Posts tagged ‘Pascal Leclaire’

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

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October 11, 2008

Game Review – 10/10/08 (DAL vs CBJ)

by Chelsea

Pre-Game:

Last night, we hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets for Opening Night at the AAC. A sold-out crowd of 18,000+ gathered to watch the Stars kick off their 2008-2009 season.

It started on a reminiscent note that I think we’ll be hearing all season by bringing back 3 Stars to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the move to Dallas: Neal Broten, Shane Churla, and Andy Moog. Each were introduced and came out onto the ice, eliciting cheers from the fans. Afterwards, a 15-year-old hockey player from Dallas was brought out to to a photo-op with the 3 ex-Stars. It was a nice moment.

After they’d removed the mats used for that segment, it was time to introduce our Dallas Stars. They were brought out in numerical order, minus Mike Modano and Brenden Morrow. The crowd went nuts, particularly for goaltender Marty Turco. Back-up goaltender Tobias Stephan had a minor flop-isode, but recovered nicely. After the rest had been called out, cheered for, and lined up, Modano and Morrow were introduced, to MUCH enthusiasm from the fans.

The usual “stripes and bright STARS!” stuff took place, and then it was time for hockey!


Game:

We were sitting in the lower bowl, in the corner behind the Columbus net. There was a lot of back-and-forth between the two teams, leading to seven minutes of uninterrupted hockey. That was broken up by a couple of penalties (and unproductive power plays). Finally, with only 5 minutes left in the 1st, Jakub Voracek (CBJ) ripped a shot in past Turco. The goal had to be reviewed, but the officials sided with the Blue Jackets, and we lost the first goal of the season to Columbus.

Only a moment later, Krys Barch (DAL) rewarded the newly-disappointed crowd with a long fight sided heavily in his favor. He took on Jared Boll with a special Barch-like finesse that included spinning him around, slamming him against the boards, knocking his helmet off, and delivering a number of good blows straight to the head. Both got 5 minutes for fighting, but Boll also got 2 for roughing, putting us on a power play.

Regardless, the 1st period ended 1-0 Blue Jackets.

During intermission, we were introduced to a “Finnish or Gibberish” spin-off called “Is It Swedish?”. A contestant had to figure out if the player was speaking in Swedish or gibberish. The player tonight was Fabian Brunnstrom, who (according to Google), said something along the lines of “Vill du gå med i vår Bikini team” The contestant guessed that it was Swedish, and won a nice prize. Brunnstrom went on to tell us all that he’d said, “Would you like to join our Bikini Team?”. Silly Swedes.

Then we went to get nachos. Those delicious $8 takes-two-hands nachos. Mm, foreshadowing.

So the 2nd period started. I spent the first 15 seconds trying to figure out why we spent the first period getting outshot 4 to 10. Then Morrow got a hooking penalty and I spent the next few minutes mildly annoyed at that.

However, it wasn’t long before the Stars got, and capitalized on, a wonderful opportunity. With Blue Jackets Fedor Tyutin and Mike Commodore penalized for hi-sticking and hooking, respectively, only 20 seconds from each other, we had our first 5-on-3 advantage. Mike Riberio and Stephane Robidas produced a nice play that sent the puck straight to Morrow, who popped it in past LeClaire. We all hopped up, screaming and cheering, and the man in front of me almost had nachos in his hair.

There was a flurry of penalties, including a misconduct and game misconduct on Michael Peca (CBJ) and another on Tyutin (CBJ), this time for tripping.

Only a few minutes later, Robidas set up another nice play, sending a gorgeous pass straight to James Neal, who, at 8:04 in the second period of his first career game, got his first career goal. It was a beautiful goal, perfectly deflected past the netminder.

The 2nd period ended in another burst of penalties, this time an interference on Philippe Boucher and a hooking on Joel Lundqvist.

2nd period intermission involved a bunch of guys dressed up as beer bottles running around and falling over on the ice.

3rd period started, and almost ended, as an absolute mess. In the first 7 minutes, Blue Jackets Kristian Huselius, Andrew Murray, and Derick Brassard each nabbed an EV goal. (Some credit here to Steve Ott, who wiped out himself and Robidas, making way for the Huselius goal). We’d gone from having a 2-1 lead to facing a 2-4 deficit. Somewhere in this mess, a Blue Jacket saw fit to lay on top of Modano and rough him around a bit, getting no penalty but some very angry booing from the crowds.

After Columbus gave us two more powerplays that we failed to score on, up in the stands, we were bringing back “Believe”. Ignoring the fact that, at this point we had 4 minutes to score twice, we were doing our best to ooze with blind faith for our Dallas Stars.

We were soon rewarded for our conviction, when at 16:42 in the third, Brad Richards (finally) scored a goal, getting Lundqvist an assist and Robidas his third assist of the night. With the crowd still on their feet, Trevor Daley tied the game at 17:15 with a wicked slapshot from the line that whizzed past a Morrow-screened Leclaire.

The game went into a very tense overtime. Nobody in the crowd sat down. The collective breath was held. Unfortunately, with 20 seconds left, Rick Nash slipped the puck past Turco for a disappointing Columbus win.


Notes:

  • Since it was an OT loss, the Stars still earned a point for their efforts.
  • The game stars were (in order): Pascal Leclaire (CBJ), Stephane Robidas (DAL), Rick Nash (CBJ)
  • Despite having played nearly half of the game (28 minutes), Robidas still ended the game with a +/- of 0. He also led the team in points, with 3 assists.
  • James Neal played in his first NHL game, and scored his first NHL goal. He also registered 4 hits, and Dave Tippett said he was possibly the best player out there last night.
  • Marty Turco ended the game with a Sv% of only .815, and a hefty 4.62 GAA.
  • Matt Niskanen, who led the team’s +/- last year, left the game with a sad -3. He was also to blame for the turnover that led to Rick Nash’s OT goal.
  • Conclusion: We played a sloppy game, with 22 giveaways. Our top line ended at -3. There was no consistency. Too many scoring chances were lost. Even more was lost defensively.

On Ice SHR +/- :

Stephane Robidas and Nicklas Grossman: for excellent defense as a defensive pair; +2
Stephane Robidas: two for each assist and two for having no giveaways; +8
Matt Niskanen: for bad defense and sloppy turnovers; -3
Trevor Daley: three for the goal, two for style, and minus-one for stupid defense; +4
Mike Modano: two for the assist, one for putting up with being laid on, and two for no giveaways; +5
Brenden Morrow: three for the goal, two for leading in hits, and minus-two for sloppy gameplay; +3
Krys Barch: two for the fight and two for winning it; +4
James Neal: three for the goal, two for a great debut, and two for his big hit; +7
Steve Ott: minus-two for running into Robidas instead of the other team; -2
Tobias Stephan: one out of pity after his slightly-embarrassing fall before the game; +1
Marty Turco: minus-one for every goal he allowed that we know him to be better than; -4
Joel Lundqvist: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and one for stylish passing; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for being a good sport about being a healthy scratch; +1