Posts tagged ‘Philippe Boucher’

January 17, 2009

SHR +/- Midseason Report

by Kristine

Now that the half-way mark of the season (the Monday game vs Detroit) has passed, and the SHR +/- has been updated to it, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at some trends and numbers.

Let’s start by looking at where everyone is at the 41 game mark.

Skater +/- Skater +/- Skater +/-
Grossman +37 Eriksson +98 Parrish +27
Robidas +76 Wilson +25 Lundqvist +16
Niskanen +42 Wandell +6 Boucher +31
Daley +52 Conner +14 Janik +8
Modano +76 Lehtinen +21 Crombeen +26
Morrow +57 Hutchinson +6 Sydor +7
Barch +52 Fistric 0 Zubov +18
Avery -42 Ott +49 Ribeiro +94
Petersen +24 Stephan +23 Richards +67
Neal +85 Janik +8 Brunnstrom +53
Sutherby +3 Turco +46

Obviously, some players have been way outshining others. Some big names – Mike Ribeiro, Stephane Robidas, Mike Modano, and Brad Richards – sit at or near the top, like you would expect. The top also holds a few surprises, with Loui Eriksson holding down the top spot and James Neal breaking into the top 5 early and staying there.

While the top ten or so spots in our plus/minus seem to be pretty accurate, the bottom is a little bit harder to judge. It’s kind of cluttered by people who were call-ups or are no longer Stars, like Tom Wandell or BJ Crombeen. It also doesn’t take into account injured players like Jere Lehtinen, Sergei Zubov, and Joel Lunqvist. If you take away those people, and only count players who are currently playing or have played more than ten games with us, the picture becomes a bit more clear. Darryl Sydor has only earned 7 points with us, Doug Janik is at + 8, and Andrew Hutchinson is +6. Toby Peteresen, at +24, has the lowest +/- to games played ratio. These numbers are fairly on par with our actual feelings about the players.

If you divide number of games with a negative +/- update by total games with updates (since not every player earns or loses points in every game), three players come out with 0%: Brenden Morrow, Fabian Brunnstrom, and Crombeen. Morrow and Brunnstrom each had 17 updates, and Crombeen had 10, and none of them earned negative marks in any of them. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Eriksson comes out on top after that, with only 1 of 26 updates in the negative (a -1 on Dec 12 for “struggling offensively and defensively), for 3.8%. The other players to wind up with less than 10% of their updates as negatives are Krys Barch (5%), Robidas (7%), Neal (8%), and Landon Wilson (10%). On the other end of the spectrum, and again no surprise, 56% of Sean Avery’s updates were negative. After him is Marty Turco, with 28% of his 32 updates being negatives. The only other players to end up with 25% or more of their updates being in the negative are Nicklas Grossman (25%) and Sydor (27%).

Loui Eriksson had a hot streak from October 22 to December 2, earning at least one point in sixteen straight games. The only person to come close to that is Ribeiro, with positive points in twelve games from October 18 to November 15. Eriksson has earned more than five points in seven of his 26 updates, and joins Neal, Mark Parrish, Richards, and Brunnstrom as the only players to earn more than 10 points in one game, with each of them earning 11 points once.

However, the record for most points earned in one game goes to Mike Ribeiro, who earned 15 points October 23 against the Islanders. It’s worth noting that while most of the players with 11 points earned them via hat tricks, Ribbons earned his 15 via one goal, a few assists, style, and being awesome with Morrow. The record for most points taken away in one game goes to Avery, who lost 50 points on December 2. Actually, he technically lost them last night, when we decided that his current -12 did not match up with our feelings about him. He had previously and initially lost 20 for the comment and the following stupidity, and yesterday we assigned him -15 for treating the Stars badly before the comment and -15 for ruining the Stars while he was here. Both are retroactive to the day of the comment, making him -50 for that day. Hey, it’s our plus/minus – we can adjust as we see fit. 😉 Aside from that debacle, the most points we’ve taken away in one game was 6, also from – shocking! – Sean Avery. If you pretend he was never a Star, which we like to do anyway, the most we’ve ever taken away in one game was four. That has happened to multiple players, multiple times. Obviously we’re much more generous for people who do good things than we are anxious to take points away from people.

It’s interesting to note that nobody has hit 100 points yet, although Eriksson is only two points away and Ribeiro is only four away. It’s also worth noting that Morrow hit 52 points in only 15 games. Had he continued at that rate, he would have hit 100 points ten games ago.

Let’s take a look at averages. Once again, we have Louibot at the top with an average of +4 points per game. Under him, averaging +3, are a ton of people. In no particular order: Neal, Parrish, Morrow, Crombeen, Modano, Brunnstrom, Philippe Boucher, Steve Ott, Tobias Stephan, Ribeiro, Lundqvist, and Wilson. The only person with a negative average is Avery with -2. Another real shocker in that one, hmm? Mark Fistric averaged evenly in his short time here, and Turco, Petersen, Matt Niskanen, Janik, Grossman, Hutch, and Brian Sutherby all averaged +1. The rest of the players averaged a middle-of-the-road but still good +2.

If you divide a player’s total number of games with SHR +/- updates by the number of games he’s played as a Star in the first half of the season, you can see who we consider a difference-maker and who is mostly invisible to us. At the top of that chart is Tobias Stephan, who has earned points in eight games despite only actually playing in seven. 😛 More accurate are the numbers for Mike Ribeiro, who has registered an update in 35 of 41 games, or 85%. Turco also makes a difference – although often a negative one – with points assigned to or taken away from him in 84% of his 32 games played. Morrow, when he was around, got positive numbers in 83% of the games he played in (and 0% negatives, as we mentioned before). Also registering highly was Zubov, who received an update in 8 of the 10 games he played in this season. At the bottom we have the people who don’t make much of a difference either way. The worst is Hutchinson, who has shown up in the plus/minus only five times in the 17 games he’s played in as a Star, which comes out to 29%. Barely above him is Parrish with an update in only 30% of the games he’s played with us. Brian Sutherby has only made waves three times in his 10 games, but we’ll cut him some slack and say he’s still getting comfortable here.

Finally, let’s narrow our view to the L10 games played. That takes us back to December 20. I think it can be agreed that the Stars showed vast improvement in the 2nd quarter, so how do things shape up in the plus/minus when you look only at the most recent games? A few players have really bought their A-game, notably Niskanen, Neal, and Otter. All three of them have registered positive updates in at least five games and a negative update only once each. On the other side of things, Robidas has received his only two negative updates in the L10 for a string of games in which he played frustrated and took unnecessary penalties. In the meantime, Hutchinson has updates in only three of the L10, despite playing in all of them, and two of Sydor’s five updates were negatives. Mike Modano has also had a rough, slightly quieter L10, earning negative updates in three games, nothing in four games, and positive updates in three games. On the whole, however, the number show that the team continues to step up and improve.

Overall, it’s pretty obvious that it’s King Loui tearing up the SHR +/- charts this season. If he continues to have a breakout season, his final report for the 08-09 season will look pretty damn good. Same goes for Ribeiro, Neal, Modano, and Lehtinen. It’s also interesting to note that while our top five all register at least 75 points, and the bottom five only register 10 or fewer points, the overall average is only 35 points. There’s actually a 71-point difference between Eriksson’s team-leading 98 points and Parrish, who is the team median with 27 points. I can appreciate that we have some people stepping it up in a big way, but I’d like to see more support from the rest of the roster in the second half of the season. We’re a few games into it as I post this and it’s looking like we might see some more shake-ups as the season continues. Good luck on the second half, Stars!

The SHR +/- page is updated after every game and includes a full roster, as well as the current top and bottom five players. Check it out by clicking here, or find it in the header links any time.

November 18, 2008

St Louis Blues Claim BJ Crombeen

by Kristine

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, but the St. Louis Blues have claimed BJ Crombeen off waivers. They must now keep him on their active roster; if they put him back on waivers, the Stars Brass will be able to reclaim him if they want to. In the meantime, James Neal is expected to be called back up from the Moose and will probably be at practice in Frisco tomorrow.

Also, apparently poor Lehtinen has a “new” issue and is being evaluated. Officially he’s still a possibility for Thursday, but I’m going to put my money on him not playing.

Lastly, the Stars unveiled their third jersey today, which Puck Daddy immediately – and correctly – labeled boring. The design is a white version of the black home jersey, with green and gold stripes, letters, and numbers. Could our jersey designers be any lazier? They will be debuting them at our next two home games. So will every player for both teams will be wearing white on Thursday and Saturday?

My whole Stars world is being turned upside down this week! Boucher gone, Sydor back, Crombeen gone, Neal back, Lehts possibly injured again. What next?

UPDATE: The Stars have officially announced that Crombeen has been claimed and Neal has been recalled.

Also thanks to Amy and Jen for pointing out that the other team will wear their home darks. I hadn’t thought of that because, well, it’s moronic that they have to. Sorry Stars Brass. Not a big fan of the home/away mashup you dialed in.

November 16, 2008

It’s Official: Darryl Sydor Returns

by Chelsea

The Dallas Stars announced this morning that Darryl Sydor would be returning to Dallas, at the cost of Philippe Boucher to Pittsburgh. 

The release is here, with lots of quotes from Sydor but nothing from Boucher. 

“Boucher has been a good player and a great guy for us,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “I think the change is going to do him well. We feel that Sydor brings that calming factor back there that we had with (Mattias) Norstrom. He’s a smart player.”

Added Brett Hull, “Both guys needed a change, and I think it works for both teams. We hope Syd comes in and does what he does best, which is lead by example on and off the ice. He stabilizes our room. He has some solid relationships starting with Mike (Modano) and (Sergei) Zubov and throughout our organization. You hate to lose a guy like Bouch, but it’s the nature of the beast with how we were going.”

The Penguins also broke the news today, with this small piece.  Penguins fans seem pretty excited to be rid of Sydor, who’d been nothing but a bench buddy for their team, in exchange for some much-needed power play help.

Tracey Myers has this on her blog, a quote from Boucher.

 “I’ve been around here for a while, and you hope you can retire here, but things like that aren’t always realistic,” Boucher said. “When the team’s not doing well, you have to do certain things. My family’s handling it pretty well. Hockey-wise, it’s a great opportunity for me. That’s how I have to see it. I can’t look back for too long. But when I do, I will be very grateful for the time I’ve had here.”

 

As much as I understand the need for a little shakeup, it is sad to see it come at the expensive of someone as classy as Philippe Boucher. It was Boo who signed all the pink helmets to raise money for cancer during games, after losing his father to the disease. Boo who nearly lost both his eyes for us. Boo who wanted to retire here. Boo who now has to uproot his family. I really feel that he sees this not as much as an opportunity for him, but also as another something he’s willing to sacrifice for this team. 

Best of luck to Boucher with the Penguins.

A couple questions arise, though. What number will Sydor be wearing? Will Niskanen give up the 5? Now that we have 7 apparently-solid defensemen (Grossman, Robidas, Niskanen, Daley, Janik, Zubov, Sydor), who gets scratched? Does Sydor return to being paired with Zubov? And will he get a hat trick in Thursday’s game?

November 16, 2008

Quickly: Boucher for Sydor?

by Kristine

It’s being reported by RDS (who is supposedly a very reputable source similar to TSN) that tonight’s healthy scratch Philippe Boucher has been traded for current Penguin and former Star Darryl Sydor. Apparently the Pens need Boo for their PP, and we need Sydor because Boo hasn’t been stellar this season? Hard to say at this point. Neither the Stars nor the Penguins are announcing anything officially, but Sydor has been asking to be traded for a while now. The two defensemen have nearly identical contracts, and each team has valid reasons for wanting the trade. As of right now it’s just a [very large] rumor, but we’ll see where things are in the morning.

Original RDS article (in French; Google can help you translate). If you don’t feel like taking that extra step to translate, TSN has now broken the story, with RDS as its main source.

November 14, 2008

Game Review – 11/13/08 (DAL vs LAK)

by Chelsea

Game:

Remember earlier in the season, when we went and lost that away game to Nashville, and then came home and whooped them with a Bunny hat trick?

This game was supposed to be like that, except with more fire because of what happened with Ribeiro at the end of the last game. Oh, and this time Brunnstrom was scratched for a guy who played 2 shifts.

Speaking of that guy, anyone catch the pregame interview with Ribeiro and Crombeen? Someone got his tooth fixed!

Being a home game, us SHR girls were actually there. First period started out with me wondering why the crowd was more enthusiastic than the players. Maybe it was the fact that the officials were whistle-happy against the Stars, cutting off any momentum they might have built.

Philippe Boucher got the first, whistled at 6:10 for hooking Alexander Frolov. I didn’t actually see the hooking, but knowing our defensemen, I don’t really doubt it happened.

The Kings were limited to three SOG during that power play, before Krys Barch began his short-lived attempt to pummel them all. He checked them, they checked him, they chirped, they argued in faceoffs, they tried to fight but were separated by the officials…

Sean Avery apparently missed the attention so he stole the puck and tried to put it in the net. He was cut short by LA netminder Erik Ersberg (who I personally think looks awful feminine for a goalie). Ersberg then stuck his leg out as Avery went across the crease. Avery tripped up but did not fall. Ersberg… did fall. I found it a little suspicious. He stuck his leg out, tripped Avery, and HE fell?

Anyway, Avery got a tripping penalty at 9:49 that gave me a dirty taste in my mouth. That taste worsened when they hadn’t even finished announcing the power play when the power play ended because the Kings scored with a shot from the point. We entered a 1-0 hole at 9:53 thanks to Michal Handzus, with help from Peter Harrold.

I guess Ribeiro was the only one who was feeling the same fire from Tuesday, because he was one of the few people exchanging hits with the Kings. Ott took some hits, and Morrow tried to land some, but the momentum was pretty much shot already.

In another “kick us when we’re down” moment this season, the sluggish Stars were scored on again. This time it was Jarret Stoll at 13:11, with assists from Frolov and Sean O’Donnell. Again, it came off the point, with LA following up on Turco’s loose rebound.

Someone let out Toby Petersen, who got another “Top 10 Easiest Shots to Stop” SOG when he tried an unsuccessful wraparound instead of passing to a centered BJ Crombeen. Barch continued his campaign for vengeance by getting a lot of pushing and griping and almost-fighting in, but the officials were determined to keep the game fight-free.

Barch, not so easily distracted from his goal, responded by absolutely clobbering a King along the boards, which provoked yet another near-scrum with the entire LA team. Crombeen hopped in to try and help out, but the officials pulled everyone apart. (The NHL play-by-play says that he hit Gauthier, but charged Ivanans, but I’m pretty sure the number on the jersey was 42, which would make it Preissing) Because Barch did leave his feet before smashing into whoever it was, he got a penalty for charging, and Tippett didn’t give him another shift for the rest of the game.

Turco made a couple solid saves, and that penalty was killed.

Then, Kyle Quincey got two for interference on Loui Eriksson, finally giving the Stars a power play at 17:45 in the first. About a minute into that, Mike Modano checked a King, provoking Gauthier to get the Kings another interference, this time on Modano. This gave the Stars thirty seconds of 5-on-3.

With a mere :22 left in the first, Brad Richards set a trend that would not be shaken over the course of the game. Sergei Zubov faked a shot, instead sending the puck to Richards. Richards smacked it from the point right past Ersberg. Brenden Morrow got the second assist.

Snacks happened in the first intermission.

Second period started 2-1 Kings.

It started like this: Mark Parrish hits someone, Dustin Brown shoots the puck at Turco, and Stephane Robidas gets a hooking penalty. Makes the Stars sound more like clumsy thugs than, y’know, a team that can actually keep possession of the puck.

I think Robidas felt pretty awful about that penalty, and rightfully so. At 3:24, halfway through their power play, the Kings scored again. It was sad. Turco made at least 4 sprawling saves to deny the Kings, who just learned from their early goals and sent the puck to the point, where Quincey shot it in for an easy point. Oscar Moller and Frolov got the assists.

Momentum for the Stars really picked up here. Jere Lehtinen and Sergei Zubov both got shots off, Ribeiro continued to check people, and then a minute later, Ribeiro tripped someone. Less than ten seconds later, Toby Petersen hi-sticked someone.

Yeah. 5-on-3 in favor of the Kings, for nearly an entire two minutes. Would you believe it if I told you they barely got a shot off on Turco?

With that effectively killed… Stephane Robidas took another penalty, this time for tripping. Oh, but wait. Our PK looked so good, we were actually going “Oh no, only 20 more seconds to get a SH goal!”. Trevor Daley and Loui Eriksson had PP-like hustle in front of the Kings net in what was actually a Kings PP.

This chunk of play looked good. The Kings looked a little frustrated and picked up their hitting, while the Stars got some good shots off on goal and drew a slashing penalty on Stoll.

Because he’s a spiteful little punk, Ribeiro came out fully intending to park it in the net and score in this power play. Boucher sent it to Richards, who shot it, and Ribeiro tipped it in. Another PP goal for the Stars, putting the game within reach at 3-2.

O’Donnell gave us a chance to tie it by cross checking Steve Ott, but we never score on crunch-time power plays. Robidas did get a powerful shot off, but it was blocked.

Second period ended 3-2 Kings. Exactly at the disadvantage we found ourselves at coming into the period, hm.

Third period.

Avery slashes someone, he retaliates, double slashing. Not as funny as double tripping, but still.

Ribeiro continued to be one of the only people putting in 100%, shooting, catching his own rebound, shooting again, again going for his own rebound, and almost scoring like 3 times. Almost.

Both teams spend ten minutes getting good shots and hits off on each other. Goalies work hard to hold it at 3-2.

Somewhere in here, Parrish took a 2-minute slashing, the penalty was killed, he got a good shot off, and Grossman laid down on a Kings player behind the net and took a short break. Seriously.

Despite the fact that the Kings were pairing their worst line with our best, the Stars did not manage to tie it up, and the third ended just like the first and second; the Stars down by one.

Notes:

  • Tippett preaches that the team needs to build trust, and yet will not leave the lines alone.
  • Brunnstrom was scratched for Crombeen, who only got 2 shifts in the entire game.
  • Niskanen also had limited shifts, spending the entire third on the bench.
  • Toby Petersen was on the PP. Nevermind that he literally has never scored a goal as a Star. Not even in the 16 playoff games he played in last spring.
  • Conclusion: Not sure where Tipp’s head is. We think he’s got some master plan that involves confusing the other team so much that they just stand around and watch us score. Even then, does he really think Petersen will find the back of the net?
  • Suggestion: Stu Barnes for head coach!

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for using a King as a couch; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for leading in blocked shots with four, one for solid defense, and minus-two for the careless penalties; +0
Matt Niskanen: one pity point for being so Nisky-like; +1
Trevor Daley: one for getting a SH SOG; +1
Mike Modano: one for leading in takeaways and minus-one for tanking in faceoffs; +0
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist; +2
Krys Barch: two for having a fire nobody else did but minus-one for using it stupidly; +1
Sean Avery: arrrgggg; -1
Toby Petersen: aaarrrrrgggggggg; -2
James Neal: two for scoring shorthanded with the Moose tonight in their 2-1 win over the Marlies and two for being on a four-game point streak; +4
Loui Eriksson: one for being surprisingly good on the PP; +1
Mark Fistric: two for being +6 in four games with the Moose; +2
Marty Turco: two for some really good saves; +2
Philippe Boucher: two for the assist; +2
Sergei Zubov: two for the assist; +2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, one for leading in hits, and one for being one of the only people who looked like they were trying; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Fabian Brunnstrom: one pity point for getting scratched; +1

November 13, 2008

Game Review – 11/11/08 (DAL at LAK)

by Chelsea

Shameless Promotion:

Game:

Puck dropped at 9:30 PM CT. It was very weird, getting started that late.

First period was pretty boring.

Parrish found himself in the penalty box at 6:23 when the Stars got called for having too many men on the ice. At a crucial point when he should have been killing off the penalty, Mike Modano got a little clumsy and tripped a King. This gave the Kings almost a full 2 minutes of 5-on-3.

Oy. It didn’t take them 2 minutes. It took them about 10 seconds instead. At 6:50, Jared Stoll beat Turco with a slap shot that ended 1/2 of the PP. Luckily, Turco held them at 1-0 through the otherwise-successful PK.

It took about 10 minutes of them skating circles around us for Stars fans to be reminded of why exactly we so missed our veteran players. At 14:17, Jere Lehtinen managed to be in the perfect place at the right time for probably the fiftieth time in the game already. This time, it converted to points, and Lehts tied it up with help from Brad Richards and Steve Ott.

Call it home ice advantage, but that goal served to motivate the Kings more than the Stars, and they broke the tie only two minutes later when LA captain Dustin Brown scored. Anze Kopitar got the assist.

The rest of the second was a lot of “Ooh, Stars :(” and then it ended.

The second period, the Stars brought a little more fire. We were again reminded the value of our vets, with Lehtinen and Zubov cleaning up several mistakes by the rookie defense.

Zubie also pitched in at 9:46, playing monkey-in-the-middle with Mike Modano (Kings as monkeys) and the puck. It paid off, obviously confusing some part of the LA defense, and Mo was able to sneak one off past their goalie to tie it up again. Loui Eriksson got the second assist.

Sometime in the second as well, Brown did the second most annoying thing in the game, which was checking Stephane Robidas into the Kings bench. Haha, Brown, but not cool. I hope you get checked into the stands during Thursday’s game.

Second period ended 2-2.

Third looked better. More hustle on both ends. Turco did not turn the puck over with 30 seconds to go. The veterans continued to shake off what little rust they’d gathered.

Then Brown did the single most annoying thing he’d do ever, which is attempt to bash in the skull of Mike Ribeiro. Ribs fired a shot, Brown decided that he was just vulnerable enough in doing so that he could knock him horribly off balance so he rammed him but Ribs had turned and ended up with an awful gash above his left eye.

I wanted to puke when they showed Ribeiro removing his helmet and the inside was filled with blood. I don’t care if he has been a stupid, immature “diver” in the past, but you can’t deny that he was bleeding all over the ice. It may have been a clean hit, but it was a careless one.

Rightfully so, Morrow skated over and pummeled Brown with a look on his face that said, “Why is my Ribbons bleeding and how hard do I have to punch you to produce the same effect?” Brown tried to get a few hits in, but seemed a bit stunned.

So, this all happened in the final 2 minutes, and both Morrow and Brown were assessed penalties to match. Brown got 5 for boarding, 5 for fighting, and a game misconduct. Morrow got 2 for instigating, 5 for fighting, and a game misconduct. Rules state that instigating during the end of a game like that will get you a 1-game suspension and your coach a $10,000 fine, but the NHL appealed it in consideration of the spirit in which the altercation took place. So, alright.

Started OT on a PP. No goal.

Went into shootout.

After two rounds, it was 1-2 Kings and 0-2 Stars, and who would be left to take the deciding shot but… Ribeiro! In a lovely, spiteful move that he learned from healthy scratch BJ Crombeen, Ribeiro kept the Stars in the game by scoring (and then shushing the taunting LA bench).

Unfortunately, another King scored but Eriksson and Modano could not, so the Kings walked off with 2 points. Ouch.

Notes:

  • Three stars of the game, in order: Kingsguy, Modano, Kingsguy
  • Turco let in only 2 goals for the third game in a row.
  • This was the first game of the season for Jere Lehtinen, who has been struggling with a lower body injury.
  • Toby Petersen finally did something helpful, winning 3 out of 4 faceoffs. I guess being on a line with Sean Avery has its advantages.
  • Speaking of lines, we at SHR love how Tippett keeps them the same during practice, only to start switching things up 10 minutes into the game.
  • The Stars were outshot 21-26 and outhit 36-30.
  • Loui Eriksson led the team in shots, with 4. Sometimes I wonder if the other players shouldn’t be following Loui’s example more; he pushes hard to the net, and has a determination similar to captain Brenden Morrow.
  • Stephane Robidas led in hits, with 6.
  • Sergei Zubov led in ice time, with an impressive 25 minutes.
  • Conclusion: Very hard to write a review for the game that solidified our spot at the body of the Pacific division. On the positive side, the Stars are (again) looking more like the team we saw in the playoffs. On the negative side again, how many games do we stop saying that they’re looking more like the team we saw in the playoffs and start asking if we just aren’t that team anymore? On the positive side again, Turco made it through an entire game without mishandling the puck, which is a good sign.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for a solid game; +1
Stephane Robidas: two for all the hits and one for looking like a totally unfazed prairie dog after being knocked into the LA bench; +3
Matt Niskanen: two for looking considerably less timid, minus-one for still having some major goof-ups, and minus-one for being unable to play competently unless Zubov is out there; +0
Trevor Daley: one for a solid game and one for lots of fun sliding blocked shots; +2
Mike Modano: three for the goal, minus-one for yet another stupid penalty, and minus-one for being so inconsistent lately; +1
Brenden Morrow: two for the fight, one for winning it, and one for being an excellent captain; +4
Krys Barch: an unfortunately necessary minus-one for being the only person on the team to end the game in the negative for +/-; -1
Toby Petersen: one for rocking faceoffs, minus-one for STILL not knowing how to share the puck; +0
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and one for leading in shots; +3
Jere Lehtinen: three for the goal, one for being rustless, one for cleaning up defensively, and one for style; +6
Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Marty Turco: two for a good game but minus-one for a less than stellar shootout; +1
Philippe Boucher: two for hitting lots of people and blocking lots of shots; +2
BJ Crombeen: two for coming up with the shootout move that Ribeiro used and one for offering it to him; +3
Sergei Zubov: two for the assist and one for solid defense; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for the shootout goal, one pity/panic point for the injury and consequent stitches, and one for style; +4
Brad Richards: two for the assist; +2

November 8, 2008

Game Review – 11/07/08 (DAL at ANA)

by Chelsea

Pregame:

After throwing a total, huge, gigantic fit at the fact FSN-SW has casually decided not to air our Stars/Sharks game tomorrow (they’re showing college football instead… thanks), I settled down for some good ol’ rival-vs-rival hockey.

The game had a lot of special notes to it. Sergei Zubov was activated off IR and played for the first time in regular season since January. Mark Parrish, taken from free agency for a $500,000 1-year contract, had his first game with the Stars tonight. It was the first time meeting the Ducks since we ended their season during the playoffs. It was the first time the Stars played any of their division rivals this season.

Also, this is the first review in which I will be utilizing fancy tools such as print screen and copy/paste to bring you pictures! Blame whoever broadcasts for the poor picture quality, though.

So, alright. Puck dropped at 9:00 PM CT.

Game:

First period. Our starting line was Morrow-Ribeiro-Brunnstrom, who did well but would come to be overshadowed by our second line. Our starting defense pair was Robidas-Grossman again, who I think did a nice job despite being robbed of ice time by sneaky Russian Zubov.

The ice was on fire from the get-go, with Ducks trying to trample (unsuccessfully) the Stars, and the Stars skating with a caliber that we’ve come to miss lately. Brad Richards was the first to register a shot on goal, unfortunately stopped by Giguere. Then the Ducks pulled together a feathery charge at Turco, which brought the moment I knew that it was actually, finally Turco behind the mask.

Turco used his magnificent tumbling abilities to stop back-to-back attempts at scoring, showing a bit of the determination he’d been lacking so far this season. Yeah, Turks!

After that, something clicked in the Stars, who gained possession and gathered a couple of shots on goal and handful of good hits. Then, at 7:07, all that hard work paid off.

Mike Ribeiro, who many have accused of not being able to handle the new coverage that other teams are putting on him, used that very issue nicely to his advantage. Coming around behind Giguere’s net, he managed to draw the attention of the three Ducks and their goalie in front of the net. Two of those Ducks actually shouldered Brunnstrom out of their way in trying to cover Ribeiro. This, naturally, left Brunnstrom with a wide-open net.

Instead of trying to stuff the puck past Giguere, Ribeiro slipped it through a maze of legs to Brunnstrom. Brunnstrom, being right where he needed to be, backhanded it into the net before the Ducks could really react. 1-0 Stars! Morrow got the second assist.

Like most of their other wins this season, once ahead, the Stars would not be shaken from their lead. The Ducks frustration became apparent here (understandably, as they were behind already and had hoped for easy revenge. Oh, but if only they’d known…) and they began hitting more. Frankly, this was stupid of them, because it only took two minutes after Brunnstrom’s goal for Anaheim’s Travis Moen to get a minor penalty for elbowing.

Now, at this point, the Stars were 0-12 in their last 12 power plays. I know I had fully expected Zubov to bring his magic to the PP, but it wasn’t his presence that was felt the strongest.

At 10:44, Mark Parrish notched his first goal as a Star with his first shot on goal as a Star in his first power play as a Star in his first game as a Star.

Basically, Sean Avery pulled a Ribeiro and camped out behind the net with the puck looking for an opportunity. Parrish pulled a Morrow and camped out in front of the net waiting for said opportunity. Avery passed to Parrish, and Parrish did a successful one-timer that I have yet to actually see despite watching several replays. The puck was an unstoppable blur that put us up 2-0. Philippe Boucher got the second assist.

The next seven minutes were full of players hitting each other and players getting shots off on Turco and Turco stopping all of those shots. Also, apparently Sean Avery was sitting on the bench chirping at Chris Kunitz.  Also apparently, Chris Kunitz is easily provoked, but more on that later.

At 17:28, Anaheim’s Brendan Morrison (whose name sounds annoyingly like Brenden Morrow) cut the Stars lead in half with his first goal of the season. This goal was not a pretty one. Turco thought he had it, the Stars thought he had it, but the official and the Ducks persisted and managed to find it and put it in the net.


Way to be lookin’ all confused, Barch.  The assists went to Ryan Carter (#20) and Teemu Selanne.

With the game now 2-1, the Ducks began to build momentum to try and tie it up. Turco was forced to make more good saves, though wasn’t exactly covering his rebound, which led to having to make more good saves.

Remember that grump, Chris Kunitz? He decided to take his aggression on Avery out in the last minute of the first with a big, questionable hit that sent Avery into the boards. While Avery was trying to get the rink to stop spinning so he could stand up, Trevor Daley stormed in from nowhere and tried to beat the daylights out of Kunitz. The officials intervened, Daley gave Kunitz the dirtiest look I’ve seen this season, and Avery managed to skate himself off the ice. Daley and Kunitz each got 2 minutes for roughing, and Kunitz got a boarding penalty for the hit.

The first ended on PP for the Stars.

The first intermission was supposed to have Mark Parrish, but there were technical difficulties, so we got to watch a thing about the golf classic event. Funny clip in there with Ribeiro putting, not liking his putt, grabbing the golf ball, and sneaking a do-over.

The second period started with the Stars getting over a minute in PP time. Combining the end of the first and the Ducks having to kill a penalty with an intermission, and Duck momentum had been entirely squashed. Just to make sure it was wouldn’t be getting back up, Parrish went ahead and scored again.

Avery, not hindered by the brain-rearranging hit from earlier, was back on the ice with Parrish for the PP. When Brad Richards sent the puck from the point to Ribeiro, who seems to have directed it to Avery in front of the net, Parrish showed up and joined Avery in making a go for the puck.


It was so close, they originally gave the point to Avery. They wouldn’t correct the error until after Parrish scored again, so he didn’t really get to celebrate, but it would eventually become his point. Ribeiro and Richards got assists. The lead grew to 3-1. I think they scored with something like, five seconds left on the power play, putting us at 2-for-2 there.

Now, I’m not entirely sure what provoked it, but we got to see a rare glimpse at veteran Boucher drop the gloves and go at it with Anaheim’s Brian Sutherby behind the Stars net. Now, I love Boo, but his fighting inexperience showed. Sutherby got the majority of the punches in, and Boucher tried unsuccessfully to pull his jersey over his head. The fight did serve to build some Stars energy, however.

Now, for perhaps the funniest goal the Stars have gotten this season (Morrow on his side for second place), Scott Niedermayer tripped and fell on his butt.

To be more specific, at 5:46 Niedermayer got the puck in center ice and begun skating with it backwards into his defensive zone. At 5:47, he tripped over the blue line.


At 5:49,  Parrish swoops in like a caffeinated child and runs off, giggling, with the puck.

At 5:52, he puts it in the net, earning his sixth career hat trick. You can’t really tell by the picture, but it was a wicked shot that bounced from pipe to pipe and settled in the net behind Giguere. The goal was unassisted. Giguere responded by taking a sip from his stupid-straw, getting pulled so his backup could try to clean up his mess, and throwing a small tantrum.


Enter Jonas Hiller. He faced a 4-1 hole with a team that was growing more and more frustrated. And it was only the second period!

Mark Parrish continued celebrating being the second player this year to get a hat trick in his Dallas debut.

Stephane Robidas did something barely noticeable and got two minutes for interference. No luck for the Ducks power play, as Turco made some fabulous saves to keep their lead safe. Brenden Morrow drew a roughing call on Samuel Pahlsson, but this time the power play did not produce.

It was sometime after that that Chris Pronger got on the wrong side of Steve Ott. Everyone knows Ott is a scrappy, fighting type, and he didn’t hesitate to go after Pronger when Pronger put him into the boards and mouthed off a little.

Apparently, nobody told Otter to pick on people his own size.


Pronger managed to get a good hold on the front of Ott’s jersey, but I doubt he was expecting the staggering right hit Ott delivered to his face. The officials got in between them before any more damage could be done, and Pronger attempted (but failed) to spontaneously combust in the penalty box. Both got two minutes for roughing.

Before the period ended, Corey Perry led a 2-on-1 charge into the Stars defensive zone, with only Sean Avery and Marty Turco between him and a goal. Turco met him to stop the shot, and when the rebound got loose, stopped him again by diving out in front of him. Perry went flying and got his revenge by sitting on puck-covering Turco. Avery sat on Perry, and Grossman played goalie. Then Turco sat up, smacked Perry around a little, and the game moved on.

Second period ended.

Second intermission supposedly had Mike Modano. I missed it because I was making popcorn. Oops.

Third period. Started out with a sip of stupid from Giguere’s stupid-straw when Dallas took a penalty for having too many men on the ice only 44 seconds in. Modano heard from Parrish how much fun the box had been, so he went ‘oh, me too!’ and hi-sticked someone. Not to be outdone, Perry interfered with Brad Richards and took 2 minutes for that. Despite these three penalties, nobody scored.

I know I’ve been hard on Richards in the past, but the only thing I have to say about what he did next is, “Richards, hun, we already had a 4-2 lead. You didn’t have to go and HURT yourself.” But alright. Ott got a shot off that five-holed past Hiller, but didn’t seem to be going fast enough to still make it across the goal line unhindered. So, at 9:01 in the third, Richards sprawled across the ice to tip the puck in for a sure goal. Trevor Daley got the second assist.

I fully appreciate what Richards did, but to be fair, it seems to me like the puck was about to cross the line when he jumped in. (Highlighted Richards stick in gold, to illustrate) So, he did rob Ott of his goal, but Ott got the assist and the puck went in, so does it matter?

After that, the Ducks started mowing over anyone they saw, so Mo retreated to the penalty box (delay of game – puck over glass) and Scott Niedermayer made up a little bit for his slip-up by scoring the last goal of the game.

Eriksson tried to right that wrong by charging alone into the Ducks defensive zone multiple times, but nothing came of it. Perry cross-checked Robidas and got called on it, but our power play did not produce. We ended the game on PK, when Grossman got called for holding, but the Ducks wouldn’t manage to tie it. (or even come close, really). The game ended in a glorious 5-2 win for the Stars.

Notes:

  • Three stars of the game, in order: Mark Parrish, Brad Richards, Chris Kunitz
  • The loss was first for the Ducks since their Oct 19 loss to Carolina
  • Turco ended the game with a much-improved .913 sv%
  • The win elevated Turco’s sv% from .837 to .848 and his GAA from 4.34 to 4.11
  • The power play was 2-5 for the game. The PK was 4-5.
  • The Stars were outshot 26-30. Both Ducks goalies faced 13 shots; Giguere let in 4, Hiller let in 1.
  • Zubov led in TOI with 21:09.
  • Only the Barch-Petersen-Crombeen line finished -1. The rest of the Stars finished +1.
  • Brad Richards led in SOG, with 7.
  • Mark Parrish fired 4 shots. 3 of them went in.

SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: one for being forceful and defensive; +1
Stephane Robidas: one for delivering another solid defensive game; +1
Trevor Daley: two for his assist and one for backing up Avery; +3
Mike Modano: minus-one for the stupid penalties that gave the Ducks their second goal; -1
Brenden Morrow: two for the assist and one for containing himself and not getting a single penalty; +3
Sean Avery: two for the assist, one for also containing himself, and one for provoking Kunitz; +4
Toby Petersen: minus-two for still not learning how to share the puck; -2
Loui Eriksson: two for lots and lots of effort; +2
Steve Ott: two for the assist and one for taking on Pronger; +3
Marty Turco: three for resembling himself again and delivering a solid win; +3
Mark Parrish: three for each goal, one for being funny on the bench, and one for starting in style; +11
Philippe Boucher: two for the assist, two for the fight, and minus-one for losing it; +3
Sergei Zubov: two for leading in TOI in his first game of the season, one for hitting the puck so hard he snapped his stick in half, and two because omgwemissedyou; +5
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist and one for weirdly having more hits than Morrow; +5
Brad Richards: three for the goal, two for the assist, one for leading in SOG, one for injury concern, and minus-one for slightly robbing Ott; +6
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal and one for eager effort; +4

Off Ice +/-:

Brenden Morrow: five for rocking out on the bench and singing “Rock and Roll All Nite” to himself; +5
Tobias Stephan: three for hopping up and down with the Ice Girls during the golf classic; +3

October 28, 2008

Calendar 2009

by Kristine

In light of Jen’s post about the 2009 calendar, here are a few suggestions to the people in charge.

1. Dress the players up in costumes.
Jan – Zubie as a scary clown
Feb – Turco as McSteamy in the shower
March – Bunny, Neal, and Crombeen as the 3 Muskateers
April – Lehtinen as a grandpa
May – Richards as a monkey
June – Ott as a fighter pilot
July – Daley and Nisky as Batman and Robin
Aug – Avery as a vampire
Sept – Ribeiro as Michael Jackson
Oct – Modano as a girl scout
Nov – Morrow in drag
Dec – Robidas as Spartan
Cover – Boucher as James Bond
Some of these – Turks, Avery, Ribs, Mo, and Morrow – come from tonight’s Stars Insider interviews about past Halloween costumes. xD Not sure how the guys would feel about dressing up, but I know the fans would love it.

2. Stage some thrilling outdoor activities.
Jan – Zubie hunting bears
Feb – Turco spelunking
March – Bunny, Neal, and Crombeen riding horses
April – Lehts fly fishing
May – Richards bird watching
June – Ott on a jet ski
July – Daley and Nisky racing on ATVs
Aug – Avery climbing a tree
Sept – Ribs as a cowboy
Oct – Mo roasting marshmallows
Nov – Morrow as a lumberjack
Dec – Robi hiking
Cover – Boucher pitching a tent

Would love to fit Barchy, Grossman, Louibot, Lundy, and Stephan in there somewhere but there are only so many months in a year. Anyone else have any ideas?

*For the record, we love the calendar just how it is but in case they want to step it up next year, we thought we’d throw our two cents in. 🙂

October 26, 2008

Stars Practice!

by Chelsea

So much fun. Maybe not for the players, though.

Tippett was working them big time. Practice supposedly started at noon, we got there at 11:40, and they were already running drills and looking exhausted. All of what we saw was centered around defense and just working harder to stop pucks.

Joel Lundqvist and Jere Lehtinen did not skate (though Lehts did come out afterwards to sign autographs). Apparently Lundqvist suffered some sort of shoulder or upper body injury? Steve Ott skated, looked good.  Sergei Zubov was skating and looking very happy to get a chance to shove some rookies into the boards. Doug Janik also skated, and his eye looked a little less swollen.

According to DMN, Andy Moog was down there before practice working with Marty Turco and Tobias Stephan…

Moog worked with both goalies before practice and said he simply wanted to remind them of the details of their game.

We met up with Jen, Myra, The Hub, and The Kid towards the end to go stand for autographs. Mo was already at the end of the line (sneakin’ out, eh?) but was signing things for people down there.

Just about everyone came out for signatures. Sean Avery did not. Zubov did. Boucher did not (turns out he was hanging around for the kids hockey lesson – his son was practicing?). The rookies did. Morrow did.

Poor Turco… we tried to compliment him on his shoes (green stripes = awesome) and he joked that that was the best thing we had to say about him. Aw, Turks! We still love you!

A truck alarm went off in the parking garage. Krys Barch came out, looking very beat up after his fight, and admitted that it was his. He wasn’t the only one who looked worn and unhappy. Ott looked very frustrated, Trevor Daley was limping and admitted to possibly being injured, Brunnstrom had a bit of a shiner on his right eye, and Morrow and Ribeiro both seemed very subdued.

Stuuuuu! Barnes came out and went down the line, which rocked. James Neal came down the line, turned around, went back inside, and came out again with Ott.

Perhaps the best part was when Robidas came out. He was on his cellphone, speaking French, in a bright red hoodie, and not looking like he was about to die of shame like the other defensemen. He very nicely got off the phone for a picture with Jen and finished going down the line to sign things. Then, he came back up with his son, who is positively the most adorable kid I’ve ever seen. We saw later that Robi was helping out with the lessons, out on the ice with the little hockey kids.

Lehts, Kristine, and Chelsea - thanks for taking the pic, Jen!

Lehts, Kristine, and Chelsea - thanks for taking the pic, Jen!

Off Ice SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: two for his adorable kid, two for sounding awesome and French-Canadian, two for looking adorable with his kid, two for pitching in with the kids hockey even though he’d just had an exhausting practice himself, and one for being nice enough to hang up his phone for his fans; +9
Trevor Daley: one pity point because he looked pretty miserable after practice; +1
Krys Barch: one because the truck thing was funny and one pity point for the painful-looking face injury; +2
Sean Avery: minus-two for ditching; -2
James Neal: one for being friendly and hopefully cheering up Otter; +1
Steve Ott: one pity point for having looked so very unhappy; +1
Doug Janik: one for signing autographs for a few people, even though he had to go the other way to get to his car; +1
Marty Turco: one for being upbeat even though he seemed really ashamed at his performance and two because that self-deprecating joke broke our hockey hearts; +3
Joel Lundqvist: two for the funny “Is it Swedish?” in Saturday’s game; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: one for having to deal with the three of us all wanting autographs and pictures and probably confusing the heck out of him; +1

October 26, 2008

Game Review – 10/25/08 (DAL vs WSH)

by Chelsea

Game:

With all the teams in the NHL hitting the ice tonight, only half could walk away with a full two points. Unfortunately, the Stars were not in that half. Instead, we served as a playground for the Washington Capitals, ending their losing streak and sending them home with a new Russian record. But more on that later.

Kristine and I were there at the AAC to watch in person. Met up with Jen and Caitlin, who were very cool, before the game. It was lots of fun. 🙂 Wanted to meet up with the Sign Girls and Myra before the game as well, but ended up not having enough time. 😦 Another game, maybe?

As for the actual game, I thought the first ten minutes were very promising. There was an interruption seven minutes in when Sergei Fedorov took a penalty for slashing, but the power play didn’t prove to be efficient enough to produce points.

It wasn’t until 10:19 that someone scored, a moment easily remembered as “Oh my god, Sean Avery just did what?”. That’s right. Avery got his first goal as a Dallas Star, and first of the season. I’ll admit that I was impressed. BJ Crombeen fired a slap shot from the blue line, and when Caps goalie Jose Theodore didn’t cover his rebound, Sean Avery scooped it up and tossed it behind him into the net. Mike Modano got the other assist.

It was somewhere in here that we begun to notice that Stephane Robidas did not seem to like Alex Ovechkin. At all.  I did a little research and found no reason for it, but there it was. Robidas repeatedly putting Ovechkin into the boards with excessive force, and even a verbal confrontation between the two. It surprised me, as Robidas doesn’t much care for fist fights (see the last game against the Islanders).

So it only took about a minute after the Avery goal for the Capitals to take the wind completely out of our sails. Crombeen got a minor penalty for slashing at 11:14, and things felt like they slowly drifted downhill from there.

It was on that power play that Fedorov got his first goal of the night, a wrist shot with assists from Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom. I did something I don’t usually do in writing the review, and that’s go back and watch the other team’s goal about five hundred times. I wanted to know whose fault this was. Turns out, the official replay is not so helpful. However, it looked to me like Nicklas Grossman allowed Semin to pass the puck to Fedorov, who had a clear shot at our Marty Turco. Brenden Morrow was also a little slow on the uptake, missing an opportunity to block the pass as well. That one I would not count against Turco.

Tied 1-1, we’d lost the only lead we’d take in the game. At 16:58, Capital Tomas Fleischmann broke the tie with help from teammate Michael Nylander. Again, I reviewed the replay. What I saw was this: Fabian Brunnstrom attempted to keep the puck in the offensive zone, but it got picked up by a Capital. Nylander gets it through the defensive zone and passed past Brunnstrom and Avery to Fleischmann. Turco was slow and unable to stop the puck from going in. I think that one can be attributed to both the absent defense but also to our goaltender.

At 19:15, Mike Green tripped up Morrow and got called on it by the officials. During that Dallas Stars power play, Brunnstrom apologized to us all for his slip-ups by scoring a tiemaker goal with ten seconds left in the first. It was like his third goal in his NHL debut; he was right in the netminder’s face, the angle was weird, the hole was small, the pass was nice, and the puck went in. Stephane Robidas and Sean Avery pitched in for the assists.

Went for a pretzel, hot cocoa, and hot dog in intermission and came back to hear Joel Lundqvist complaining about the election in Swedish. We wonder: Do the Swedes (or previously, Finnes) get to pick what they say in Swedish or does someone decide for them? Does Lundqvist really hate election-talk? Does Brunnstrom really have a Bikini Team?

The second period had a lot of Krys Barch in it. Early on, he nearly broke the tie by stuffing the puck in a wrap around attempt, but was blocked by Theodore. He proceeded to run over people until Trevor Daley smacked the puck into the Caps’ bench and got a delay of game penalty. Then he went away for awhile.

While he was chillin’ on the bench, the Stars successfully killed of a power play. Then they turned around and let Fedorov get his second goal of the night. This goal made him the record holder for Russian goal scoring with 470-something goals. Semin and Brooks Laich got the assists. Again, I reviewed it. Niskanen lost a possession battle on the boards, allowing the puck to go into the Stars defensive zone. Fistric did this “I skate backwards in front of you and think that’ll make you just hand over the puck you’re skating very quickly at my goaltender with” thing that he does instead of actually trying to stop the play’s progression. He did attempt to intercept his pass to Fedorov with a poke check, but failed. The pass got through, Fedorov sped past Philippe Boucher, and popped it behind Turco, who seemed to misjudge what Fedorov planned to do completely. I blame this largely on our defense and partially on Turco.

As if we weren’t already suffering from complete momentum drain as it was, it would get worse before it got better. The Stars managed to gain possession of the puck long enough to fire off a couple shots, but it was quickly returned to the back of Turco’s net. This time it was Fleischmann again, and again assisted by Nylander. This one was easy. Turco attempted to clear the puck, it went to Nylander, got picked up by Fleischmann. The only person between him and Turco was Boucher, who went down on one knee to try and block it but failed. Once again, I ask if Turco REALLY should have let this one in. It seemed to me like he was trying too hard and moved out of position too soon.

BJ Crombeen helped patch the 4-2 wound only a few seconds later at 15:55.  This was my favorite goal of the night. Mike Modano carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped it to Daley. Daley carried it to the net (yes, the person a dropped pass was intended for got it!) and swept it across the crease to Crombeen, who beat out a Washington defenseman for a very nice tip-in.

In a slightly pathetic attempt to shift momentum, or possibly just out of frustration, Krys Barch returned to our attention here with a bang. He did so by taking on Donald Brashear in a fist fight that he really really lost. I’m a fan of Barch, and I was alarmed to see him skate off the ice completely, slightly bloodied, after this confrontation. Both parties got five minute fighting majors, which Barch served almost entirely somewhere else. I assume he was getting a bandaid.

Not to be outdone, Brenden Morrow tripped up Backstrom and took a breather in the penalty box at 18:10. I think he wanted to start the third in the penalty box with almost-lookalike Barch, and he would eventually get his wish. Meanwhile, the rest of the Stars killed off the penalty successfully.

At one point, the Capitals attacked the net so fiercely that it forced Turco to make several very big, sprawling saves, and drove Boucher into attack-mode. At the end of the second, he nearly got into it with Ovechkin, appearing to grab him by the face or neck and shoving him out of Turco’s crease. Officials jumped in before either could earn penalties.

Second intermission involved human bowling, a Razor-Boucher interview I couldn’t hear, cotton candy, and a bottle of water.

Stars started the third period at 4-3.

Barch returned looking nice and healthy and spent 10 seconds in the penalty box with Morrow. Probably picking up how-to-fight-right tips.

I’d been getting frustrated with Loui Eriksson by this point, as he seemed to be turning over the puck a lot. There’s no denying the play he made not even a minute into the period, though, when he tied the game up again for Dallas.

Mike Ribeiro had just finished melting the ice in the neutral zone with a sizzling dash into their offensive zone and took it behind the net to evade Washington’s defensemen. He ricocheted it out in front of the net, where Eriksson swept by and quickly shot it in past Theodore at 00:56.

Granted, it only took the Capitals a few minutes to answer. At 2:22, Tyler Sloan got a wrist shot past Turco, with assists from Viktor Kozlov and Ovechkin. Grossman tried multiple times to shake Washington off the puck, but was unsuccessful. In the end, both Turco and the puck went in the net.

The following ten minutes were very tense. They brought about a new nickname “Really Richards” because we kept finding ourselves going “Really, Richards?” every time he turned a puck over or made a bad pass or missed a pass or otherwise giftwrapped it for the Capitals. Also playing sloppy were Sean Avery and Fabian Brunnstrom, who kept falling down. There were penalties on Ovechkin and Semin, but Washington’s PK beat off our PP.

Then at 15:26, in our epic struggle to force overtime, Sean Avery stuck his stick in someone’s face and got a two minute for hi-sticking. If I’d been anywhere near the penalty box, I probably would have yelled at him. No joke.

Luckily, this time, our PK beat off their PP. Not only that, our PK had so much hustle that Toby Petersen managed a shorthanded breakaway. It was stopped, and both the play and the hustle continued.

Just when all hope seemed lost, Marty Turco (cough, finally) left the net and put on an extra attacker with a minute left to go. It didn’t take long. Veteran, all-star, superstar, rockstar Mike Modano came through big time at 19:03 when he received a pass from behind-the-net Morrow and shoveled it right in to tie the game 5-5. Oh, Mo, we love you so.

Regulation ended. Overtime began.

Stars had possession for maybe two minutes, getting a couple shots off. Then, Semin swept around Turco’s net with the puck, barely contested. Daley stood in his shooting lane, possibly screening Turco? and Semin got the game-winning goal. Boyd Gordon and Green got the assists.

Notes:

  • The game’s three stars, in order: Fedorov, Modano, Semin.
  • Marty Turco let in 6 goals on 30 shots for a bland .800 sv%. His total GAA is now stinking it up again at 4.26.
  • Robidas led the team in TOI with 27 minutes.
  • James Neal led in hits, with 5.
  • Mike Modano led in shots on goal (6) and +/- (+2)
  • Conclusion: Finishing with an OT loss seems to be describing our entire season so far. We try and try and yet something doesn’t connect right in the end. I think that the young defense is looking to Turco to lead them, and he’s not coming through. Time to test out Baby T yet?
Official SHR +/-:

Nicklas Grossman: minus-two for being partially responsible for a goal and one for attempting to make up for it in the end; -1
Stephane Robidas: two for the assist and one for being the only defensemen who didn’t screw up in this game; +3
Matt Niskanen: minus-two for not playing well when we needed strong defense; -2
Trevor Daley: two for the assist, minus-two for some defensive stupidity, and one for the final hustle in the third; +1
Mike Modano: three for the goal, two for each assist, and one for forcing OT; +8
Brenden Morrow: two for each assist and one for having some nice hits; +5
Krys Barch: two for the fight, minus-one for losing it, and one for perseverance in the game; +2
Sean Avery: three for the goal, two for the assist, minus-two for sloppy play, and minus-two for getting a dumb penalty at a crucial time; +1
Toby Petersen: one for the breakaway: +1
James Neal: two for leading in hits, minus-one for some lame giveaways; +1
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal, two for the assist, and minus-two for otherwise being sloppy; +3
Mark Fistric: one for showing a little improvement, minus-two for still playing like a giant oaf; -1
Marty Turco: three for the huge saves made during PK and minus-one for each bad goal he let in; -1
Philippe Boucher: three for the shots he blocked, minus-two for those he didn’t, and one for the confrontation with Ovechkin; +2
BJ Crombeen: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for being the best rookie out there; +6
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist and one for not being sloppy; +3
Brad Richards: minus-two for sloppy, minus-one for losing so many faceoffs, and minus-one for having so little positive impact; -4
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal, one for effort, minus-two for sloppy; +2