interference on Crombeen.

The Wild, with PK-confidence practically dripping off them, killed that penalty well. I will say, though, that I thought we’d score in the first minute. The puck did not get dumped one time during the first half, and wasn’t sent back into our defensive zone until our PP did a shift change.

Though Dallas didn’t manage to score on their first power play, they did use that momentum well. When the Ott-Richards-Avery line came out, they were sparking with just the energy you’d expect from an Ott-Avery combination.

To be honest, I’d have thought this next goal would be reviewed. It was a mess in the crease, and even seeing the replay fifty times, I’m not entirely convinced that it was good. The officials, or at least the ones that call goals, were apparently a little Stars-biased last night.

At 12:45 in the first, Ott very much made up for his stupid penalty by driving the puck very hard to the net. Really Richards actually got a positive “Really?” from us when he passed the puck between Backstrom’s legs through the crease to Ott. Backstrom went backwards, Ott went forwards, Wild defense scrambled, and somewhere in that the goal light went on. Sean Avery got the second assist.

Some frustrated, angry Minnesota defense pushed Ott over right afterwards, who celebrated laying on his back. Richards skated over and congratulatory-hugged him before he even had a chance to get upright. Perhaps the first actual evidence of personality we’d seen from Richards so far, and I mean that nicely.

Also during this mess, Fistric took a puck to the chest and got his ribs bruised/had to be helped off the ice. He returned quickly, though, and is alright.

The second piece of evidence came only a few minutes later. It was bundled with a whole bunch of other surprises, like Mark Fistric keeping the puck in the zone and Richards still playing exceptionally well.  At 15:39, Fistric got the puck from Krys Barch and had his shot blocked, which ricocheted to Richards. Richards got a wrist shot off in past Backstrom for the game winning goal.

The first ended with a big hit on Ott, a couple shots fired at both goalies, and a breakaway attempt by Mike Ribeiro that was stopped by Backstrom.

The first intermission brought back “What Would Stu Do?”, except it was “What Would Coach Stu Do?” and it was infinitely awesome. Apparently, if his house was haunted, Stuuuuu! would get his “Ghostbusters” on and take care of it himself. Aw, Stu.

Second period was less in our favor, but still strong. The Wild pulled their goaltender and replaced him with Josh Harding.

Because I’m running out of time, the final two periods, summarized very quickly:

  • Craig Weller hit Mike Modano. Now we hate him.
  • Bergeron tripped Sean Avery and got called on it. We didn’t score.
  • Miettinen hit Morrow, showing a surprising amount of bravery.
  • Wild got another penalty when Nick Shultz hooked Crombeen.
  • Sean Avery surprised us by sweeping into the offensive zone, dropping a pass very nicely to Matt Niskanen, who scored on with four seconds left on the PP, thus breaking the Wild’s perfect PK.
  • Craig Weller, acting even more like a caveman, got himself an “Abuse of officials” penalty.
  • We didn’t score.
  • Mikko Koivu nearly got a shorthanded goal, but was stopped by Stephan.
  • Robidas got himself (surprise!) a hooking penalty.
  • They didn’t score.
  • Andrew Brunette got a big shot off on Stephan, who masterfully caught it in his glove and tumbled backwards. Everyone scrambled to find the puck, but Baby T had closed off that chance. Hah!
  • Second intermission had more people dressed as beer.
  • Mike Modano took a 2 minutes in the box for hooking.
  • Fistric got in Stephan’s way and the Wild deflected a puck off his skate for their second and last goal.
  • Modano smacked someone in the head. Robidas practically tackled that someone to keep him from retaliating.
  • Sean Avery had some nice moves.
  • Modano finished the game in the box for another hooking.
  • Morrow finished the game in the back, getting his lip stitched up after taking a puck to the mouth. Apparently he is alright, but his lip hurts and they may have to remove a few teeth. However, he wouldn’t mind, because those teeth are crooked anyway.
  • Ott closed out the game by shoving Mittens into the boards. I’d like to think it was his way of saying “Hey, good game ol’ buddy!”

So 4-2 win for us. Stephan rocked, leaving with a .905 sv% for the game. Wouldn’t mind seeing Stephan in goal again this weekend, but also would like to see Turco back.

Notes:

  • Three game stars, in order: Brad Richards, Tobias Stephan, Steve Ott
  • If there is one thing you can count on Richards for, its not to totally tank on faceoffs. He won 12 of 19.
  • The win was an NHL first for Stephan, whose last and only other NHL start was against Chicago, where he stopped 38 in 40 shots but still did not get a win.
  • Every single Stars player left with even or positive +/-
  • Stephane Robidas led in shifts and TOI, with 26 and 25 respectively.
  • The Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson line played over 20 minutes, more than most defensemen
  • Steve Ott led in hits, with 5.
  • Brenden Morrow led in shots, with 6.
  • Conclusion: If we can play this weekend like we played last night, I think we’ll be solid. Just don’t ever invite the Stars anywhere – they show up a month late.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: three for good defense; +3
Stephane Robidas: two for good defense and one for backing up Mo; +3
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal and two for good defense; +5
Mike Modano: one for bopping that guy on the head; +1
Brenden Morrow: three for the goal, one for style, one for hustle, and two for the puck in the mouth; +7
Krys Barch: two for the assist; +2
Sean Avery: two for each assist and two for style; +6
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and one for his many almost goals; +3
Mark Fistric: two for the assist, one for the poke check, one for actually hitting people, four for taking a puck to the chest, and minus-one for putting his butt in Stephan’s face during our PK; +7
Steve Ott: three for the goal, one for style, two for the energy, and two for looking extremely happy while chirping at the other team; +8
Tobias Stephan: three for being awesome and not allowing any EH goals, two for the pretty glove saves, and one because he fell over and still managed to play the puck; +6
Marty Turco: one for being a good sport and giving Baby T a huge smile post-game; +1
Philippe Boucher: three for good defense; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist and one for style; +3
Brad Richards: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for style; +6