Posts tagged ‘Darryl Sydor’

October 7, 2009

Introducing the Weekly Picture Fantastic

by Kristine

Welcome to the trial run of a new feature here at SHR, the Weekly Picture Fantastic (WPF if that makes it easier for you). Every Wednesday I’ll be selecting my five favorite images of the previous week from various sources, including Flickr, NHL.com, and the new galleries at Andrew’s. The only thing they’ll have in common is that they’ll be Stars-related. Pictures of good plays, funny faces, goal celebrations, the starting line – it’s all fair game.

Since there’s been a lot going on the last few weeks, this first WPF has a few more than five pictures. I went all the way back to pre-season for the first few images…

Alex Auld - Sept 24, 2009 vs COL
Alex Auld got his first start in net for the Stars on September 24 vs Colorado. He looked very positionally sound.

Marty Turco - Sept 16, 2009 vs TBL
…Whereas Turco seems to have already forgotten where his net actually is.

Loui Eriksson, James Neal, Matt Niskanen - Sept 16, 2009 vs TBL
Meet three guys the rest of the league is going to be very scared of someday. Yes, even Nisky.

Jamie Benn, Darryl Sydor - Sept 19, 2009 at STL
Here we have another exciting young guy, Jamie Benn, saving former Star Darryl Sydor from a spider.

Brad Richards - Sept 24, 2009 vs COL
Brad Richards is back with a healthy body, full head of hair, and intense stare.

Mike Ribeiro - October 3, 2009 vs NSH
Finally, the real season began. I’m happy about that for many reasons, one of which is that I can go back to watching Ribs skate around looking like this during warm-up.

Matt Niskanen - October 3, 2009 vs NSH
Niskanen has looked very confident and competent so far this season. His training wheels may finally be coming off for good.

Trevor Daley, Karlis Skrastins, Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, Jamie Benn - October 6, 2009 at EDM
Our beloved Captain and his faithful sidekick are back, this time with a secret weapon: one Mr. Holy Cow Jamie Benn.

That does it for this week’s WPF. Let us know what you think of this feature in the comments; if you like it, we’ll let it stick around for the whole season.

Individual images can be clicked for larger view. Images are property of their respective owners. As always, special thanks to NHL.com and Shannon Byrne at Andrew’s Stars Page.

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October 6, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 27, 2009

SHR’s Plan For Sydor’s Employment

by Chelsea

(as illustrated by Chelsea)

So what we have here is this: Sydor is sitting at home by the phone, bummed because he’s unemployed and because somebody sawed off the front leg of his table. In the meantime, Marc Crawford is standing at his unnecessarily large desk, angry because Rick Wilson is fleeing to Tampa Bay. So we are left without a defensive coach for the 09-10 Stars. So Syd’s phone rings, but since it’s been so long since free agency started, it no longer makes him hopeful or excited to hear the phone. It simply startles him. Turns out it’s Crawford on the other end. He’s still yelling because we hear he does that a lot, but he has good news! Syd is the new defensive coach of the Stars! Syd, who did not know he had even retired yet, accepts the offer because a job is a job after all. Thus, he is Happy Employed Coach Syd. Clearly, this needs to actually happen. (We drew a cartoon of Newy becoming GM way back in November, and that eventually came true. So might as well give it a shot for this! And yes, we do think this would be a good idea. Everyone has heard how Syd motivates the kiddos and how we brought him back to be a voice in the locker room. We think he’d make a good coach, and Dallas seems to be a good fit for him in general.)

March 19, 2009

Game Review – 3/17/09 (DAL at VAN) and 3/18/09 (DAL at CGY)

by Kristine

Games:

I’m going to try to keep this simple. We lost both these games, and there’s been a lot of talk about why that is. The blame game can be played in many ways here. You could start back at the beginning, and blame Hull for signing Avery. You could also blame Avery for being Avery and not fitting in. You could blame Turco for his world of suck earlier in the season. You could blame Tippett for not keeping lines together. You could blame Jackson for not upgrading our blue line at the trade deadline. If you really wanted to, you could put some blame on Fabian Brunnstrom for not being willing to spend a year in the minors. You could put a bit of blame on Matt Niskanen for being young and not as solid defensively as he could be. Actually if you’re going to go that far, you could probably find some blame to put on just about every single player on the ice and most of the office to boot.

Here’s the thing. It’s just not that simple. You can’t boil it down to “the season sucked because of this player or that person.” It’s been a huge combination of things. Did Avery’s signing contribute to the problems? Yes, I think that’s been made clear. Did Turco’s bad season hurt? Obviously it did. Beyond that, Tippett has done the best he can with the one thing that’s made the biggest impact: injuries.

Look at this list of players who are currently injured: Brenden Morrow, Sergei Zubov, Mike Modano, Brad Richards, Steve Begin, Brian Sutherby, Toby Petersen. Four huge names, two important grit guys, and Petersen. Going back in time, add to that list players who have spent (relatively) significant amounts of time injured: Jere Lehtinen, Steve Ott, Stephane Robidas, Fabian Brunnstrom, Landon Wilson, Joel Lundqvist, Mark Parrish. Another impressive list. In fact, it would almost be easier to name the players who have been healthy this season. Off the top of my head? Mike Ribeiro, Loui Eriksson, James Neal, Krys Barch, and our young D. Oh, and Sydor and Morrison. Chris Conner has been healthy, but he would be in the AHL if we weren’t so short on bodies. Same with Hutchinson as he’s been scratched for ages now. Is it any wonder we’ve been losing? Ribs and Loui are fantastic but as we’ve seen lately, they can’t be expected to carry the entire team for the rest of the season.

Because we’ve been battling the Injury Gods all season, the pressure has been on Tippett to keep the playoff dream alive. His solution has been to play intense, playoff-level hockey since about the end of December, and we’re starting to see the result of that. The Stars are exhausted. The past few weeks have been proof of that. Sure, we’ve won the odd game here and there and yes, players are still having great nights here and there. But overall, they look worn out and beaten down. I don’t blame them one bit. I will admit that I do somewhat blame Tippett for pushing them until they have nothing left to give, although I do understand why he did it. He was doing his best to keep his team running, and for a while it worked. The Stars went on that great run in January and early February, but within a few weeks were back to losing. Richards breaking his wrist seemed to be the metaphorical nail in the tire and they’ve been deflating ever since.

There are eleven games left in this season. If the Stars make the playoffs, that’s another at least four games. Can they continue to play at the level they’ve been playing at for that long? I don’t believe they can. Mike Ribeiro and Stephane Robidas are playing nearly 30 minutes a night, and it shows. Mike Modano is out with a lower body injury after the Vancouver game, and I’m sure his injury is made worse by the total fatigue his body must be experiencing. Same with Sutherby leaving last night’s game. How much longer until Robi, Ribs, and Loui push themselves too far and wind up on our laundry list of injured players? We can offer sacrifices and prayers to the Injury Gods all we want, but I don’t think it would surprise anyone to see them hurt.

The Stars are in 10th in the West now. At this point, take the pressure off. Stop playing the high level of hockey, let the young guys take bigger minutes and rest the top line guys, and see what happens. I would think the health of the team would more important than making the playoffs, especially if you’re making them with a roster that reads like an AHL team’s anyway.

SHR +/-:

DAL at VAN (3/1709)
Stephane Robidas: two for the assist and one pity point for playing almost half the game with an exhausting 27:35; +2
Matt Niskanen: one for leading in SOG and one for a very solid game; +2
Mike Modano: two for the assist but minus one for the team-high four giveaways; +1
James Neal: three for the goal, one for the two huge takeaways in the first and one for having a very good game overall; +5
Chris Conner: two for the assist and one for being willing to hit when nobody else is; +3
Jere Lehtinen: one yay you’re back point and one for making magic with anyone and everyone; +2
Mark Fistric: one for playing a very physical game; +1
Steve Ott: three for the goal, one for leading in hits with five and one for drawing penalties left and right even if nobody could capitalize on the PP; +5
Marty Turco: one for making some huge saves at critical times; +1
Steve Begin: one for winning a team-best 40% of his faceoffs and two pity points for that huge hit he took; +3
Darryl Sydor: one for the solid game; +1
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist, one for playing almost half the game with 27:19, and one pity point for how exhausted he must be; +3

DAL at CGY (3/18/09)
Nicklas Grossman: one for doing the most banging in corners with four hits; +1
Stephane Robidas: two for the assist and one for tying for most SOG with three; +3
Matt Niskanen: one for tying for most SOG with three and one for being strong on the PK; +2
Trevor Daley: one for leading in TOI with 24:47, one for tying for most SOG with three, and one for thinking quickly enough to give Turco his stick and take Ott’s for himself; +3
Brendan Morrison: three for the goal, but minus one for leading the team with three giveaways and minus-one for winning only 27% of his faceoffs; +1
Krys Barch: one because I’d rather have him in the lineup than certain others; +1
James Neal: minus-one for coming off a great game and doing absolutely nothing; -1
Brian Sutherby: one for winning 50% of his faceoffs when nobody else could win any and one “please don’t be hurt” point; +2
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and one for tying for most blocked shots with four; +3
Mark Fistric: one for being the only D to end in the positive and one for upending Olli Jokinen in front of the net; +2
Steve Ott: one for the fight, one for not losing it, but minus-one for picking it to begin with; +1
Marty Turco: one for not sucking; +1
Darryl Sydor: one for tying for most blocked shots with four; +1

March 2, 2009

Weekend Review

by Chelsea

It was a disappointing weekend for the Stars (and Stars fans), who saw the season’s longest homestand end with a pair of back-to-back losses. The typical game reviews for those losses are getting lumped together here in a fabulous fowl-filled Weekend Review! 

The Good:

Mike Ribeiro spent most of Saturday looking positively pissed. He came out with the kind of determination that it takes to win games, and tried his best to drag the team behind him as he collected two goals and an assist. It says a lot when a guy from the losing team gets first star of the game. After the loss, he still looked mad, going as far as to snap at a pushy reporter. Sure, it wasn’t very nice of him, but we’d rather he be mad enough to do something rather than take part in the rest of the team’s pity party.

Sunday’s story was Loui Eriksson, who scored the Stars’ lone goal in the 4-1 drubbing from the Penguins. It took Dallas 46 minutes to get on the board, and by then it was far too late. To look at this in a positive way: Loui displayed enough determination when the game was already lost to get the puck past a hot goaltender and somewhat salvage a deflated power play. Also, Loui scoring again is just good news, if it means he’s getting over the post-Richards growing pains.

It’s probably just coincidence that the season Hull upset hockey karma by signing Sean Avery, Dallas sees the loss of Morrow and Zubov for the entire season. It’s probably also coincidence that Jere Lehtinen, Fabian Brunnstrom, Brad Richards, Landon Wilson, Toby Petersen, and Steve Ott all missed/are missing big chunks of time with injury. And it’s probably also coincidence that Marty Turco has spent most of the season being some goalie that can’t play nearly as well as Marty Turco. And it’s probably just a coincidence that the Stars went from basement to playoff-possible following his removal from the team. Regardless, we’re taking the news that Avery has been put on recall waivers today and will be gone after 24 hours as very very good news. 

The Bad:

Trevor Daley passes Loui Eriksson the puck when he’s in a vulnerable position, and Eriksson gets smushed by Sheldon Brookbank. Daley tries to make up for it by fighting Brookbank and ends up with 17 penalty minutes. Ducks score on the following power play. 

Then Daley comes back and takes two more minor penalties in the game vs. Anaheim. His issues continue against Pittsburgh, and he left the weekend with 23 more PIM than he started with.

Evgeni Malkin introduced his elbow to Darryl Sydor’s head and got away with it. Seconds later, Krys Barch got called for holding, and Malkin scored on the power play.

Stars outshot their opponents 54-41 over the two games, and still lost 8-4. This could be partially attributed to Marty Turco being mentally asleep, as he let in 4 goals on 18 shots against the Ducks. When he got a break Sunday, the Stars responded by giving backup Tobias Stephan little to no support. 

Fabian Brunnstrom ended the Ducks game having not gotten a point in his last four games, and with an even +/- in that span, despite putting out tremendous effort during the homestand. He was benched on Sunday. This didn’t really explain why James Neal, who has had no points in his last 7 games, is a -5 in his last four, and whose overconfidence led directly to at least one goal, still got to play.

The Ugly:

Steve Ott pisses off the entire Anaheim team, who responded with a good ol’ fashioned mugging after the final buzzer. The Stars kinda half-heartedly tried to help out. After the game, Robidas seemed extremely sorry for having let Moen beat Ott’s face in, but Modano seemed to think Ott should have known better than to pick the fight in the first place.

Then, Sunday against the Penguins, Malkin gets away unchallenged with a headshot on Sydor. While you’d expect someone to come to the defense of their veteran player, nobody rose to the occasion. After the game, Sydor seemed rather appalled at the lack of camaraderie as he held an ice pack to the back of his head.

The Stars went into a 6-game homestand sitting on top of a playoff-hopeful log jam. They won their first game… and then went on their worst losing streak of the year to finish it up. 2 out of a possible 12 points saw them straight to the bottom of that log jam.

SHR +/-:

Stéphane Robidas: two for the assist, one for playing a ridiculous 30:05 Saturday, but minus-one for apparent exhaustion that lead to poor defense Sunday; +2
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal and one for actually utilizing his size; +4
Trevor Daley: minus-three for the very bad weekend but one for at least trying to make up for his mistake by defending Eriksson; -2
Mike Modano: two for the assist but minus-one for his complete lack of impact against the Ducks; +1
James Neal: minus-three because we are just fed up with his nonchalant overconfident attitude and bazillion turnovers; -3
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Chris Conner: two for the assist; +2
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist and one for actually having a good game Saturday; +3
Mark Fistric: two for getting 13 hits in the two games; +2
Steve Ott: two for each assist but minus-one for the stupidity surrounding his suspension; +3
Tobias Stephan: one for a valiant effort; +1
Marty Turco: minus-two for urrrggg not this againnnn; -2
Steve Bégin: two welcome-to-the-team points; +2
Darryl Sydor: two for the assist and one for showing that veteran leadership everyone keeps talking about; +3
Mike Ribeiro: three for each goal, two for the assist, and one for having 10 shots on goal and 5 hits over the two games; +9
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for effort and one spite point because he really shouldn’t have been benched over Neal; +2

February 12, 2009

Game Review 2/11/09 – (DAL vs PHX)

by Chelsea

When All Else Fails, Juggle Lines:

 
“Dude. What’re you doing?”
“I’m taking a faceoff.”
“Seriously?”
“Coach told me I’m centering this line.”
“You’re joking. Tipp?”
“You’ll be on his left wing, and I’m trying Turco out on his right.”
Turco “But I haven’t played anything other than goalie in over twenty years.”
“Yeah, but over 50% of players surveyed thought you’d be the goaltender best suited to play forward-“
Turco “Alright, alright, I get it. Let me take this goalie gear off?”
Tippett “No time! Just trade sticks with Petersen there so he can get in net.”
Petersen  
“So in Swedish it’s..?”
Idiotiskt.
“Right… idiotiskt. This is idiotiskt.”
“Ja.”

 

SHR +/-:

Matt Niskanen: one for trying to clean up Sydor’s mess; +1
Mike Modano: minus-one for having 4 GV, minus-two for being completely unable to finish on some prime scoring chances, but one for trying anyway; -2
Krys Barch: one for the fight, two for dominating it, and one for good timing in picking it; +4
Brian Sutherby: one for the.. scuffle, minus-one for losing it, and minus-one for the dumb penalty; -1
Steve Ott: one for delivering 6 hits; +1
Marty Turco: two for solid effort; +2
Joel Lundqvist: one for delivering 6 hits; +1
Darryl Sydor: minus-one for prodding delicately at the Coyote with the puck instead of trying to take the man or said puck, and minus-two for the goal that was scored immediately after; -3
Mike Ribeiro: one for delivering 6 hits; +1
Brad Richards: one for leading in SOG with 8; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: one yay! point for not being too hurt to play; +1

February 11, 2009

Game Review – 2/06/09 (DAL vs NYR)

by Chelsea

Game: 

What should have been a battle between twins Joel and Henrik Lundqvist ended up being more of a pity-the-backup-goalie night, as Henrik was unable to netmind for the Rangers because of the flu. Instead of facing his brother, Joel and the Stars were up against Stephen Valiquette. 

On the other end of the ice was Marty Turco, backed up by Brent Krahn instead of Tobias Stephan, who was sent down to the minors. 

When the puck dropped, everyone basically expected a repeat of the Stars’ last game against the Rangers; a 2-1 win in New York decided mostly with special teams and strong defense. 

It seemed, at first, that that was exactly how the game was going to go.

Though four goals were scored in the first twenty minutes, the period ended with a very reachable 3-1 Stars lead, if the Rangers could manage at least two more goals over the final two periods. 

However, they weren’t able to gain any ground in the second period, with both teams scoring to make the game 4-2. 

Though the Stars’ firepower in the first period would have been enough to carry them through the game, and despite Tippett putting youth and bottom lines out instead of his top players, they turned the game into a historic blowout with 6 third period goals.

The game ended 10-2 Stars. 

Points Summary:

Mike Ribeiro: 2 goals, 2 assists
Jere Lehtinen: 1 goal, 2 assists
Steve Ott: 1 goal, 2 assists
Fabian Brunnstrom: 1 goal, 2 assists 
Matt Niskanen: 3 assists
James Neal: 2 goals
Darryl Sydor: 1 goal, 1 assist
Mike Modano: 2 assists
Brian Sutherby: 1 goal
Brad Richards: 1 goal
Andrew Hutchinson: 1 assist

Notes:

  •  The three game stars, in order: Ribeiro, Ott, Lehtinen
  • The game was Fabian Brunnstrom’s first game back from injury, but also his last; on the last goal, he was tripped up and left the ice noticeably limping. 
  • The team netted 4 power play goals in one game for the first time since 2006.
  • Since moving to Dallas, the Stars hadn’t gotten 10 goals in one game – until this one. They also set the record for most goals in one period since the move from Minnesota.
  • Ott and Lehtinen continued their points streaks to seven games, a career-high for both.

SHR +/-:

Matt Niskanen: two for each assist and one for good defense; +7
Mike Modano: two for each assist; +4
Krys Barch: one for getting 8 hits and one for creating some good offensive opportunities; +2
James Neal: three for each goal but minus-one for sort of stealing a goal from Brunnstrom;  +5
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal; +3
Jere Lehtinen: three for the goal and two for each assist; +7
Andrew Hutchinson: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: three for the goal, two for each assist, and one for getting 9 hits; +8
Marty Turco: two for a good game and one for an especially solid third period; +3
Darryl Sydor: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Mike Ribeiro: three for each goal, two for each assist, and one for leading with 5 takeaways; +11
Brad Richards: three for the goal and one for leading in SOG; +4
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal, two for each assist, and one for a good game back; +6

February 9, 2009

SHR +/- Catch Up

by Chelsea

1/21/09 – DAL at FLA:

Stephane Robidas: two for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley:  minus-one for being the only Star with a negative +/-: -1
Mike Modano: three for the goal; +3
Krys Barch: one for tying for the lead in hits; +1
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: two for the asisst; +2
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Marty Turco: one for a solid game; +1
Joel Lundqvist: one for tying for the lead in hits; +1
Darryl Sydor: one for leading in +/-; +1
Mike Ribeiro: three for each goal and one for leading in shots on goal; +10 
Brad Richards: one for the assist; +1 

2/05/09 – DAL at COL: 

Matt Niskanen: two for each assist and one for leading in takeaways; +5
Toby Petersen: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist; +2
Steve Ott: three for the goal and one for leading in SOG; +4 
Mike Ribeiro: minus-one for doing so poorly in faceoffs; -1
Brad Richards: minus-one for doing so poorly in faceoffs; -1

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 31, 2009

Game Review – 1/29/09 (DAL at DET)

by Chelsea

Game:

So… I was initially working on a picture to put up with the review, but it’s taking much longer than expected and now I’m behind on the review again. Sorrys.

Dallas Stars took on the Detroit Red Wings for the fourth and final time of this season. So far, the series was tipped in the Stars favor (2-1-0), with the only loss coming in a 6-1 shaming at the Joe Louis Arena.

Marty Turco, in fact, had never won a game at the Joe in the regular season. It seemed like he was a little overdue for that win.

Coming off a shut out win against the Atlanta Thrashers, the Stars seemed confident and prepared to take on the defending Cup champions.

After getting horribly outplayed during their last visit to Detroit, it was great to see the Stars keep pace with the Wings during the first ten minutes of play. Dallas broke ahead early when Kris Draper took a holding penalty at 9:57, leading to the first of a number of productive Stars power plays.

Less than thirty seconds into the man-advantage, at 10:15, Steve Ott netted his seventh goal of the season and second in two games with a skillful deflection of Brad Richards’ shot from the blue line. Mike Ribeiro, responsible for setting Richards up for the shot, got the second assist.

Less than a minute after, there was a careless collision in open ice, and this happened:

That’s Chris Chelios hi sticking Krys Barch, which resulted in this:

Despite having a mouthguard in, Barch had 8 of his teeth (three top, five bottom) shattered by the hit. Though he returned to the game after getting patched up, he still had to stay in Detroit afterwards to go to the dentist and get (according to Razor) five root canals done before rejoining the team in Columbus.

The situation is slightly reminiscent to taking drivers licenses away from the elderly; Chris Chelios apparently is not able to control his own limbs anymore, so someone should consider taking his hockey stick away. If they can do so without losing half a dozen teeth.

The double minor Chelios got put the Stars on another power play at 10:50 in the first. At 11:32, they scored again, putting the league’s worst road PP 2-for-2 against the league’s best home PK.

This one was also orchestrated by Richards, who collected a pass from Ott and patiently drew the attention of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood before sending a slick pass to Jere Lehtinen. Lehtinen, who had snuck up behind the defense deep in the slot, had an open net and didn’t hesitate to put the puck in it.

The second half of the double minor expired without incident, Osgood managing to shut down another chance by Ott to hold it at 2-0.

With both the Richards and Ribeiro lines producing, Mike Modano’s line had been comparatively quiet. RW Mark Parrish was still out with the flu, replaced by Chris Conner who, despite some speedy effort, had yet to produce.

He got his golden opportunity from Modano when an icing call sent play back to Detroit’s zone with 1:30 in the period. Modano won the faceoff and scrambled to get the puck to Conner. Conner shot it immediately, surprising Osgood and earning himself his first goal of the season.

A bit of a scrum at the end of the period resulted in Matt Niskanen and Tomas Holmstrom getting a minor penalty each, for interference and hi sticking.

The first period ended with a very surprising score of 3-0 Stars. The three goals came on only 12 shots, leading to Chris Osgood getting pulled in favor of Ty Conklin for the start of the second.

Penalty troubles continued for the Red Wings only 00:25 into the second period, with Marian Hossa called for tripping Trevor Daley. This time, it seemed like Conklin would be able to hold off the Stars where Osgood could not. However, he too was solved by Dallas as they applied continual pressure during their power play.

Having managed only two goals in January, Loui Eriksson’s frustration had become increasingly apparent over the last few games, but it was patience that produced for him in the end. Fed the puck by James Neal, Eriksson appeared prepared to fire it at Conklin, who came out to the edge of his crease to meet him. Instead of shooting, though, Eriksson pulled right past him and slipped the puck in the abandoned net. The goal, assisted by Neal and Modano, is Eriksson’s team-leading 23rd this season.


Definitely a goal worth watching.

The struggling Wings, now down 4-0 to the Stars and only 1-for-4 on the PK, didn’t manage to get themselves in the game until they drew a penalty of their own.

Conner was whistled for hooking at 3:31 in the second, giving the Wings a chance that they wouldn’t spoil. Even on an off day, they’re a team with too much talent to be held off the scoreboard for long.

Turco started the PK with a string of spectacular saves, including the rarely-seen and highly-entertaining scissor kick stop.

It was a fast shot and a sneaky tip-in that put the puck past Turco, Hossa getting enough of his stick on Brian Rafalski’s shot to get it in the net. Pavel Datsyuk got the second assist.

At 5:34, Nicklas Grossman was assessed a minor penalty for cross checking. During the stop in play, Barch and Downey did their best to drop the gloves, but were separated by the officials and handed matching roughing minors.

Detroit thought they’d cut the Stars’ lead in half at 10:42 when Dan Cleary’s shot popped up off Turco and over and appeared to go into the net. During the scramble, Darryl Sydor seemed to have both hit the puck into the net before knocking said net off its moorings. It became apparent after further review, though, what everyone thought was the puck was actually someone’s stick blade; Sydor’s slap at the puck sent it into Turco’s glove, and he was able to grab it before it crossed the line.


For some reason, Sydor got two minutes for delay of game for having taken the net with him as he stumbled forward.

The Wings did not score on their power play, and play continued 4-1 Stars.

They did manage to score eventually, though. This time it was Andreas Lilja with a slap shot at 15:11 in the second. It was assisted by Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall.

Dallas got another scare late in the third, when the Red Wings scored again on a power play (thanks to a goaltender interference call on Ott) to narrow the lead to a very reachable 4-3. However, Marty Turco was being slightly squished by Holmstrom at the time of the goal, as he’d gotten bumped by Daley and the pair fell backwards onto Turco. The goal was disallowed due to incidental goalie interference.

Turco and Holmstrom had been battling through most of the game, with the netminder delivering purposefully-placed blows to the legs whenever Holmstrom intruded into his crease. None of these were called as penalties, and when Holmstrom’s intrusions went too far and led to the called-off goal, Detroit fans were livid at the apparent double-standard. Really though, it didn’t matter if the contact had been intentional, as Turco was still unable to move through his crease or make a save.

The period ended 4-2 Stars. After the first period’s 22-shot game (12 SOG for Dallas vs 10 for Detroit), both teams’ defenses started to lock in down in the second. Detroit outshot Dallas 10-8 for the period.

Third period started.

Ten minutes in, there was some concern for Johan Franzen after he took an accidental hit to the head from James Neal. Neal, who had been coming in for a hit on Lidstrom, missed his check and got Franzen instead. Franzen didn’t appear to have been paying attention, following his teammate along the boards with his head down. He wasn’t injured by the collision, and play continued.

Ott got yet another penalty halfway shortly after as the play got more physical, jeopardizing what had been a so-far successfully defended lead. It was a pretty questionable cross checking call after Ott collided with Datsyuk and delivered a little extra bump as he stood back up.

The Red Wings had some trouble on their power play, as they missed the only three shots during those two minutes.

With two minutes left in the game, Holmstrom took a minor penalty for closing his hand on the puck, then made it a double with an unsportsmanlike conduct when he argued with the official.

Conklin retreated to the bench with roughly 1:20 to go, and the extra Detroit attacker put the game at even strength again. Neither team scored, and the game ended 4-2 Stars.

The third period was basically a contest of which team could out-Wings the other. Despite power plays for both teams, only 7 shots on goal were recorded in the impressively-performed period.

Notes:

  • The three game stars, in order: Richards, Ott, Lilja
  • Our three game stars, in order: Ott, Richards, Modano
  • Turco made 22 saves on 24 shots, good for a .917%.
  • In the last three games, Turco has let in only 3 goals on 77 shots and recorded 1 shut out. For the first time this season, his GAA is under 3.00 (2.98).
  • Over those three games, Ott has scored 2 goals and recorded 3 assists for a 5-point streak.
  • The win meant that the Stars won their last three (all in regulation) – the first time this season that they’ve gotten three wins in a row.
  • In the last five games, the Ott-Ribeiro-Lehtinen line has been on fire, recording 9 goals and 9 assists for 18 points, with a combined +/- of +10. The Stars won four of those five games.
  • Conclusion: With Ribeiro’s line finding impressive chemistry and Richards finding his place on the power play again, their display of fine offensive skill is only highlighted by Turco’s return to form. If they can keep this going, good things will happen.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for good defense; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for good defense; +1
Matt Niskanen: one for good defense; +1
Trevor Daley:
one for good defense; +1
Mike Modano: two for each assist; +4
Krys Barch: one for omgyou’rebleeding, two sympathy points, and two style points for returning to the game with the same hard-hitting fight-you attitude; +5
Toby Petersen: minus-one for spending 9 minutes doing absolutely nothing; -1
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and one for style; +4
Chris Conner: three for the goal and one for finally showing hand speed to match his feet speed; +4
Jere Lehtinen: three for the goal and one because he’s Lehtinen and we love him; +4
Andrew Hutchinson: one for good defense; +1
Steve Ott: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for leading in hits with five again; +6
Marty Turco: three for a good game and one for finally winning at the Joe; +4
Darryl Sydor: one for good defense and two for pretty much saving a goal; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist; +2
Brad Richards: two for each assist and one for PP style; +5
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for his fancy highlight moves in the short time he played with the Moose before the flu took him out for the rest of his time in Manitoba; +1