Posts tagged ‘Buffalo Sabres’

October 31, 2010

SHR +/-: October 31 vs. BUF

by Chelsea

Who would have thought Andrew Raycroft would get Dallas’ first shutout this season?

Stephane Robidas: +2 for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: +1 for hitting more this season but -1 for not being able to hit the net; +0
Trevor Daley:
+3 for the goal; +3
Brenden Morrow:
+3 for the goal; +3
Jamie Benn:
+2 for the assist and +1 because it was completely awesome; +3
Adam Burish:
+1 for winning more faceoffs than Wandell & Petersen combined; +1
James Neal:
+3 for the goal and +1 for having a very impressive 7 takeaways (the Sabres had a total of 6 takeaways); +4
Loui Eriksson:
+2 for the assist; +2
Steve Ott:
+3 for the goal; +3
Andrew Raycroft:
+1 for being an awesome backup and +2 for the shutout; +3
Mike Ribeiro:
+2 for the assist; +2
Brad Richards:
+2 for each assist; +4

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October 27, 2009

Power Rankings Round Up

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 14, 2009

Power Ranking Round-Up

by Chelsea

With the first road trip out of the season out of the way, it’s time to see how the people-in-the-know around the league are feeling about the Stars.

Actual rank: 17th in league; 9th in West; 4th in Pacific.
Record: 1-0-3. L10: 1-0-3.

ESPN by Scott Burnside
Stars: 18 this week; 25 last week. “The Stars are undefeated in regulation and beat up on the Flames and backup Curtis McElhinney. Sophomore James Neal is off to a good start with three goals and an assist.”
Of Note: Toronto at 30 this week; 28 last week. “Easily the worst team in the NHL right now. No goaltending. Can’t kill penalties. Aren’t even that tough. Ouch.”
My thoughts: The bad thing about dropping three points in three shootout losses? …Well, dropping three points in three shootouts. But the good thing about it? Technically, the Stars are undefeated right now. The only other team in the league to be without a regulation loss so far is Buffalo. Of course, losing three times in post-regulation play versus winning three times is a little different. The Stars are going to have to work on a few details of their game if they want to start picking up the full two points. One major detail they can relax a little bit about is the backup situation. Alex Auld carried the team to their one win – and The Monster’s problems in Toronto have us appreciating Auld that much more. He’s already been placed on IR, leaving the Leafs with a struggling Vesa Toskala in net and the second-worst penalty kill in the league (behind only – you guessed it – the Stars).

The Hockey News
by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 19 this week; 18 last week. “Wonder if Fabian Brunnstrom will just fade into oblivion.”
Of Note: Nashville at 18 this week; 16 last week. “Continued production from Patric Hornqvist would help paltry offense.”
My thoughts: As much as it pains me, I think we’re all kind of wondering that about Fabian Brunnstrom. I heard a rumor that spoke of the Stars using him as trade bait for a puck-moving defenseman and in some ways, that makes sense. Send him somewhere else before he gets a reputation as being a free-agent bust; use him while he still has some trade value. He also doesn’t seem to fit into the line-up the way fellow sophomore James Neal or rookie Jamie Benn do. You also have to wonder if he would be farther along in his development if he had been playing somewhere else (like Detroit). Maybe he’s a bust, maybe he’s having trouble adjusting, or maybe the Stars just aren’t the best fit for him. I think he has extraordinary potential, but I’m not sure he can reach it in Dallas. As for Nashville, let’s keep our fingers crossed that their “paltry offense” keeps ticking right along, at least through tonight. They’ve scored six goals in their four games, which averages out to a league-worst 1.5 per game. The Stars are scoring 3.5 times per game on average. If the trends continue, tonight’s game against them ought to have a good outcome.

TSN
Stars: 17 this week; 21 last week. “The Stars are playing strong defensively, giving up just 24.5 shots per game, so they would fare better if G Marty Turco can improve on his .880 save percentage.Key Injuries: C Mike Modano (ribs). “
Of Note: Detroit at 19 this week; 3 last week. “A sluggish enough start to the season is now compounded by the injury to Johan Franzen. For a Wings team that was already dealing with the loss of Marian Hossa in the offseason, they’ll have to find some new sources of offence to make up for the 74 goals that Hossa and Franzen tallied last season. Key Injuries: RW Johan Franzen (knee).”
My thoughts: How ironic, that the Stars are playing strong defensivley in an offensive-minded system when they couldn’t block shots to save their lives in a defensive system. TSN is the only site this week to mention Turco’s struggles. Some people have said it’s only three games, give him a chance to work through it – but really, isn’t it a season and three games now? I thought the off-season was his chance to work through it. I don’t know where the Marty Turco of old has run off to, but he is no longer in Dallas. That being said, much has been made of our absolutely awful PK this season. The Stars are playing great defense on even strength, but as soon as they go a man down, they’re getting scored on. Chels made a BOLD PREDICTION in her game review of the Vancouver game that involves changing up the personnel on the ice during our penalty kills. That may be the solution here. In the meantime, Detroit at 19? Two spots below the Stars? Ouch. They may be missing some offensive stars, but I don’t think that makes them so much weaker of a team that they should be dropped 16 spots this week. Detroit always finds a way to win, and I think it would be a mistake to let your guard down when it comes to this team. They’ve been a powerhouse team for years, and that isn’t going to change now.

So let’s review. Once again, the Stars don’t crack the top 15 on any list. All three sites rank us about the same: TSN at 17, ESPN at 18, and THN at 19. Tonight’s game against Nashville will be a big one. Nobody seems very worried about our offense this season, and for once nobody is worrying about our blueline. The main concerns, in the media and locally, are Turco and our league-worst PK. Big problems, to be sure, but hopefully nothing that some hard work and creative thinking won’t fix.

January 27, 2009

Game Day Update

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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 18, 2008

Tonight’s NHL Wins/Losses

by Kristine

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

Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers: 1-0 Rangers in a shoot-out (I LOVE that the Leafs managed to pull off 0-0 regulation and then tie up the shoot-out against the damn 11pt – well 12pt now – Rangers. I just wish the Leafs’ shoot-out goal counted for the final score.)
Rangers: 12 points (6-1-0) | Leafs: 4 points (1-1-2)

Nashville Predators at Columbus Blue Jackets: 5-3 Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets: 4 points (2-2-0) | Predators: 4 points (2-3-0)

Vancouver Canucks at Buffalo Sabres: 5-2 Sabres
Sabres: 8 points (4-0-0) | Canucks: 6 points (3-2-0)

Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames: 4-3 Oilers
Oilers: 6 points (3-0-0) | Flames: 3 points (1-2-1)

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks: 4-0 Ducks (The Ducks broke a 4-game losing streak and ended the Sharks’ franchise best start at 4-1-0.)
Sharks: 8 points (4-1-0) | Ducks: 2 points (1-4-0)

Carolina Hurricanes at LA Kings: 4-3 Kings in OT
Kings: 4 points (2-2-0) | Hurricanes: 5 points (2-1-1)