Posts tagged ‘Chicago Blackhawks’

October 20, 2010

Power Rankings Round Up

by Kristine

Welcome back to the Round Up. This week, there’s a lot of focus on stats at THN and TSN, and ESPN rates based on season predictions in addition to play so far.

Actual rank: 8 pts, good for 1st in Pacific, 2nd in West, 5th in league.
Record: 4-1-0. L10: 4-1-0.

ESPN by Pierre LeBrun (Oct 18)
….Stars: 5 this week; 3 last week. “OK, OK … I can’t totally ignore early-season perfection. Brad Richards (UFA July 1) has been on fire, and so has goalie Kari Lehtonen, who is the masked man GM Joe Nieuwendyk is gambling on to turn around the fortunes of this franchise.”
….Of Note: Chicago at 8 this week; 22 last week. “Two weekend victories and Hawks fans can step off the ledge. Two weekend wins by Marty Turco, no less, I might add. The veteran netminder was terrific in both victories.”
….My Thoughts: Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way. Turco is starting to play better without us, and we’re already playing better without him. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, good! Glad we’re doing better without him because I spent all last season wishing he would go away.  But on the other hand, why does he have to be playing well too? It’s like a breakup. You want to be the one moving on while the other person flounders around without you. Or maybe that’s just me… In any case, I’m happy to see that we’re still at 5th in this week’s ESPN rankings, because LeBrun stated in his intro that he’s ranking teams this week based on his projects “for the rest of the season, too. So no, the Leafs and Stars will not be ranked 1-2.” Fair enough. If that’s his criteria, I am MORE than happy with 5th. That puts us smack in the middle of the playoffs. Just for fun, let’s see how those playoffs would shake out if the league really ends up in the order LeBrun has it in this week.
….Taking into account division leader seeding, the first round in the East would look like this: Capitals (1) vs Thrashers (8); Maple Leafs (2) vs Penguins (7); Flyers (3) vs Lightning (6); Bruins (4) vs Canadiens (5). Some good match-ups there. I’d be interested to see Flyers vs Lightning especially, and the Habs would have a chance to redeem themselves from their first-round loss to the Bruins last year. Then in the West, you would have: Red Wings (1) vs Avalanche (8); Kings (2) vs Sharks (7); Blackhawks (3) vs Canucks (6); Predators (4) vs Stars (5). Kings vs Sharks would be fun, and serve to eliminate a Pacific team right off the bat, like last year with Sharks vs Ducks. I would be okay with facing the Preds in the first round. We were 2-1-1 against them last year and 2-2-0 against them in 08-09.
….This is a pretty useless exercise since there is a looooonnnnggg season still ahead of us and chances are very, very slim that the playoffs will look like this at all. But if anything, it will be interesting to look back and see who’s still on top.

TSN by Scott Cullen (Oct 18)
….Stars: 1 this week; N/A last week. “Such is the dominance of the Stars through four games: while all four games have been wins, two were via shootout and one in overtime, so while it’s a strong start for the Stars, it cannot be overstated how premature these rankings are at this stage of the season. Key Injuries: LW Jamie Benn (concussion).”
….Of Note: Florida at 6 this week; N/A last week. “Such is the nature of the early rankings, the Panthers have recorded shutout wins in half of their games, allowing a total of five goals against in four games. As great as Tomas Vokoun (1.26 GAA, .952 SV%) is, 40 shutouts this season is a longshot. Key Injuries: None.”
….My Thoughts: This is TSN’s first power ranking of the season, and the Stars are first. It’s still weird to me that we were the last unbeaten team in the league (Toronto lost their fifth game about an hour before we did), and I appreciate that we’re getting credit for it around the league. However, Cullen makes a good point – only one of our four wins to start the season was in regulation. We still found ways to win in overtime and the shootout, but I’d really love to stop giving 75% of our opponents an OT point. So how much does our strong start really mean? It’s hard to say. On the one hand, there have been some huge positives in the first five games. I can’t say enough about how solid and calm Lehtonen has been in net so far. The top lines are churning out points like it’s their job (oh, wait…), and the league’s top five in plus-minus are all Stars. Niskanen is actually laying hits on people, Burish has a great energy about him, and overall everyone seems to have a great attitude. But. There’s always one of those, isn’t there? But we can’t overlook the fact that we are dead last in the league with our disastrous PK. Chels put up a great post about how that could improve, but unfortunately for all involved, nobody important cares what we think.
….Another point of concern is that we’re allowing an average of 3.00 goals against per game. That isn’t worst in the league, but it’s close at 21st. Best in the league? The Panthers, who we play tomorrow night, at 1.25 goals against per game. I guess you could consider it lucky that we’re at the top of the league in goals FOR per game (at 3.60), but they’re right behind us with 3.00 G/G. That really doesn’t balance out in our favor. In order to beat them, we’re going to have to take FAR fewer penalties and allow far fewer goals against. One way to do that might be to take a long, hard look at our shots against per game versus shots for per game, a ratio that averages out to 38.0 : 21.8 (second to last and last in the league). If you isolate those stats, it’s amazing that we’re winning hockey games. If there are solutions to these problems, they need to be found quickly.

THN by Adam Proteau (Oct 20)
….Stars: 5 this week; 5 last week. “Only Anaheim averages more shots allowed than Stars’ 38.0”
….Of Note: New Jersey at 29 this week; 29 last week. “Jason Arnott, Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner a combined minus-18.”
….My Thoughts: Oh look, I’m not the only one calling out the Stars on how many shots per game they’re allowing. I don’t even know what else to say about this, other than it needs to change. As far as stats go, I’m just glad not to be a Devils fan. They’ve had a rough start to the season – 1-4-1 – and three of their top players are a combined -18. They aren’t the only ones struggling – even without them, the rest of the team combined is -29. Only four players are pluses (maxing out at +3), four are even, and the rest are at least -1. In contrast, only five Stars are negatives (with -3 being the worst), five are even, and the rest are at least +4. Of course, stats don’t tell the whole story, but they do provide some helpful details. I’d talk more about this, but quite frankly I’m already sick of analyzing numbers. Let’s just hope the Stars can improve a few areas of their game so we don’t have to hear about these things all season.

So there you have it, everyone. Do you agree or disagree with these rankings?

October 18, 2009

Game Reviews – (vs BOS) and (@ CHI)

by Chelsea

The “Back-to-Back Special”, or the “Tale of Two Teams.”

Game – 10/16/09:

Well the funny thing about this back-to-back was that both of the teams spent every meeting last season completely embarrassing the Stars. For that reason, the general consensus here was that it’d be nice to at least get 2 points of the 4. Because the Boston game was on home ice and the first of the two, it seemed really important that the Stars play well.

What really happened appeared to be more like the Stars slept right through the game against the Bruins so that they’d have lossa energy to take on Chicago with. Ribeiro took a dumb penalty in the first, the Bruins scored, and the game basically ended there with 47 minutes left to play.

For insurance, though, the Bruins added another two goals and won the game 3-0. Turco couldn’t really be faulted for any of them, but also did not really come up with enough timely saves to keep them in the game.

On a positive note, Aaron Gagnon (called up from the Texas Stars) played in his first ever NHL game. For having played the night before, he didn’t look so bad. He won 5 of 8 faceoffs and had a takeaway and a blocked shot (and no giveaways).

Nicklas Grossman took a puck right in the face in the second period, but because he is 1/2 of the toughest defensive pairing in the league, he skated himself off the ice and returned in the third. All things considered, it was a pretty unlucky night to be anywhere near Stephane Robidas (at least 2 of the goals against deflected off of him).

Notes – 10/16/09:

  • The three game stars, in order: Savard, Thomas, Chara
  • Brad Richards and a handful of other Stars had their point streaks broken. Because nobody scored. Which was sad.
  • All of a sudden, the Dallas power play lost its power, going 0-for-3 despite the advantage coming at some pretty crucial points in the game.
  • Mike Ribeiro had a rough night, as he took the Stars’ only penalty and was on the ice for both even strength goals against. He also won only 27% of his 15 faceoffs and only 1 of his 5 shots even got on goal.
  • Rookie Jamie Benn actually led the Stars in blocked shots, with 3. He also had 3 takeaways and 2 giveaways.
  • Robidas led the team with 6 hits.
  • Conclusion: A stinker was bound to happen eventually, and while it is disappointing that it happened so early, it is also completely unsurprising that it was against the Bruins.

SHR +/- – 10/16/09:

Nicklas Grossman: one 😦 point for leaving the game bloodied and hurting but one 🙂 point for returning; +2
Aaron Gagnon: one welcometotheNHL! point; +1
Tom Wandell: minus-one for sucking so much at faceoffs; -1
Mike Ribeiro: see Tom Wandell; -1


Game – 10/17/09:

Immediately following the Bruins game, the Stars packed up and headed to Chicago to play the Blackhawks. Ooh, the dreaded Blackhawks, unbeaten by Dallas since the 07-08 season. Ooh, and playing their second game in as many nights too. Ooh, the Stars would need some serious luck to make it out of this one with a win.

Well… the Stars got a weird mix of luck, fortunate circumstance, and timely goaltending and actually managed to run off with the two points.

First off on the list of oddities was seeing defensive defenseman Mark Fistric playing forward on a line with Petersen and Barch. Gagnon was a healthy scratch and Woywitka was paired with Niskanen. He didn’t look nearly as lost as you’d expect, and actually seemed to be enjoying it.

Second, there was the play of Alex Auld. He was fantastic in the first period, stopping all 14 shots to keep the Stars in the game when they came out sleepwalking. However, for all his timely saves, he did have a few unfortunate moments. The second goal against came when Auld lost his footing behind the net, giving Toews an easy goal. The third gave the Hawks momentum to attempt to tie it by putting them within one goal with 5 minutes left to play.

There was also James Neal. One of the best players for Dallas in the first 5 games all of a sudden looked completely lifeless. He had multiple noticeably lazy moments, including coughing the puck up at his own blueline and then standing there and watching while the Blackhawks scored. He ended the game -1, with only 2 shots, 2 hits, a giveaway and no takeaways or blocked shots.

More strangeness included: Toby Petersen scoring, which was assisted by Fistric, meaning his first point of the season actually came as a forward. Skrastins, Niskanen, Grossman, and Robidas also all left with a point in the game, meaning 5 of 11 (if you include Fistric) points by Dallas players went to defensemen. A pane of glass fell out and into the stands during the game and play was held up as they waited for it to be replaced.

Perhaps the oddest thing was the goal by which the Stars won, which came entirely on accident and suggested that whatever misfortune surrounded Robidas the night before seemed to have reversed.

Robidas shot the puck from center ice, sending it along the glass in a routine dump into the Chicago zone. Instead of heading behind the net, however, it hit something and bounced out towards Cristobal Huet, who reached down to catch it. The puck had a different idea, all of a sudden springing up and over Huet’s glove, into the net.

Though the game was won on a fluke and a fumble, the win was protected by some very very hard work from the Stars penalty kill. With Morrow in the box (stupidstupid) at 17:49 in the third for interference (stuuppiidddd), Chicago pulled their goalie and had 6 skaters against the Stars’ 4. Wandell and Eriksson in particular worked very hard to keep the puck away from Auld and Dallas made it out with the win.

With that kill, the Stars successfully killed 8 of their last 9 penalties dating back to the Nashville game. In fact, they have not allowed a power play goal in any game in which Ribeiro was on the ice for at least 25% of the time shorthanded. I actually kept (approximate) track of how many times each player distinctly gained possession and removed the puck from their own zone during a penalty kill, and Ribeiro, Eriksson, and Neal combined for about 70%. Morrow, Wandell, and Robidas made up the other 30%.

However, the Stars power play was not any better than Chicago’s. They had 5 opportunities (8 if you go back to the Boston game) and couldn’t score on any of them. Granted, Crawford played a pretty conservative power play as it probably didn’t seem worth risking the game (a Blackhawks SH goal would have really given them momentum) to try to increase their lead.

Notes – 10/17/09:

  • The three game stars, in order: Auld, Toews, Ribeiro
  • Auld is now 2-0-0 and has been a game star in each game he’s started, even in preseason.
  • Morrow got himself an extra 2 minutes after the final buzzer for sassing, apparently.
  • Ribeiro, after promising after the Boston game that he would be better, had a goal and won 40% of his faceoffs.
  • Fabian Brunnstrom was the only Star to end the game with a +2. He also assisted on the first goal when he won a puck battle and sent it to Morrow for a one-timer.
  • That ^ is a little misleading, as Morrow’s one-timer was stopped, but he got his own rebound.
  • Robidas led the team with 5 hits. That’s 11 in two nights, which is more than the majority of Stars have all season.
  • Conclusion: It was a weird win, but getting two points and not giving any up to a Western opponent is nothing to look down on. Stars really need to build off this and string together a few more, though.

SHR +/- – 10/17/09:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Stephane Robidas: three for the goal; +3
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist, one for looking really good in the first half of the game, but minus-one for looking really bad in the second half; +2
Brenden Morrow: three for the goal but minus-one for that stupid penalty; +2
Krys Barch: two for the assist; +2
Jamie Benn: two for the assist; +2
Toby Petersen: three for the goal but minus-one for being so awful at faceoffs lately; +2
James Neal: bleck; -2
Loui Eriksson: one for his hard work on the PK; +1
Tom Wandell: one for his hard work on the PK but minus-one for the stupid penalties; +0
Mark Fistric: two for the assist; +2
Alex Auld: one for the win, however unusual it was; +1
Karlis Skrastins: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist and one for the hustle that earned him his +2; +3

March 17, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time to check out the weekly power rankings. This week, I’ll be taking a look at the playoff race in the West.

Actual rank: 18th in league; 8th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 33-28-8. L10: 4-5-1. Points: 74.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 16 this week; 18 last week. “The Stars’ top line of Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro and Loui Eriksson are carrying the offensive load right now. Key road trip to Vancouver, Calgary and San Jose this week.”
Of Note: Detroit Red Wings at 2 this week; 3 last week. “The Red Wings are on a 3-0-1 run and have hit the 100-point mark for the ninth straight season.”
My thoughts: While the Stars have been busy fighting for that 8th seed, the Wings have been busy becoming the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season. As the standings sit as I write this, that makes them our first-round match-up. I actually feel pretty good about that. The Stars have played very well against the Wings this season, 6-1 loss at the Joe aside. Plus, Turco finally won at the Joe earlier this year, which hopefully would boost his confidence should we find ourselves facing them to kick off the post-season.

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 21 this week; 21 last week. The Stars are 7-for-64 on the power play since playing their first game without Brad Richards (broken wrist) on Feb. 19.
Of Note: San Jose Sharks at 4 this week; 5 last week. “Evgeni Nabokov returns and the Sharks win two straight games.”
My thoughts: The Sharks win two straight – and become the second team to clinch a playoff spot. If the Stars keep hovering between 7th and 8th, and the Sharks and Wings keep battling it out for 1st and 2nd, chances are good that we’ll face the Sharks in the first round. This is another match-up I like. Sharks fans are already worried about their team choking in the post-season, the Stars have played hard and well against the Sharks this season (even if the scores didn’t always reflect that), and we should get a bit of a confidence boost from knowing that we”re the ones who booted the Sharks out of the playoffs last season. ESPN makes a good point about our special teams, but with Richards already doing full practices, the outlook for our PP isn’t as bleak as it seems. Richards back on the point will help that dismal 7-for-64 record a lot.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 18 this week; 22  last week. “Coach Dave Tippett may have found something putting Brendan Morrison on the right side with center Mike Modano.”
Of Note: Chicago Blackhawks at 15 this week;  10 last week. “Starting to feel like a first round playoff win will be tough, especially if they line up against Vancouver.”
My thoughts: If there’s one spot I really hope we don’t end up in, it’s the 5th seed lining up against the 4th place Hawks. I think it goes without saying that meeting them in the post-season would likely be a disaster. To be entirely honest, I hope THN is right and that Vancouver knocks them out for us so we don’t have to deal with them at all in the playoffs. THN also touches on Tippett’s movement of Morrison to Mo’s wing, something Heika talks about today on his blog. With Lehtinen on the other side, where does that leave James Neal? Him and Mo have both played their best hockey this season when on a line together, but they’ve also both found chemistry with other lines. I think our post-season success will be based largely on whatever line chemistry Tippett manages to create. Obviously Ott-Ribs-Louibot is lethal, but I’ve also liked Neal-Sutherby-Bunny and yes, Lehts-Mo-Morrison (which I’m counting based purely on the fact that even though he hasn’t actually played there yet, Lehts will improve Mo and Morrison’s chemistry because that’s what he does).

TSN
Stars: 23 this week;  22 last week. A good sign for the Stars is that LW Loui Eriksson, who was expected to see his production slip since Brad Richards’ injury, has shown he can get it done anyway, scoring 11 points in the last eight games. Key Injuries: C Brad Richards (wrist), RW Jere Lehtinen (upper body).
Of Note: Nashville Predators at 19 this week; 14 last week. “Losing three of four, to go with the No. 1 centre being sidelined, knocks the Preds down, but they are still in that playoff mix, tied for the last spot in the West. Key Injuries: C Jason Arnott (upper body).
My thoughts: TSN continues to hate the Stars, moving usdown a spot even as they compliment our leading goal-scorer. That aside, valid point. Loui is a point powerhouse for us and his consistent production is one of the key reasons we’re still in the mix despite our six-game slide. The Preds are in a similiar situation as they’ve gone 2-2-1 in their L5. They’re currently trying to swing back up with two wins in their last two games, and it’s put them at one point ahead of the Stars in the 7th seed. Add the Oilers’ 73 points to the mix, and you’ve got a real battle for the last two seeds.

What do you think? Who would you most and least want to face in the first round, and why?

February 24, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Power rankings were updated yesterday, and I’m interested to see how the hockey world feels about the Stars now that our depth up front has been depleted even further with the loss of Brad Richards. Let’s take a look…

Actual rank: 16th in league; 7th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 29-23-7. L10: 5-5-0.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 11 this week; 11 last week. “Stars suffer another big injury when Brad Richards goes out 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist. Stars are 13-3-1 in last 17 home games.”
Of Note: St. Louis at 23 this week; 23 last week. “The Blues continue to pick up points to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They are 9-3-5 since the middle of January.”
My thoughts: The truth is that Richards’ injury hurts us almost worse than Morrow’s knee injury. There’s so little time left in the season, and our depth at forward is already so depleted, that there’s virtually no adjustment period. We either keep playing well, or lose the playoff spot.  It’s been a rough start to Life Without Richards, with losses to the Hawks and Sharks, but facing the Blues on Thursday will give us another chance to stay in the race. In theory, beating them sounds easy, but the key is not looking at this as an easy two points.

ESPN by Jim Wilkie
Stars: 11 this week; 12 last week. “Rookie call-up Ray Sawada, 24, got a goal in his NHL debut Thursday as he tries to follow the paths of capable Stars youngsters James Neal and Loui Eriksson.”
Of Note: Chicago at 7 this week; 7 last week. “Chicago forward Patrick Kane has four goals and four assists in four games (all victories) against the Stars this season.”
My thoughts: First of all, Patrick Kane loves Mo, so it’s no surprise that he plays well against the Stars. It reminds me of Ribeiro playing well against Gretzky’s team. ESPN was the only one this week to focus on Sawada and the rest of the Stars youth. If there’s been a high point to this season, it’s been watching Neal, Eriksson, and Brunnstrom come in and be so awesome. We’ve also gotten to see great outings from call-ups Tom Wandell and, as ESPN points out, Raymond Sawada.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 13 this week; 11 last week. “With key players Brad Richards and Brenden Morrow out of the lineup, Mike Ribeiro has driven the Dallas attack with 18 points over his past 16 games.”
Of Note: Vancouver at 7 this week; 14 last week. “Just one regulation loss in their past 10 and Roberto Luongo still hasn’t completely found his game.”
My thoughts: While the Stars have been bouncing around between the 5th, 6th, and 7th seed, the Canucks have been flying upwards and are now firmly 5th in the West. THN hits the nail on the head when they say that Ribeiro has been leading our offensive charge lately. He’s one of a few players who have been stepping up more and more this season; a list that also includes Steve Ott, Nicklas Grossman, Stephane Robidas, and of course Loui Eriksson. It’s old news around here, but it’s still good to see.

TSN
Stars: 19 this week; 20 last week. “Given the Stars’ turnaround since shipping out Sean Avery, let’s turn to Texas native Matthew McConaughey and one of his many chick flicks, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and a quote that can be directed towards Stars co-GM Brett Hull, ‘You see, the key to this game is being able to read people.’ Key Injuries: C Brad Richards (wrist).”
Of Note: Edmonton at 20 this week; 17 last week. “The world might not depend on the Oilers making the playoffs, but they seem to hit enough obstacles on the way to make an Armageddon comparison reasonable. Like the Roughnecks saving the planet from an asteroid, if the job is going to get done for this year’s Oilers, it’s going to be up to the young guys to come through in the clutch.  Key Injuries: D Denis Grebeshkov (ankle).”
My thoughts: In honor of the Oscars, TSN related each ranking to its own movie this week. It’s an interesting premise that doesn’t mean jack in the long run, but you’ve got to give TSN credit for trying to merge hockey and chick flicks. Honestly, as much as TSN is negatively biased against the Stars, I’m surprise we moved up instead of down with Richards out of the lineup. It’s probably because they focused on the Stars without Avery instead of the Stars without Richards. They’re right that Sean Avery was a fiasco here, but enough about him. He was a mistake, but he wasn’t the only reason the Stars started the season so badly. It’s time to bury the excuses once and for all and move on. The point TSN makes about the Oilers sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Injuries depleting a team, youth stepping up, fighting for a playoff spot… The Stars did it so don’t discount the Oilers. They’re sitting in the 9th seed right now, but they have 63 points in 59 games played. If they win their next game, they’ll bump the Wild out of the 8th spot. It’s a tight race and it’d be a mistake not to keep an eye on them.

To recap, we moved up one spot in two rankings, stayed dead even in one of them, and dropped two spots in the last. It’s better than I expected, given the bumpy road we’ve followed in the last week, but it’s disappointing to still not be considered a real threat.

What are your thoughts? Please don’t hesitate to comment. I know you people read this! Don’t be so shy! We love hearing your thoughts. 🙂

February 22, 2009

Game Review – 2/21/09 (DAL vs CHI)

by Chelsea

Season Series Sweep:

5-2

6-3

6-2

3-1

20-8 over four games. 

5-2 on average over those games.

All four in favor of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Loui Eriksson. Steve Ott (x2). Fabian Brunnstrom. Brian Sutherby. Brenden Morrow. Mike Modano. James Neal. The only Stars to score goals in those four games.

Cam Barker. Patrick Kane (x3). Brent Sopel. Andrew Ladd. Dustin Byfuglien. Ben Eager. Brian Campbell. Kris Versteeg (x2). Troy Brouwer. Martin Havlat (x2). Jonathan Toews. Colin Fraser. James Wisniewski. Matt Walker. Blackhawks to score goals in the four games.

Hawks had 4 PPGs. Stars only had 1.

Hawks took 19 penalties. Stars took 21.

The Stars were outshot 140-103, or 35-26 on average over the four games.

They were outhit by the Blackhawks in every game but the last.

To say that the most recent game was the best showing against that team that they’ve had this season is true, but generous. This time, those points were absolutely necessary. This time, the goalie was playing his best hockey lately and managed to limit them to three goals. If the rest of the team had shown up and played to potential, it was an entirely winable game.

Going back to who has scored for each team… the Stars got seven of their goals from wingers and one from a center. All of the eight goals came from players with top line talent, but none from the top points producers Richards and Ribeiro. Not much secondary scoring, either. 

For the Blackhawks, they got five goals from defensemen, at least five by their big name players, and a good handful of secondary scoring from their other lines. 

There’s just something about this matchup that brings out the best in the entire Chicago team, and the worst in the entire Dallas team. Stars took more penalties and less shots. Their special teams were not up to par. After each loss, they sighed and said “a lesson hard learned” but did the same thing next time they met. 

Here’s hoping we can write this off as a painful loss to a better team, and move on with the belief that we are still a team that can beat the Sharks. If not, we might as well forfeit that game too.

Turco, the Lucky Kick, and the Frustrated Captain:

This is one of those “if you haven’t seen it, watch it, but if you have, watch it again” videos.

Turco’s Possible Save of the Year

When Turco dropped for what he thought would be a fast (and low) one-timer from Toews, he found himself duped by the Blackhawks captain, who instead gathered the pass and prepared to shoot high. The netminder responded with an act of quick thinking and desperation; he flung his foot up and hoped the puck would hit it. It did.

An especially satisfying moment in an otherwise frustrating game comes at the end of the video, when Toews reveals some frustration of his own at what had just happened. 

While, when he’s off his game, Turco’s athleticism comes across as desperate and aimless flopping in the crease, it’s a whole different story when he’s focused. A good Turco is a Turco that uses every possible part of his body to do whatever it takes to get a piece of the puck, and that’s what we’ve seen lately.

Another fun goalie moment was at the beginning of the game, when Toby Petersen had his breakaway ended when Cristobal Huet zoomed up to the top of the faceoff circle, lunged at him, and I believe grabbed the puck as he did so. Good stuff.

Why Steve Ott’s New Hand Makes Him Shootout Material:

Little argument needed here. Go look at the lone Stars goal. Think back on the last time (anyone remember the specific game?) Ott was spotted for a breakaway and scored on that one, too. 

Ott is fast, with his feet and his hands. He is surprising. He is creative.

The next shootout should have Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and Steve Ott. No more of this letting Modano shoot high glove side in every single shootout ever.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for how much we like him being paired with Fistric; +1
Stephane Robidas: two for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: minus-one for being one of only two Stars who didn’t give a single hit; -1
Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: three for the goal; +3
Marty Turco: one for effort and one for the fancy kick save; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for looking like one of the only players that cared for most of the game but minus-one for still not produced; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for being one of the other few players that looked like he cared and one for diving to block a shot while everyone else just stood there; +2

February 15, 2009

Game Review – 2/14/09 (DAL at CHI)

by Chelsea

Game:

The Stars got 6 shots on goal per period, and 2 goals. Also known as “if they had played like conscious players and not zombies, they’d have probably managed 3-4 goals because Huet was not playing very well at all.” 

Luckily for Huet, though, his team was hyped up on Red Bull and adrenaline, despite losing their leading goalscorer in the first few minutes of the game.

Stars are 0-3 in this season series now. Someone get a bandaid for that, please, ’cause it stings.

Robidas got so mad when Versteeg scored at the end that he smashed his stick over the back of the net. 

A lot of things to shake your head at in this game, and from this point on, all of it is going to be ignored entirely. 

Stars took five penalties and were shorthanded four times, and not a single one of the six goals against came on the Hawks power play. That’s two games in a row that they’ve blanked the other team with some shorthanded prowess. 8-for-8 on the PK in two games is pretty nice.

This game saw the return of Mark Fistric and the debut of Krahn, whose postgame optimism could be interpreted as just that, optimism, or him being so happy to get playing time that he doesn’t care how many goals get scored (3 on 9 shots, but it’s hard to say how much of that was his fault).

Fabian Brunnstrom scored his 12th of the year, in only 35 games. Say what you want about his defensive play, but he’s scoring more than once every three games. Of all active Dallas players, only Loui and Neal score more often. It’s easy to assume they’ll all become 30+ goal scorers in the next few years. Add a healthy Morrow and Turco minus the 40-game slump, and the Stars could be a serious threat next season, no matter where the run ends for the team in this one.

Speaking of Loui and Neal, they each had an assist tonight. That’s 3 points in 2 games for Eriksson, who is overdue for another scoring streak.

Lastly, the youth showed signs of some impressive leadership in the third period. The Stars looked like they were on pace to lose 10-0 when Neal and Brunnstrom stepped in and created some offense, which was followed up with an “oh, I guess we should still bother trying because those guys are” blip of life from the team and a goal by Sutherby and Eriksson. Once again, our future is in good hands.

SHR +/-:

Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal; +3
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist; +2
Mark Fistric: one welcome-back point; +1
Steve Ott: minus-two for the knee-on-knee hit on Sharp; -2
Marty Turco: one for trying; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal; +3

November 26, 2008

Sidney Crosby is a Tool: SHR!’s View of the NHL

by Chelsea

With the Dallas Stars slumped in a 6-10-4 hole at the bottom of the league, we at SHR! felt it was time to stop being so introspective. We’ve picked, prodded, and yelled at everyone from the players to the owner, and now it’s time to move on (at least until the next game). Team bias aside, here’s how we feel about some other players across the league this season.

Note: All the links go to images, videos, and articles that we felt illustrated our feelings best. So please, don’t hesitate with the clicking. 
 

Sidney Crosby
First overall draft pick in 2005. Winner of the Art Ross Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award, and the Hart Memorial Trophy. 21 years old and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Led his team to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, and failed (despite his best efforts) to grow any semblance of a beard through the entire run. Also, he’s a total tool. In a meeting with a pair of original Penguins season ticket holders, Crosby responded to the couple’s enthusiasm with monotonous ‘Oh’s and ‘Okay’s. A 9-year-old can do your spinny move, Crosby. It doesn’t make you special or make up for the absolute lack of personality. Your own team’s fans call you “Cindy” for a reason.
 

Evgeni Malkin
Basically a slightly older, Russian, less dynamic version of Crosby. Since we’ve already determined that Crosby’s a tool, that means Malkin is too. Pity. He’s first in the league for assists right now, but sitting under that kind of stifling shadow, he’ll always be at the bottom of our books (especially when it comes to Russian players). Should he ever escape Sid and the Pens, we’ll be on the lookout for the much-anticipated reveal of his personality. Until then, though, no thanks.   
 

Alexander Ovechkin
Now here’s a Russian player we can get behind. Sure, he’s got aesthetics of a Cro-Magnon, but behind all that scruff is a highly-skilled someone with a real love of the sport. Known for exuberant goal celebrations, a goofy grin, incredible scoring ability, and a seemingly never-ending list of quirks, Ovechkin is credited with bringing much-needed personality and talent into the NHL. He was first overall in his draft year (2004) and, thanks to the lockout, ended up debuting versus Sidney Crosby, effectively stealing the Calder Memorial Trophy with a stunning 52 goal/106 point season. Really though, we mostly love him because he makes us laugh just about every time he gets in front of a camera or near a reporter. 


Alexander Semin
The “other” Alex is generally overshadowed by Alex Ovechkin, but we found that there’s a lot to like about this guy aside from his partner-in-crime. We first picked him up on our radar when this interview came out with him calling Crosby “nothing special”. Now, them’s fighting words. While the rest of the league took offense, we sat back and had a good laugh. The best part? Semin was sharing the top spot in league points with Malkin up until his injury, with 27 points in 16 games. Crosby, meanwhile, still only has 25 points in 20 games. Like Ovechkin, though, his obvious talent isn’t the main draw to us at SHR. We love him because, despite being here for 2 full years (5 if you include up to his first as a Capital) and obviously understanding English, he still insists on doing interviews in Russian using a translator. Or because he’s always laughing at seemingly nothing. Or because he does things like this during games. He’s infectious.

 

Brooks Laich (and Mike Green)
While he might not be as good of a goal scorer as Ovechkin (12 points in 21 games), Laich claims to challenge him in the “ladies man” department. We may not necessarily agree with that, but we will agree that he’s a funny and well-spoken guy. Green is included because he shares the spotlight with Laich in some fun adventures with Caps Cribs. In the end, Laich won out because (okay, not ALL bias aside) he’s from Saskatchewan and so is Brenden Morrow, and he unsurprisingly reminds us a little bit of our beloved captain. 


Jason Arnott
An ex-Star, he proved to be a major pain in the derriere so far this season. Captaining the Nashville Predators, he got two goals and one assist in the only time he’s played us in 08-09. We lost that game 3-1. From our understanding, he was that kind of ache for Stars fans even when he was a Star, his antics making him more trouble than he was worth. Still, he’s earned his spot as captain for his new team, and we were openly alarmed the night he suffered a neck strain on a frightful collision that left him motionless on the ice for over five minutes. Glad he’s alright, and looking forward to despising him again come our match-up in December.
 

Jordan Tootoo
We respectfully dislike Arnott, because he’s got the potential to put us in some statistical pain. We just outright hate Tootoo, because he’s got the potential to put us in some unnecessarily excessive physical pain. His nicknames range from “Tutu” to “Toots” and they all remind us of how he likes to suckerpunch people with his gloves on. We think words like “vile,” “scum,” and “cowardly” describe him best. He’s been accused of biting people, running injured players, diving, faking innocence, and otherwise shaming the sport. We might be holding a grudge, but rightfully so. This man has no and has earned no respect. 
 

Henrik Lundqvist
Twin of Stars forward Joel Lundqvist, Henrik is the goaltender for the New York Rangers. While we may not care much for that team, Lundqvist stands alone as our favored Eastern goalie. He currently sports a .926 sv%, good for seventh best in the league, and a GAA (2.09) that’s good for fifth best. When his team needs a big player, he makes big saves, and when he can’t do that, he doesn’t throw a fit when he gets pulled from the game. He’s a class act with style that should make Sean Avery jealous, but… well, he doesn’t appear to take himself too seriously. 


Martin Brodeur
A good part of why we like Lundqvist is that he’s escaped the kind of snobbery that seems to drip off other Eastern goalies, particularly Brodeur. He could be the best netminder ever to set foot on ice, or the worst, and it wouldn’t matter to us with an attitude like that. When someone in the league does something he doesn’t like (see Avery, arm-waving), he gripes about it until the rules are changed in his favor. And when other goaltenders began exploiting equipment size rules, Brodeur stubbornly insisted on wearing the old, smaller sizes. Good for him, but then he turned around and complained that other goalies had an unfair advantage. Wait, what? His game wasn’t even suffering from this “injustice”, and he still forced another rule change about it. Its amazing that there’s still a goalie trapezoid, all things considered.
 

Patrick Kane (and Jonathon Toews)
Neither of them appear to have hit puberty yet, but they both do their best to carry the Blackhawks on their shoulders in an unfortunate Crosby-like trend. Since when are a pair of 20-year-olds responsible enough to lead a professional hockey team? 
Also like Sidney Crosby, Kane can’t grow a beard. He said here that he wasn’t going to shave, but we saw him in Dallas 10 days later and can attest to the fact that his facial hair was still MIA. When it comes to the ‘Hawks, we’d rather see more of the pranksters, Adam Burish and Patrick Sharp, and less of the pranked. 


Chris Chelios (and the Red Wings)
If schooling the Stars and the Penguins in last year’s playoffs wasn’t enough proof, the Red Wings walked off with the Stanley Cup and the respect of the entire league. Their skill level, style of play, and ability to win has brought us to this conclusion: the Wings are animatronic hockey players. A good example of this is Chris Chelios, who has been functioning in the NHL for longer than players like Crosby or Ovechkin have been alive. We reckon that he’s due for an oil change soon. We’re not sure where Detroit picked up such sophisticated technology (the same place they get their dead octopuses, maybe?), but we’ll bet that they’re powered with Energizer batteries. 


Braydon Coburn
Rolled out of bed, got misdirected by a hurricane, wandered through a prison, and finally made it to the Flyer’s headshot photoshoot. At least, that’s what it looks like. At 6’5” and 220 lbs, we still think Coburn is probably the least-scary giant hockey monster we’ve ever not actually met. We credit this commercial for giving us that opinion, as he brought a surprising amount of natural charisma to make for a very endearing thirty seconds. Hockey commercials are usually funny because of the awful acting. This one was funny for just the opposite. 


Ryan Malone
Joining Coburn in the ranks of people we like because of their hockey commercials is Ryan Malone. To be honest, we don’t care if he DID take more money and fled his hometown to stink it up with the Lightning. He’s got better stats than Steven Stamkos right now, anyway. Besides, after seeing this, we suspect he was sick of being the only person with an outgoing personality on his team. Is it possible that a losing Lightning still beats a winning Penguins when rated on fun and humor? We hope so. 

 

Saku Koivu (and Mikko Koivu
A pair of Finnish hockey brothers, separated by nine years and a thousand miles, the Koivus are as charming as they come. Saku has been with the Canadiens since they drafted him in 1993, while Mikko has been for Minnesota since they drafted him in 2001. With both of them currently captaining their respective teams, it’s pretty unlikely that they’ll ever play on the same side in an NHL match-up. Older brother Saku gets the upperhand for us because of his battle with cancer, and our respect for him having overcome it. 

 

Marc Savard
There were a lot of Bruins competing for this spot, including Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara. Savard got it because of his antics in the game in which they played the Stars. Once again, bias aside, this was really our first impression of Bruins gameplay, and it left us with a bitter taste in our mouths. We fully understand how grating Avery must have been for him, but that gave Savard no excuse to push him into the fetal position and punch him in the head. We wouldn’t even wish that kind of circus on our rivals, which is why we hope the likes of Savard never becomes part of the Stars. 


Eric Staal (and Jordan and Marc and Jared)
Oh, the Staal brothers. Eric and Jordan already have hat tricks this season, and Marc… has only gotten four points in 24 games this season. That’s alright, though. Jared’s still stuck in the minors. We might not be fans of them as individuals per se, but as a group, they’re definitely fun to watch. Maybe we have a harder time loving them as individuals because it’s so hard to tell them apart when they aren’t wearing the colors of their respective teams. We’re even willing to excuse this little incident, because the mental image of hockey superstars wandering drunk on a highway harassing motorists is kind of funny. 

 

That’s all for our SCiaT: SVotN. Feel free to comment and add on to our conclusions, or remind us of heroes and villains that we may have left off the list.

November 21, 2008

Morrow Out Indefinitely

by Chelsea

Us SHR girls went to practice this morning. For having just lost a game 6-3 and running through a good amount of grinding drills, the players seemed surprisingly upbeat. Mark Parrish was chatty, Marty Turco was smiling and his usual social self, Joel Lundqvist and Ralph Strangis made surprise appearances, and Brad Richards did not in fact seem to be on the verge of tears. 

So, I get home to my trusted Mac intending to write a cheerful “Off Ice points for everyone!” practice update and a quick game review. Instead, there is this heart breaking news to share:

The Dallas Stars announced today that the left wing Brenden Morrow is out indefinitely with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that will require surgery. He is expected to miss up to six months. The club also recalled right wing Landon Wilson from Grand Rapids (AHL). 

“We are obviously very disappointed to hear the news about Brenden’s knee,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “As our captain, he will obviously be missed, but we have every assurance that he can and will come back from this injury at 100 percent. There is a lot of hockey left to be played this season, and we are confident our team will rally together and keep pushing.”
The rest of the release is here.
Six months is the entire season, and that includes the post season. Even if his recovery goes extremely well, the chances of him coming back before the end of the regular season seem very slim. Nobody wants him to push himself to that point anyway, really. 
If anyone has a video of the incident in which he was hurt, or even knows the full reason, that’d be great. All I actually know is that he limped off the ice 6-7 minutes before the game ended last night, and wasn’t to be seen at practice this morning. 
 
Its a little hard to imagine the entire season without Morrow. I’m sure he’s even more broken over not being able to be there for his team than we are at him being hurt. Since he’s become captain, he’s missed half of a season due to severed wrist tendons, last year’s playoff run, and now again missing the majority of the season. In a painful coincidence, both season-ending injuries came during losses to the Chicago Blackhawks. 

In other injury-related news, Lundqvist was not wearing the sling that’s been supporting his injured shoulder, but instead appeared to be carrying it. He mentioned to someone that he was feeling a little better. However, he’s still a long ways off, not even skating in practice yet. No Lehtinen either.

I really hope the Stars players aren’t as ready to throw in the towel and call it a rebuilding/draft pick season as the fans are. 

Best wishes and get well soon, Morrow. 😦

November 1, 2008

Game Review – 10/31/08 (DAL at CHI)

by Chelsea

Game:

The short version.

No Brad Richards, out day-to-day with a lower body injury.

Started out just about even with fighting for the puck.

Stars score first, with Loui Eriksson getting his fifth of the season.

First Hawk PP of the game and they score on a very very well-screened Stephan.

Stephan turned around and some big saves at the end of the period, but still gave one up to Patrick Kane.

First ends 2-1 Blackhawks.

Lots of both teams doing lots of nothing impressive for over five minutes.

Lovely moves from Stephan (poke checking the puck), Barch (collecting the puck and sending it to center ice), and Ott (grabbing the puck and stealing away for a breakaway goal). During this, Ben “Swings Hockey Stick at Players Instead of Puck” Eager slashed Robidas, sending him to the ice and getting a faceful of Ott. Robi was alright, though.

Watched a 5-on-3 in our favor slip by without any shots on goal.

Gave up the tie, not to regain it. Period ends 3-2 Blackhawks.

Note here that the absence of Brad Richards cost us more than the presence of Brad Richards. It took away winger Ott, replacing him with center Ott. Winger Ott was able to push the net and have a high-scoring center to back him up. Center Ott has to stabilize a line of Sean Avery and Chris Conner, instead of doing what he does best. So, Richards, I sincerely hope you had a good reason for missing this game, and that you don’t miss any more.

Second intermission. Interview with Barch:

Razor: “Any bad blood still dripping over from that very fractious preseason game in Dallas?”
Barch, with a laugh: “Oh you always hate everybody you play against. There’s bad blood everywhere”

Barch is absolutely underrated, not to mention funny.

Third period was just fail. That 3-2 hole grew to 5-2 completely unanswered. Morrow got a stupid penalty for giving a Blackhawk a big friendly hug. He must have done his spin thing, because they didn’t score. The only player not really being frowned upon for sloppy play, though? Tobias Stephan. Despite plenty of scoring chances in the end, the final score was 5-2.

Notes:

  • Three stars were all Blackhawks.
  • The special teams for the Stars were pathetic. 0/7 on the PP.
  • Stephan stopped 27 in 32 shots for a .844 sv%. He also got an assist on the Ott goal, his first NHL point ever.
  • The game was the 500th for Stephane Robidas, who was a Blackhawk for 45 games in 03-04. Good to have him back.
  • I think Barch needs more ice time. He played 7 minutes, got an assist, blocked a shot, and had two hits. Imagine what he could do with a full 20 minutes.
  • Conclusion: Not the team that played Wednesday. If you happen to see that team, please redirect them to Boston by tomorrow night.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: two for good defense and one for the wrestler move he pulled on a ‘Hawk; +3
Stephane Robidas: two for taking a nasty hit and not even leaving the ice, minus-one for his mess-up on the fifth goal; +1
Matt Niskanen: minus-two for bad defense and one for being speedy; -1
Trevor Daley: minus-two for spending 23 minutes doing nothing but allowing goals; -2
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist; +2
Krys Barch: two for the assist, one for the interview, and one for being underrated; +4
Sean Avery: two for trying hard and getting targeted for it, minus-one for failing at faceoffs; +1
Toby Petersen: waste of space; -1
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Steve Ott: three for the goal, two for trying to kick Eager’s butt repeatedly, one for style, and one for “igniting passion”; +7
Tobias Stephan: three for making many big saves, two for the assist, one for style, and minus-two for letting his stats get destroyed; +4
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist; +2
Brad Richards: minus-two for acting like Sidney Crosby and hiding in the back with an undisclosed injury when he was needed on the ice; -2

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.