Posts tagged ‘Brett Hull’

January 17, 2009

Game Review – 1/15/09 (DAL vs BUF)

by Chelsea

The Good:

Offensive defense! The Dallas defense continued their scoring ways from the Red Wings game in the contest against the Buffalo Sabres. Trevor Daley and Matt Niskanen both scored again, while Nicklas Grossman and Marty Turco got assists. Yup, even Marty got on the board.

Power play power! The Stars got four power plays and scored on the first two. In fact, the Sabres looked very surprised at the fury Dallas unleashed during the first man-advantage. 

Building a three-goal lead! Dallas had so much energy, drive, focus, firepower – whatever you want to call it – that Buffalo just couldn’t hold them back. They scored three times in the first 23 minutes of play. 

Sutherby! After being unable to contribute in points since coming to the Stars, Sutherby has tried on many occasions to make himself heard with his fists. He finally succeeded in picking a fight after someone tried to behead Mark Parrish, and while he didn’t get many punches in, showed some pretty impressive balance to get the takedown. 

The Bad: 

Sacrificial defense? While the defensive core (+ the goalie) were busy collecting points, I guess they forgot to actually defend? The Stars let Buffalo get 35 shots on goal, and four of those went in.

Penalty killing? It’s nice to get on a power play and tear up the opposition, and I’m sure that’s why the Stars were being very generous in taking penalties. After having none in the entire first period, they made up ground by taking five in the remaining regulation time. 

Losing a three-goal lead? You can’t just give up when you’re up by three, and Dallas learned that one the hard way. The Sabres staged a comeback, scoring four times to erase three-goal and and then two-goal leads. Then they won in the shootout.

Speaking of that shootout, oh… well, yikes. Parrish, really? He’s never scored in a shootout, ever. Why not give Ott the go? And when will Ribeiro learn that his fancy stuff doesn’t work for patient goaltenders? 

The Ugly: 

Stephane Robidas took a hit in OT that left him wincing on the bench and missing practice this morning. He says he’s fine, but ‘fine’ shows up to work in the morning. We’ll see.

Mike Modano took a nasty hit to the back… from Toby Petersen. Yup. Petersen seemingly smashed his shoulder/elbow into Modano’s back, who made his way to the bench where he grimaced and winced for about five minutes. We really hope Petersen apologized, but he seriously just looked clueless the entire time. It was the last of a couple of big hits on him, and the fact that he didn’t go in a five-round shootout says maybe he wasn’t feeling so hot.

Darryl Sydor had an awful night. He got his face smeared into the glass a couple times, he lost the puck in his skates and stood there looking confused (right in front of Turco, no less), and then he nearly shot the puck into his own net at least once. Uck.

Sabres fans in Dallas have serious grunge issues. Between getting drunk and yelling at annoyed Stars fans, they also got into the “Stanley Cup Brett Hull no goal!” grudge again. I mean, really, it was ten years ago. You probably care more than the players do. Time to move on.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Stephane Robidas: one concern point for ackdontbehurtplease; +1
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal; +3
Trevor Daley: three for the goal; +3 
Mike Modano: two for the assist and one concern point; +3
Toby Petersen: minus-two for the penalty that the Sabres scored on, minus-two for hitting Mo, and minus-one for not looking concerned afterward; -5
Brian Sutherby: one for standing up for Parrish, one for the fight, and one for not losing it; +3
Loui Eriksson: one for being a defensive force despite not showing up on the scoreboard; +1
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist and one for being a puck-thief; +3
Steve Ott: three for the goal, two for the assist, one for style, and one for leading in hits; +7
Marty Turco: two for the assist, one for being solid in the beginning of the game and shootout, minus-two for becoming a sieve in both scenarios once one goal got in, and one for keeping the Stars in the game through the Sabres’ last push in regulation; +2
Joel Lundqvist: two for the assist; +2
Brad Richards: two for the assist and minus-one for leading in giveaways; +1

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November 19, 2008

Hull, Lehtinen, and Smith (+Avery Drama)

by Chelsea

Not Mike Smith.

Will Smith.

Yeah… our Stars got to roll with the big stars last night!

In other news, Brett Hull was speaking like a true hillbilly:

Hull: That’s complete (bull). I tried to nip that in the bud on the radio. There’s no turmoil whatsoever on this team. All the rumors you hear of Sean Avery are so (bleeping) (bull) — he’s been great. He’s our leading plus-minus guy. He’s been playing hard, (shoot), he’s playing (bleeping) hurt.

The rest of the interview is here. All interesting, but I wonder – is Avery really hiding an injury?

Lastly, Lehtinen is going to be out 7-10 days with an upper body injury, unrelated to the one that kept him out for the first part of the season.

I wonder if it has anything to do with this awkward moment:

Update:

“According to sources who were on the ice at the time, Boston center Marc Savard was settling in for a face off against 38-year-old Mike Modano in the third period when he said, “Too bad you’ll be retiring after having played with those clowns.” (referring to Ott and that worthless idiot Avery). Modano replied, “I know.”

….

“What’s he going to say? Thats not something I would have done, but everyone has a prerogative to speak his mind.” – Avery, on Modano.

(Rest of the article quotes here, with thanks to dane3263 who posted about the piece)

Hull can’t honestly say that there’s absolutely no Modano-Avery controversy.

I’m sick of the Stars being a joke this season. If it was because of injuries, or problems at home, or just regular slumping, that’s one thing. Instead, it’s locker room discord. Is it too much to ask for Avery to take a permanent vacation? Or for Modano to suck it up for the sake of the team?

November 16, 2008

It’s Official: Darryl Sydor Returns

by Chelsea

The Dallas Stars announced this morning that Darryl Sydor would be returning to Dallas, at the cost of Philippe Boucher to Pittsburgh. 

The release is here, with lots of quotes from Sydor but nothing from Boucher. 

“Boucher has been a good player and a great guy for us,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “I think the change is going to do him well. We feel that Sydor brings that calming factor back there that we had with (Mattias) Norstrom. He’s a smart player.”

Added Brett Hull, “Both guys needed a change, and I think it works for both teams. We hope Syd comes in and does what he does best, which is lead by example on and off the ice. He stabilizes our room. He has some solid relationships starting with Mike (Modano) and (Sergei) Zubov and throughout our organization. You hate to lose a guy like Bouch, but it’s the nature of the beast with how we were going.”

The Penguins also broke the news today, with this small piece.  Penguins fans seem pretty excited to be rid of Sydor, who’d been nothing but a bench buddy for their team, in exchange for some much-needed power play help.

Tracey Myers has this on her blog, a quote from Boucher.

 “I’ve been around here for a while, and you hope you can retire here, but things like that aren’t always realistic,” Boucher said. “When the team’s not doing well, you have to do certain things. My family’s handling it pretty well. Hockey-wise, it’s a great opportunity for me. That’s how I have to see it. I can’t look back for too long. But when I do, I will be very grateful for the time I’ve had here.”

 

As much as I understand the need for a little shakeup, it is sad to see it come at the expensive of someone as classy as Philippe Boucher. It was Boo who signed all the pink helmets to raise money for cancer during games, after losing his father to the disease. Boo who nearly lost both his eyes for us. Boo who wanted to retire here. Boo who now has to uproot his family. I really feel that he sees this not as much as an opportunity for him, but also as another something he’s willing to sacrifice for this team. 

Best of luck to Boucher with the Penguins.

A couple questions arise, though. What number will Sydor be wearing? Will Niskanen give up the 5? Now that we have 7 apparently-solid defensemen (Grossman, Robidas, Niskanen, Daley, Janik, Zubov, Sydor), who gets scratched? Does Sydor return to being paired with Zubov? And will he get a hat trick in Thursday’s game?

November 3, 2008

Let’s Talk Stars

by Chelsea

With all the controversy surrounding our beloved but struggling Stars, we at SHR felt it was time to open an outlet for intelligent debate. (If you’ve visited the official boards, you know that “intelligent” is a key word here. I guess “debate” would be too. This isn’t for taking petty shots or thoughtless griping.)

Some notable things:

  • The Stars have not pulled together consecutive wins since the trade that brought Brad Richards from Tampa Bay, at least not in the regular season. That was in February.
  • Three Stars were sent to minors; Mark Fistric, James Neal, and Chris Conner.
  • Marty Turco and Tobias Stephan both sport the worst S%s in the league.
  • The fact that neither important veterans Jere Lehtinen or Sergei Zubov have been able to play in a game so far this season. Both are very close to returning to the lineup.
  • Sean Avery
  • The Stars are now at 4-6-2, the first under .500 October for the franchise since 1991.

We say:

I think getting polar opposites (Richards, Avery) and trying to fit them into a new and discombobulated team is causing more problems than it’s solving. Jackson seems to want pretty, offensive hockey, Hull wants a gritty, forceful team, and meanwhile Tippett wants a tight defense. We’ve lost almost all our “glue” guys and replaced them with specialists that haven’t found good chemistry yet. Modano and Turco were right to call out the people that are making their jobs harder, but I think that’s hardly an excuse for not playing well. Our defense is not confident in their roles, in the ability of the other players, or in themselves to make the right play. I think losing Neal could further disrupt this new, youthful Modano, but the addition of Lehtinen might bring back some much-needed old school Star feel. Fistric has earned his time in the minors by playing stupidly, and hopefully will return looking like himself again. “It’s only October” is over now. Time to stop looking for the problem and start solving it.

October 27, 2008

Mr. Monday: Brenden Morrow

by Chelsea

Best known as our captain, Brenden Morrow’s rise through our SHR +/- came largely from points he earned off ice. Not to be mistaken, though, he’s also only 2 on ice points behind Robidas and Modano (tied for first). Combined, he’s at 42 points, second only to Robidas (who will not be Mr. Monday yet, because there’s already a post about him here and well… we figure he’ll be at the top of the list for awhile.)

There’s a lot of common knowledge about Morrow, like the fact that he claimed his captaincy straight from Modano himself. He spent most of his time with the Stars going by “Mini-Mo” or “Minnie”, which I’m sure he’ll always appreciate. He’s got himself a big new house, a pretty blond wife, an adorable daughter, and a new set of twins. In late 2006, during a game against the Blackhawks, opponent Radim Vrbata accidentally skated over his right wrist. Two tendons were severed, and it was questioned if he’d ever play hockey again. However, warrior that he is, Morrow returned with wrist guards and determination and now plays on the top line with “hockey gangsta” Mike Ribeiro.

I rather liked Razor’s recap of the skate-wrist incident,

We were in Chicago right after Christmas and Radim Vrbata of the Hawks attempted to jump over a prone Morrow during the game. As he did his skate blade sliced across his wrist. Morrow leapt to his feet and bolted for the Stars dressing room in excruciating pain. The pain was so bad he reportedly bit clean through his jersey.

The injury was repaired, and over the half season he spent on IR the wrist healed, but when he returned to play he was forced to deal with a sort of “skate-phobia”.

He admitted to fearing blades at times in games and it even disrupted his sleep patterns.

Thankfully he says he’s over it now, but in the last months of the 06-07 season it was occupying his thoughts and dreams.

Speaking of injuries, did anyone besides Kristine and me catch Morrow’s magical rubber arm in last season’s playoffs? I forget the game, but he basically tried to check someone, missed, bounced off the boards, and landed on his arm in a way that we were sure that it was either A) broken or B) out for the season. And yet… he finished out the game and claimed it “looked worse than it felt”. Magic!

But, yeah. We’re all glad that he’s healthy now, of course, and hope to see him stay that way for a long, long time.

How about some Morrow videos? Granted, any true Morrow-lover has probably already seen these, but I think they’re always good for rewatching.

  • Morrow brings us “cheesy rebound”.
  • Morrow mangles Michalek.
  • Morrow is bigger than Matt Damon.
  • Morrow is injured, unbalanced, and fiesty.
  • Morrow experiences exhaustion-fueled uninhibited joy.
  • Morrow and Sean Avery have something in common.
  • Morrow likes driving the Stars-decorated Expedition.
  • Morrow gets a good laugh at a dancing Flyers fan.
  • For those that want to do a little more digging: Brenden Morrow 1997 Entry Draft, Brenden Morrow Interview, Brenden Morrow 06-07 Highlights, and FSN Feature – Casino Night. Put these in the Stars Vision search box.
After watching these, I’m sure you’re hungry for some of the lesser known things about Brenden Morrow. If you did watch them, you now know that he likes karaoke, used to be a chunky kid, idolizes Brett Hull, thinks loogies are funny, and is otherwise easily amused.
But, what else?  Here are some interesting Q&A with Morrow, from a DMN piece in 2007:

DT: What is your usual routine to get ready for a game? Do you have some crazy superstitions before a big game?

Brenden Morrow: Two-hour nap, a little coffee and left before right with all my equipment. Those are my superstitions.

Robbie: Do you guys still play pranks on the new kids (tape on the skate blades, etc.)?

Brenden Morrow: When Marty was a rookie and I was in my second year, Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner (with help) took everything from our hotel room – beds, dressers, televisions, art work … even lightbulbs – and put it all in our bathroom at the team hotel in San Jose. We have always vowed to pass that prank down, but we haven’t done it yet. Maybe this year …

The rest is here.

In my personal experience, Morrow has always been very personable with his fans. The two times we’ve waited outside practice, he’s shown up happy to sign autographs. His weekly segment on BaD radio are always good for a listen – in the most recent one, he [very] reluctantly admitted that they had not in fact gone to dinner with Avery in New York, but did meet up with him later that night. He’s also admitted to his attention wandering a bit during penalty box time, asking if it was Bob and Dan he’d seen dressed up as vikings during the Oct 15th game (Dan was – dressed as a medieval knight, actually).

Sometimes, (see PIM this season below) Morrow’s frustration gets the better of him. After getting a goal disallowed because it bounced off his thumb and not his stick, provided us with this gem:

His disallowed goal, added to a previous call from the Toronto war room this season toward the Stars, prompted Morrow to say it was “the second horse**** call from Toronto this season.”

And that unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he had recently? According to Friday’s BaD Morrow show, he apparently saw another teammate chirping at an official and felt like jumping in. Silly Morrow, actin’ like a Neanderthal. We know he can do better! In fact…

This year, Morrow has played all nine games and registered 3 goals and 7 assists. He’s also put up a hefty 20 penalty minutes and gotten 31 shots on goal. Making the iffy assumption that this will be a consistent trend, his 2008-2009 season will look like this (in comparison to his 07-08 season):

82 games played (82).
27 goals (32).
63 assists (42).
90 points (74).
182 penalty minutes (105).
282 shots on goal (207).

Morrow’s never actually had a 90-point season with the NHL, so here’s hoping!

So, since I’m 30 minutes past the time I’d intended to publish this, it’s picture time!

When determined, Morrow manages look a bit like Kirk Cameron.

When determined, Morrow manages look a bit like Kirk Cameron.

Happy Morrow means happy fans.

Happy Morrow means happy fans.

And one from Kristines flickr collection.

And one from Kristine's flickr collection.