Posts tagged ‘Columbus Blue Jackets’

February 17, 2009

Game Review – 2/16/09 (DAL at CBJ)

by Chelsea

Thank Yous to/from Turco and Eriksson:

Turco can thank his teammates for pumping up his numbers (41 saves on 43 shots is much more impressive than 21 on 23) and in turn, they can apologize profusely and then thank him for winning them the two points.

They can also thank Eriksson, who had another goal+assist night and basically saved the game by scoring at the tail-end of a Columbus power play to tie the game and force overtime. 

The Argument for Ribeiro As Alternate Captain: 

First, let’s reflect over all that’s happened to the lettered members of the Stars squad:

Original: Morrow (C), Modano (A), Zubov (A)
Zubov starts his season rehabbing from surgery, returns, and then is out again for the season.
Morrow plays a handful of games before suffering a season-ending injury.

The New Three: Modano (A), Robidas (A), Richards (A)
Robidas takes a puck to the face that breaks his jaw. He was only out about a week, during which Sydor wore the extra ‘A’.
Richards takes an awkward hit against the board and breaks his wrist. Out for 6-8 weeks.

Not the best of luck for team leaders, but for the sake of making a point, going to be moving past that to who will be getting the ‘A’ that Richards had.

Common sense says that Sydor will get it, because he’s a veteran that was brought in for his leadership qualities and wore it while Robidas was out. 

Nostalgia would like to see Jere Lehtinen get it, as a reward for all the hard work and dedication he’s put into the franchise. With a mammoth work ethic, very few people are better equipped to lead by example than Lehtinen.

However, curiosity wants to see Mike Ribeiro get it. Though, to borrow from Razor, he has his moments of cheekiness, he’s no doubt matured considerably since the move from Montreal. After flourishing as the top line center last year between captain Brenden Morrow and veteran Jere Lehtinen, he seemed to take the responsibility to heart. This year, he and his line lead the team to a 5-game win streak. Would he accept the ‘A’ with pride and make a point to be the team’s numero uno? I’d love to find out. The Stars have a ridiculous winning % when Ribeiro is playing with tenacity and to his full potential.

Time to Step Up:

With Morrow, Zubov, and now Richards out, it’s time to see who is really going to lead this team and who was just riding the success of others.  People to keep an eye on:

Mike Ribeiro – see above.

James Neal – People are already pegging him as the next big cog in the Stars’ leadership machine. He’s said he wants to be a guy that gets big goals… but can he be the guy who’ll go through walls and do the dirty work too?

Fabian Brunnstrom – Most of his season has seen him working to adjust to the new North American game, but he’s also been a player who doesn’t seem to understand the concept of giving up. We called him Tiebreaker Bunny before he was hurt for a reason. Can he help the Stars break the playoff race tie?
 
Loui Eriksson – He’s already started to prove himself as a goal scorer and a defensive stability, and the kind of player his teammates can always count on to give it his all. Will he be able to score those timely goals on a regular basis?

Mike Modano – He’s been captain, he’s been the face of the franchise, he’s been the record-breaker in all franchise scoring categories. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues to just relax and enjoy his veteran years, or if he gets motivated to really lead the team.

Toby Petersen – He had a streak of good games when the Stars were first struggling with injuries, but when other players started stepping up or getting healthy, he stopped being an impact player. I predict another short but good run from him.

The Three Baby D – Niskanen, Grossman, and Fistric, reunited at last. They locked it down far beyond their years to impress in the playoffs. Will we get a repeat example of what young talent and determination can do to stop the opposing forwards?

Marty Turco – We’ve seen it in the past, and we saw it last night. When Marty Turco wants to stop the puck, the puck will be stopped. However, earlier in the season, when he mentioned people needing to step up, his words fell flat because his performance was anything but. Has he finally stepped up and found the consistency that it takes to drag this team to the playoffs all by himself, if need be?

Brad Richards – Tippett’s said that Richards does best when he’s in a leadership position. How he acts while injured (Morrow’s intensity in wanting to return for the playoffs has motivated the team to reach the postseason; Richards has a similar timetable for return) and when he comes back could be very telling on whether or not he has what it takes to be a leader on this team.

SHR +/-:

Trevor Daley: two for the assist but minus-two for an otherwise especially sloppy game; +0
Krys Barch: minus-one for the penalties; -1
James Neal: two for the shootout goal; +2
Brian Sutherby: two for the assist but minus-one for the penalties; +1
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Mark Fistric: one for a good game; +1
Marty Turco: two for the good game, one for dragging the team into OT, and one for winning it in the shootout; +4
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist but minus-one for looking half-dead all night; +1
Brad Richards: three for the goal, one sympathy point, and one for leading in SOG despite playing less than ten minutes; +5 

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February 16, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Since we’re going into the all-important last leg of the season with a team that’s had some serious momentum lately, I thought I’d start a new feature here at Stop Hitting Robidas. Andrew’s, ESPN, THN, and TSN all release their power rankings on Monday, so let’s take a look at where each of them has ranked the Stars, and their reasoning behind it.

Actual rank: 14th in league; 6th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 27-21-7. L10: 7-3-0.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 11 this week; 9 last week. Marty Turco, who has started a franchise-record 26 straight games, is at the top of his game right now for the Stars.”
Of Note: Anaheim at 16 this week; 15 last week. “Ducks, who have played just three games in nine days, give up a season-high eight goals in dismal loss to Atlanta Sunday night.”
My thoughts: Turco is the story of the week in Stars-land. Everyone seems amazed that he isn’t tired but it’s true – he’s playing his best hockey of the season right now. Of course, there is concern that he’ll exhaust himself by the time we get to the playoffs, but that’s something that will have to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis. If he keeps playing spectacularly, and Anaheim keeps dropping games (they’re 5-5-0 in their L10), the Ducks will find themselves continuing to wave up at us as we sit firmly at 2nd in the Pacific, and wouldn’t that be sweet?

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 12 this week; 12 last week. “Why did defenseman Stephane Robidas recently describe goalie Marty Turco as ‘Superman’? The dude has made 26 straight starts for the Stars.”
Of Note: Vancouver at 11 this week; 17 last week. 27-21-8. “We may learn to regret giving the Canucks the jump this week, but they’ve won five of their past six games, even without Roberto Luongo looking spectacular in net.”
My thoughts: Interesting how much of the rankings in the west are goalie related. Not only do the Stars and Canucks get goalie-related calls, the Blue Jackets get a jump based on Mason coming back from mono (21 last week to 16 this week). In a bit of unfortunate irony, the Nucks jumped above us in ESPN’s power rankings on the day they sit a point above us in the conference.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 11 this week; 7 last week. “Consistent production from rookie Fabian Brunnstrom would sure help down the stretch.”
Of Note: Blue Jackets at 9; 19 last week. 6-3-1 L10. “Get ready for a March with meaningful games, Jackets fans.”
My thoughts: THN rarely elaborates on their choices the way ESPN does, but they’ve been generous with the Stars all season. I think 7th was a little too generous last week, but they hit the nail on the head with this week’s buzzword, “consistency.” If the Stars can’t keep it, they’re not going to keep that playoff seed. The return of Steve Mason to net for the Blue Jackets has everyone buzzing, and our game against him (oh, and the rest of the Jackets) tonight is going to be a big indicator for both teams.

TSN is running a little late with their power rankings this week, but I’ll update as soon as they post them.

What do you think? Where would you rate the Stars this week, and why?

February 3, 2009

Game Review – 1/31/09 (DAL at CBJ)

by Chelsea

Questions:

Since 82 games = a lot of games to do in the same format over and over, I’ve been wondering if it’s getting monotonous to read. So what would the reader rather see? Comprehensive reviews like the Detroit one, or more topic-focused ones more like the Tampa Bay review?

Also, how about more posts like the Let’s Talk Stars or “Mike Ribeiro Wife Kids”. Would anyone respond? 

Or, how about more like the comparison post Kristine did awhile back? Anyone (besides me) feel like she should definitely do more of those? 

Game:

With both the Blue Jackets and the Stars looking to cement a spot in the West’s top 8, this game was a critical one to win. Going into the affair, the Jackets stood strong in the 7th spot, while the Stars looked in from the 9th. Vancouver and Minnesota, two teams also in contention, played each other that night, making the win even more valuable. 

Despite both Dallas and Columbus being defensively-minded teams, games between them always ended up as high-scoring affairs. The last time they faced off, James Neal fought Derick Brassard, whose season was ended in the scrum when his shoulder was dislocated, and Loui Eriksson got his first career hat trick. 

First period started.

Scoring opened at 5:58 when James Neal, assisted by Matt Niskanen and Mike Modano, collected a rebound and put it in the net behind rookie goalie sensation Steve Mason. 

It continued rather unfortunately for the Blue Jackets at 8:22, when Marty Turco made a great save and Loui Eriksson picked up the rebound. He moved undisrupted into their offensive zone and tried to pass the puck across the crease to linemate Brad Richards. Columbus defenseman Marc Methot successfully stopped the pass, but the puck went right back to Eriksson, who was able to catch Mason off-guard and score unassisted. 

Barely two minutes later, at 10:43, the Stars scored the last goal they’d get in on Mason.

In another slightly flukey incident, Manny Malhotra took a shot that rang off the post (one of many saves the pipes made in this game) and play turned away from Turco. The Stars were able to carry the puck into their zone, and while Eriksson’s shot was stopped by Mason, Brian Sutherby managed to stuff the rebound into the net, putting Dallas up 3-0 for the second game in a row.

Brad Richards got the second assist.

The goal was Sutherby’s first goal and point as a Star in 16 games, after being acquired from the Ducks for a prospect and conditional draft pick.

Columbus began their attempted comeback late in the period, when Kristian Huselius was allowed to walk the puck in on Turco and score unchallenged. Jan Hejda and Marc Methot got assists.

The period ended on a power play for the Jackets when Steve Ott and Rick Nash collided. The result was a knee-on-knee check (though possibly accidental; it didn’t appear from the replays that Ott stuck his leg out intending to catch Nash’s knee) and a tripping penalty for Ott. Immediately following the incident, Methot tried to fight Ott, who couldn’t drop the gloves because of his broken hand. Though the scrum was mostly Ott holding on and absorbing blows, both players were given roughing minors.

First period ended. Steve Mason had been pulled from the game (and sat on the bench looking barely tired and pretty peeved) after letting in 3 goals on 8 shots, and was replaced by in net Wade Dubielewicz.

Second period started.

Stars PK tried to keep the Jackets from further hacking at was had been a 3-goal lead, but Fedor Tyutin was able to beat Turco with a power play slap shot from the point only 1:38 into the period.

He was assisted by Huselius and Nash.

Now looking at losing their lead entirely as the Blue Jackets picked up their lost momentum, it was Turco who kept the Stars in the game until they found their feet again. He made some key saves to hold the score at 3-2, and finally got some backup from rookie James Neal. 

His second goal of the night came at 13:29 in the second, and looked very much like his first. After utilizing his size well to bully himself a spot in front of the crease, Neal collected a rebound off Modano’s shot and put it in past Dubielewicz. Then he ran himself into the glass and screamed “Yeah!”, which I’m sure the Jackets fans appreciated.

Chris Conner got the second assist, his second point in two games.

Ott made sure to rub some salt in the wound at 18:58 of the second, irritating Columbus fans by scoring instead of getting further mauled for his hit on Nash. His goal was also off a loose rebound, this time aided by Jere Lehtinen and Mike Ribeiro.

The period ended 5-2 Stars, despite Columbus outshooting them 25-22 over the first two periods.

Third period started. 

Once again, the Blue Jackets came out strong and applied pressure, and were once again rewarded for their hard work. 

This one was a garbage goal by Jared Boll, which he had to celebrate from his back after Matt Niskanen flattened him. It came at 4:34 in the third, was assisted by Jason Williams and Fredrik Modin, and was basically worth it to see Niskanen respond to a goal by knocking the scorer over. Or whatever it was he was actually trying to do. 

The goal meant that the fourth Stars goal, aka Neal’s, would eventually be the game winning goal – a description accurate under multiple definitions. 

The fun was not over, though.

First, at 7:10 in the third, Trevor Daley scored his sixth goal of the season by beating Dubielewicz with a slap shot. Toby Petersen and Darryl Sydor assisted. It marked a career-high in goals for the defenseman, whose previous best was 5 goals in 82 games last season.

Then, at 18:02, Andrew Hutchinson got HIS first goal as a Star and first of the season. It was assisted by Nicklas Grossman and James Neal.

Columbus pushed back in the final minutes of the game, and in holding them off, Sydor took a shot to the ankle that saw him leaving the game. Still, they were unable to score, and the game ended 7-3 Stars.

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Neal, Sydor, Modano
  • Krys Barch, despite getting 8 teeth mauled by Chris Chelios and getting five root canals a few days before, did not miss the game and logged 10 minutes worth of ice time. 
  • The win bumped the Stars up to the 7th spot in the West and knocked Columbus down to the 9th. A loss from the Oilers the day after moved them down a spot, putting the Stars up into the 6th spot.
  • James Neal saw his second 3-point night of the season, with two goals and an assist.
  • It was announced after the game that Columbus goalie Steve Mason has mononucleosis, but has not missed a game and will be starting again in their next game. Hopefully, he’s not really all that sick, because starting your 2o-year-old goalie in back-to-backs when he’s fighting mono and then again three days later… that’s iffy.
  • Conclusion: The Stars got their fourth win in a row, putting them into a very fragile playoff spot. While it was no easy task getting that spot, it seems like it will only get harder and harder to hold onto it. Taking advantage of their home-filled February will be key, and if they give up that opportunity entirely, they really don’t deserve that playoff spot anyway.

SHR +/-: 

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist and two for tying for the lead in hits and blocked shots; +4
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist, one for tying the lead in blocked shots, and one for ending the game +3; +4
Trevor Daley: three for the goal; +3
Mike Modano: two for each assist and one for ending the game +3; +5
Krys Barch: two for playing with a majorly busted-up mouth and still having a good game; +2
Toby Petersen: two for the assist; +2
James Neal: three for each goal, two for the assist, and one for finally looking like he cares again; +9
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal and one for finally getting it; +4
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Landon Wilson: one for finally starting to skate again even if he can’t play in games yet; +1
Chris Conner: two for the assist and one for ending the game +3; +3
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist; +2
Andrew Hutchison: three for the goal and one for finally getting it; +4
Steve Ott: three for the goal but minus-one for the questionable hit and following penalty; +2
Darryl Sydor: two for the assist and two for having a really good game; +4
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist; +2
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2

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!

December 27, 2008

Game Review – 12/18/08 (DAL vs CBJ)

by Chelsea

Game:

I promise, eventually, these will be published in a more timely manner. Perhaps in the post-holiday calm?

This game saw the return of three sorely missed Stars: forwards Joel Lundqvist, Steve Ott, and defenseman Stephane Robidas. Ott had a brace on under his glove to protect his broken hand and couldn’t fight, while Robidas had that all-too-familiar face cage back. 

Loui Eriksson was coming off a 2-1 OT win in which he scored the only two goals for the Stars. 

In that win, Marty Turco was very strong, holding the offensively-challenged team in the game all the way into overtime. Maybe it overtaxed him, because for this game, he was a little lacking. 

The first period started with a lot of energy and an early lead for the Blue Jackets. Rick Nash (remember him? ruined opening night with an OT goal? no?) started what would be a pretty good night for him, scoring only 1:34 in. It came in a three-person rush at Turco, who was unable to stop the opposing captain. R.J. Umberger and Jakub Voracek got the assists.

Initially, Robidas and Sydor were paired, but they were quickly switched back to their respectively symmetrical partners; Sydor with Niskanen (5-55, or the “faux-number” pair) and Robidas with Janik (3-33). We decided Tippett must choose his pairings and lines based on how their numbers work together, which would explain the whole Richards-Modano thing.

Despite Ott’s strict no-fighting limitations, he was not to be stopped from getting into every other sort of imaginable confrontation. Between running his mouth (which “ain’t broken”, so of course he’ll be chirping) and getting into players’ personal space, he managed to get into a small skirmish with Mike Commodore at 3:46. Commodore got a minor for hooking Ott, who got a minor for holding the stick. Okayyy…

As Ott reacquainted himself with the penalty box, Loui Eriksson turned on the heat.

He shook off a Blue Jacket along the boards to get the puck behind the net to Richards. Then, as he headed towards the front of the net, Richards passed it back, setting Loui up nicely to wrist it in behind Pascal Leclaire. Trevor Daley got the second assist.

Only a few minutes after he got out of the box, Ott got a little TOO rowdy, elbowing Jared Boll and getting sent right back in. This time, he put the team at a costly disadvantage. 

Ott’s penalty was at 8:52, and at 10:02, the Blue Jackets broke the tie. 

This time it was the team’s star rookie, Derick Brassard, scoring his tenth of the season. It was a showy move, as he threw off James Neal and outskated Nicklas Grossman to get to the net before tricking Turco into moving out of position and tossing the puck in to make the game 2-1. 

Kris Russell and Pascal Leclaire got assists. 

The game got even more feisty, with the teams exchanging hits and takeaways before the puck got deflected out into the crowd. You’d have thought the TV timeout would provide a cool down, but it was only ten seconds off the following faceoff (at 11:26) that Fredrik Modin was whistled for hooking Ott.

The Stars’ struggling power play did not capitalize on the opportunity, kept from really getting any shots off on Leclaire.

The game continued with building tension between the teams, coming to a boil following a big hit by James Neal on Fedor Tyutin. The hit was perfectly clean, and Tyutin himself did not take offense to it, but Columbus rookie Derick Brassard did. Brassard, 6’1” and 190 lbs compared to Neal’s 6’3” and 205 lbs, dropped the gloves in a blatant challenge for “rookie fisticuffs”. Neal obliged, having a quick and one-sided go for his first NHL fight. Brassard had to ask him to stop, having dislocated his shoulder in awkwardly grabbing Neal, and Neal kindly obliged. 

Turns out, the rookie will be out for the season, because his shoulder requires surgery. A very poor, regrettable choice he made, but we still wish him a speedy recovery.

After fighting majors had been distributed and the attention turned to playing, they dropped the puck for a faceoff and… another fight.

This one was between Krys Barch and Jared Boll. It was a bit of a sorry showing for Barch, but the pair of scrums got both team even more fired up.

With the period winding down 2-1 in favor of the Blue Jackets, Loui Eriksson didn’t hesitate to grab at a chance to tie it up.

With 2 seconds left before the first intermission, Joel Lundqvist picked up a rebound and took it to the net, only to slide a pass back to an oncoming Loui Eriksson. Leclaire couldn’t follow the smooth move and Loui had his second goal of the game and fourth straight goal for the Stars.

Second period.

If you weren’t thinking “Loui hat trick??” at this point, you’re probably in the minority.

Marc Methot got two minutes for hooking right off the bat, at 00:42, setting Eriksson up for that hat trick before even reaching the half point of the game.

Maybe the other Jackets didn’t feel like it was enough advantage, and were being weirdly generous? Either way, it only took six seconds for Michael Peca to cross check someone and put the Stars on a 5-on-3.

Richards started the play, sending the puck across the ice to Ribeiro, who played with it a moment before rushing the net and trying to cram it past all the bodies in the crease. One of those bodies belonged to Eriksson, who had parked there and happened to be handy for the rebound opportunity created by Ribeiro. In it went, and Loui Eriksson got to celebrate his first career hat trick at 1:20 in the second, face-down against the ice courtesy of a forceful Blue Jacket.

Richards and Ribeiro swept in and forced said Jacket off of Loui, who really didn’t seem to care about who sat on him because he just got his first hat trick!

Yayyyy Loui!

The Jackets got one of their guys back, but it wouldn’t be enough to hold off a very energetic Stars power play.

Barely a minute later, at 2:39, the PP struck again. This time it was rookie James Neal.

Mike Ribeiro, who almost seemed to be perpetually on the ice, fed the puck to Matt Niskanen, whose blast from the blue line was deflected past Leclaire. He was initially credited for the goal, but later it was determined that Neal did in fact get his stick on it.

Umberger responded a bit later, at 3:59, after a number of frantic scrambles in the Stars defensive zone.

Columbus seemed to get the opportunity to tie the game when Mike Modano got a minor for hooking at 5:46, but it came and went without a goal.

Instead, at 8:57, the Stars would rebuild their two-goal lead. This time it was Brad Richards off his backhand, with assists to Joel Lundqvist and Fabian Brunnstrom.

Midway through the period, Krys Barch accepted another fight, this time with Mike Commodore. Barch did a little better in this one, though Commodore got the takedown.

Both got fighting majors. Lundqvist joined Barch in the box a few seconds later, called for roughing, putting the Blue Jackets on power play again.

While they did not manage to score on that power play, it still allowed them to build enough momentum to close the gap once more. Kristian Huselius put the game at 5-4 at 14:38 in the second period, with an assist from Umberger. 

Jared Boll got a 10 minute misconduct late in the period (15:23) and Methot got two minutes for roughing even later (19:21), but Dallas could not convert the man-advantage into a stronger lead.

The second period expired and the third began.

The first half of the third was pretty uninspired, especially in comparison to the first part of the game. An exchange of shots, hits, and saves took place, with neither team coming out ahead. 

The stalemate was broken at 14:47, when James Neal took a minor penalty for hi sticking Manny Malhotra. 

Stars PK, mainly Modano, was able to limit the chances of the Jackets’ late power play, but they let their guard down when they returned to even strength. Columbus had again built momentum off the PP and used it to tie the game and ruin what had been a two-goal lead.

The goal was at 17:14, from Rick Nash, assisted by Tyutin. 

Third period ended and the game went into overtime. 

It looked like the game in which Loui Eriksson scored his first hat trick would end up a disappointing loss, with a healthy lead lost and a fast goal in OT.

Only thirteen seconds in, Malhotra crashed the net, his attempt stopped by Turco the first time but the rebound shoved past as he tripped over the sprawling goaltender. The goal went to review, where it was determined that the puck was kicked into the net with a forward motion. Whether or not it was (or even could have been) intentional was up in the air, but the fact was that the puck was put past the goaltender because of the forward motion of the skate, and the goal was disallowed.

The anger of the Blue Jackets, who felt the goal was good, was not enough to force another goal past Turco, and the game went into a shootout.

Dallas got the first attempt, taken by Brad Richards. His wrister got past Leclaire, giving the Stars an early advantage. 

Huselius was next. He got the puck past Turco, but it hit the post and deflected away. 

Brunnstrom was given the next attempt, as a reward for a good game. It was a good try, but lacked speed, and was stopped by Leclaire. 

Rick Nash went out to tie the shootout score, but Turco made a strong save. 

Ribeiro, so far a shootout superman this season, came out to try and cement the deal. Rather than try something fancy, he utilized a fast and accurate wrist shot to put the shootout at 2-o Dallas and win the game.

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Eriksson, Nash, Richards
  • Eriksson’s hat trick, added to his two goals from the last Stars game, equaled five straight goals for the team. This matched the franchise record, set in 1973 by Minnesota North Star Dan Grant. 
  • Marty Turco allowed five goals and had a measly .821 sv%, but blanked the Blue Jackets in the shootout to give his team the win.
  • Four Stars had multi-point nights. Eriksson had his three goals, Richards had a goal and three assists, and Lundqvist and Ribeiro each had two assists.
  • Conclusion: The game showcased some firsts (hat trick, fight) but also some things the team’s become far too familiar with (5 goals allowed, leads lost, OT goals against). It was an entertaining game and a good two points, but still showed some glaring weaknesses.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: minus-one for the team-worst +/- at -3; -1
Stephane Robidas: two for leading in TOI and blocked shots and having seven hits; +2 
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Krys Barch: two for the fights, one for effort, one for appropriate timing, but minus-two for losing them both; +2
Toby Petersen: minus-one for royally stinking at faceoffs; -1
James Neal: three for the goal, one for the fight with Brassard, one for winning the fight, and one for stopping the fight when asked to;  +6
Loui Eriksson: three for each goal, one for leading in SOG, and one for scoring on 75% of his shots on goal; +11
Doug Janik: one for being the only Star to end in the positive +/- with +1; +1
Marty Turco: two for coming through in the shootout and winning the game but minus-one for otherwise having been a sieve; +1
Joel Lundqvist: two for each assist and two for a ridiculous team-high nine hits; +6
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and two for the shootout goal; +6
Brad Richards: three for the goal, two for each assist, and two for the shootout goal; +11
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist; +2

December 21, 2008

Round-Up: Sad News for Brassard

by Kristine

On a quick (and sad) note, rookie Derick Brassard, who got his ass royally handed to him by James Neal this past Thursday night, probably has to have shoulder surgery as a result of the fight.

Blue Jackets blog Puck-rakers reports that Brassard dislocated his shoulder in the mismatch and an MRI shows it to be a “substantial injury.”

As excited as I was to see our rookie cream their rookie, I feel really bad that Brassard is probably going to miss the rest of his rookie season because of it. Although it’s a two-edged sword, because it was dumb of him to pick the fight in the first place, I wish the only thing he had hurt was his ego.

This is also bad news for the Blue Jackets, because without Brassard, they have virtually no depth through center. The roster freeze prevents them from making any moves at the moment, and their GM seems hesitant to make those moves anyway. It will be interesting to see how they perform without their stand-out rookie slash top line center.

So, to recap: Neal may have single-handedly ruined a kid’s season (which is a shame), taught him a very painful lesson (sticking up for teammates is well and good in the right time and place but only if you can actually fight and you’re not fighting somebody who will annihilate you because you’re challenging them after a perfectly clean and legal hit – whew!), and blown up the outlook for an entire team. Talk about a hell of a first NHL fight.

In other Stars-related news, guess who leads the entire league in even-strength goals? Our very own King Loui! He has 16, while Hossa and Kessel have 15 each, and Carter and Setoguchi both have 14. That aside, he’s had some other impressive career highs and milestones so far this season. He’s notched a six-game point streak, two career-high point games (3 points per), and his first hat trick. He tied his previous season goal record (14) in just 30 games and broke it in 31. He’s seventh overall in the league for goals and second for shooting percentage. He only has 4 PIM and is at +4 overall. Conclusion? He’s hot like Hansel right now. 😉

Finally, last night was our Secret Santa Christmas party with Myra, Jen, Caitlin, and Cat and her roommate. We watched the Ottawa game – which was, for the record, wholly unsatisfying – and exchanged not-so-Secret Santa gifts. We had a great time talking hockey with you ladies, and a huge thanks to Myra for hosting us!

December 12, 2008

Thursday’s NHL Results

by Kristine

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

read more »

October 31, 2008

Tonight’s NHL Results

by Kristine

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

read more »

October 26, 2008

Super Saturday Results

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 24, 2008

Tonight’s NHL Wins/Losses

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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

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