Posts tagged ‘Milan Lucic’

January 9, 2009

Congratulations to Our All-Stars!

by Kristine

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Mike Modano will be playing in his seventh All-Star Game at the end of the month. It’s special for him because Montreal is where he played his first ASG sixteen years ago.

The All-Star break will also be exciting for Modano’s younger counter-part James Neal, who was named to the YoungStars roster this morning. He’s in good company with the likes of Kris Versteeg, Blake Wheeler, Steven Stamkos, and Steve Mason for the rookies and Milan Lucic, Kris Letang, and Nicklas Backstrom for the sophomore team.

It’s so nice to see the league recognize two players that, to me as a Stars fan, obviously deserve the recognition. It’s especially satisfying to see Neal in the YoungStars game – it’s nice to see that the league is paying as much attention to him as we are here in Dallas. As for Modano, it’s impossible to argue that he is not deserving on all levels. Sure, you could say he’s a legacy pick, but he’s also had a great season and people are noticing that he’s playing like he’s half his age.

The Rookies vs Sophomores YoungStars Game will be Saturday, January 24 and the All-Star Game will be Sunday, January 25. The SuperSkills Competition will also be held on the 24. Set your DVRs now!

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 2, 2008

Game Review – 11/01/08 (DAL at BOS)

by Chelsea

Aka, “I hate the Bruins and would not mind seeing a meteor hit Boston”.

No, that’s harsh. Those poor Boston citizens already have to deal with having a bunch of thugs and jerks for a hockey team. No need to blow up their city, too.

In case you missed it, Boston beat us 5-1. Turco was in net and made some good stops. Once again, the other team used Fistric as a surface to deflect the puck off of into the net. There was something like 146 minutes worth of penalties called in this game. For the math-challenged, that’s roughly 2.5 times the actual amount of time in the game.

Since I’m tired of “here are all five people that scored on us” reviews, instead, I’m going to explain to you all why you should hate the Bruins too!

Reason 1:

They’re like children that tap you on one shoulder and stand by the other looking innocent, except that by tap on I mean smash violently into. Bruins players got so many cheap shots off on our players, Ott especially, and none of them were called. Really. One guy hit Ott in the face with his stick, and later took a baseball swing at the back of his head. When they finally provoked our players, they acted like we’d started it. Now, I can’t say what kind of insults Ott and Avery were throwing out, but that’s par for the course.

Reason 2:

They bribed the officials. Or drugged them with sleeping pills. Or maybe blinded them before the game. I’m not sure, but something was up with the officials managing to miss all the cheap shots in reason 1.

Reason 3:

The Bruins are actually a street gang that get paid by mugging people, and tonight they used Sean Avery as a gang initiation target. See, the new Bruinsies got to become full-fledged members by joining in on an Avery ambush. Not kidding here. At one point, Avery was curled up in a ball on the ice, getting sat on/hit in the head by Savard, while FOUR other Bruins teammates tried to join in.

Reason 4:

Apparently in Boston, it is perfectly acceptable to jump from your bench onto the ice to try and pick a fight.

Reason 5:

Their coach commends such angry-mob behavior, saying that it was good leadership on Savard’s part. Also said he felt bad for Barch, having to clean up Ott’s mess. As if Ott hadn’t had a giant target on his back all night…

Reason 6:

Milan Lucic, Mark Stuart, Shawn Thornton, Marc Savard, Shane Hnidy.

Reason 7:

Did you see Matt Niskanen get jumped during the Avery ambush? The guy’d literally never been in an NHL fight and was skating by to try and break up the pile on Avery, when he got pulled to the side and forced into a fight.

Reason 8:

Matt Niskanen and Sean Avery both got 10-minute misconducts. Really, refs?

Reason 9:

They did this to our beloved Stars. 

Reason 10:

After playing dirty, unsportsmanlike, and downright mean, they still walked away with the two points. Talk about not deserving what you’ve earned.

There wasn’t much I saw that I liked in that game, but the goal we did get was nice. Avery basically swept past someone, grabbing the puck off that guy’s stick as he went, and sunk it from a considerable distance all by himself.

Also, Richards was back. Seemed to be okay to me. Guess his lower body is in working order again.

Stars get almost a full week off before they play Anaheim and San Jose on Friday and Saturday respectively. We’ll see what happens between now and then.