Posts tagged ‘Patrick Kane’

February 24, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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February 22, 2009

Game Review – 2/21/09 (DAL vs CHI)

by Chelsea

Season Series Sweep:

5-2

6-3

6-2

3-1

20-8 over four games. 

5-2 on average over those games.

All four in favor of the Chicago Blackhawks.

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

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

Hawks had 4 PPGs. Stars only had 1.

Hawks took 19 penalties. Stars took 21.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turco, the Lucky Kick, and the Frustrated Captain:

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

Turco’s Possible Save of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHR +/-:

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

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 1, 2008

Game Review – 10/31/08 (DAL at CHI)

by Chelsea

Game:

The short version.

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

Started out just about even with fighting for the puck.

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

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

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

First ends 2-1 Blackhawks.

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

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

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

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

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

Second intermission. Interview with Barch:

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

Barch is absolutely underrated, not to mention funny.

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

Notes:

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

SHR +/-:

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