Posts tagged ‘St. Louis Blues’

October 26, 2009

Steve Ott Punished

by Chelsea

Looks like Ott will be having a hearing tomorrow to discuss his check on Carlo Colaiacovo. Personally, I think the only dirty hit of that game was Ott’s on BJ Crombeen, which was penalized in the game. I also think there have been a number of iffy hits recently across the league, including a very questionable hip check by Rob Scuderi, and the NHL needs to set a precedence for looking into plays where players get injured.

Hopefully the only thing that comes out of this is Ott realizes he needs to slow the goon act a bit.

Update:

Ott has been suspended for two games. The official release is here. He will be eligible to play again on Oct. 31 against Nashville.

There is a quote from Stars captain Brenden Morrow at Andrew’s (link) that sums it up very nicely.

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October 25, 2009

Notes and +/-

by Chelsea

For games 10 and 11 for the Dallas Stars, there really wasn’t much to say, hence the lack of actual game review.

Notes (DAL @ LAK):

  • The three game stars, in order: Kopitar, Neal, Handzus
  • The Stars were down 4-1 entering the third, but forced overtime thanks to goals from Benn, Fistric, and Neal.
  • Mark Fistric’s goal was his first NHL goal.
  • Benn has now scored in both games against the Kings.
  • Stars power play continued to struggle, unable to cash in on 4 chances in the first two periods.
  • Steve Ott lead in hits with 6.
  • The only forward to block a single shot was Loui Eriksson.
  • Conclusion: It was rather nice to get the extra point, but giving the Kings 4 out of the available 4 points in the two games so far this season is not.

SHR +/- (DAL @ LAK):

Stephane Robidas: minus-one for kind of a rough game; -1
Jamie Benn: three for the goal; +3
James Neal: three for each goal; +6
Loui Eriksson: two for each assist; +4
Mark Fistric: three for the goal and one for the celebration; +4
Steve Ott: one for being Steve Ott; +1
Alex Auld: minus-one for kind of a rough game; -1
Mike Ribeiro: minus-one for not being able to win a faceoff; -1
Brad Richards: two for each assist; +4

Notes (DAL @ STL):

  • The three game stars, in order: Turco, Eriksson, Neal
  • Krys Barch, Brian Sutherby, and Steve Ott each had a fight. None of them really won.
  • Ott had the Blues very distracted, drawing 6 minor penalties.
  • The Blues also took 4 roughing and 2 cross checking minors, along with a 10 minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
  • The Stars, meanwhile, took 1 roughing, 1 unsportsmanlike conduct, 1 cross checking and 1 kneeing penalty.
  • Both teams also had a small handful of hooking minors.
  • In all of that, only one power play goal was scored.
  • Jeff Woywitka got his first point with the Stars against his old team. However, he also unintentionally aided the Blues in ruining Turco’s shutout. Oops.
  • Toby Petersen lead the team with 5 shots on goal.
  • Conclusion: It was a messy game and the Stars could have blown out the Blues had it not been for Conklin’s 21 saves in the first two periods. Despite the penalty madness, it was maybe the best three consecutive periods of hockey Dallas has managed all season.

SHR +/- (DAL @ STL):

Brenden Morrow: one determination point for trying to score regardless of where the puck was (like on top of the net) or the play having already been blown dead; +1
Krys Barch: one for the fight but minus-one for losing it; +0
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Brian Sutherby: three for the goal and one for the fight; +4
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Tom Wandell: three for the goal; +3
Steve Ott: two for the assist, one for playing so physically that it completely changed the momentum of the game but minus-one for kneeing Crombeen; +2
Marty Turco: two for no mas Taco; +2
Jeff Woywitka: two for the assist but minus-one for helping score on Turco; +1
Brad Richards: two for each assist; +4
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist and one for earning it by getting run over by St. Louis players; +3

October 6, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 11, 2009

SHR +/- “OMG Are We Really That Far Behind?” Catch-up

by Chelsea

When the Stars were pretty much eliminated (and then officially eliminated), we kinda went “so what’s the plan for the blog in the postseason, then?” and basically fell asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, we’ve also sorely neglected our duties (like the +/-) for the end of the regular season.

On that note, here are the +/-s for the large handful of games we were missing.


3/24/09 – DAL vs VAN:

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley: one for sticking up for Turco; +1
Brendan Morrison: three for the goal; +3
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Loui Eriksson: two for having a ridiculous 7 takeaways and 0 giveaways; +2
Mark Fistric: two for the assist but minus-one for his exceptionaly careless penalty; +1
Steve Ott: minus-two for acting like a thug instead of helping his team; -2
Marty Turco: minus-two for not helping his teammates out and making only 17 saves on 21 shots; -2
Steve Begin: two for the assist; +2


3/26/09 – DAL vs LAK:

Stephane Robidas: one for playing 27:01 to pick up Daley’s slack when he went out; +1
Trevor Daley: one 😦 point for getting injured; +1
Krys Barch: one for standing up for Daley and one 😦 point for getting hurt in the process; +2
Landon Wilson: two for getting nine really solid hits; +2
Jere Lehtinen: one for the shootout goal; +1
Mark Fistric: two for a really solid game; +2
Marty Turco: three for pitching a shutout and earning the team a point, but minus-one for an iffy shootout performance that lost them the other point; +2


3/28/09 – DAL vs FLA

Nicklas Grossman: two for the assist; +2
Stephane Robidas: 😦 ; +1
Matt Niskanen: three for the goal; +3
Brendan Morrison: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist and two for not having any giveaways for the sixth game in a row; +4
Chris Conner: three for the goal; +3
Mark Fistric: 😦 ; +1
Steve Ott: two for the assist but minus-two for continuing to act like a thug; +0
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, two for the assist, but minus-one for stinking at faceoffs; +4


3/30/09 – DAL at PHX:

Dan Jancevski: one welcometoDallas! point; +1
Matt Niskanen: two for each assist; +4
Brendan Morrison: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Loui Eriksson: three for the goal; +3
Chris Conner: three for the goal and two for the assist; +5
Andrew Hutchinson: three for the goal; +3
Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Garrett Stafford: two for each assist and one welcometoDallas! point; +5
Darryl Sydor: three for the goal; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist but minus-one for stinking at faceoffs; +5


3/31/09 – DAL at LAK:

Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
Brendan Morrison: three for each goal; +6
James Neal: minus-one for being overrated; -1
Loui Eriksson: two for the assist; +2
Jere Lehtinen: two for the assist; +2
Andrew Hutchinson: one for the solid game; +1
Steve Ott: two for each assist; +4
Marty Turco: one for playing decently; +1
Steve Begin: one for getting six hits; +1
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal, one for style, but minus-one for STILL stinking at faceoffs; +3


4/02/09 – DAL at CGY:

Matt Niskanen: one for learning how to get more than one (probably accidental) hit in a game and one for leading the team in shots on goal; +2
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Marty Turco: one for a decent showing; +1
Joel Lundqvist: two for the assist: +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for scoring the team’s only goal and one for style; +4


4/04/09 – DAL vs STL

Matt Niskanen: two for the assist; +2
Trevor Daley: three for the goal and one for saving the game in the third period; +4
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
James Neal: two for the assist; +2
Loui Eriksson: three for each goal; +6
Tom Wandell: two for each assist; +4
Chris Conner: minus-one for being the only one with a -2; -1
Steve Ott: three for the goal and one for not being thug-Ott anymore; +4
Darryl Sydor: two for the assist and one for being an impressive +4; +3
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: two for the assist; +2


4/07/09 – DAL at MIN:

Steve Ott: two for the assist; +2
Ivan Vishnevskiy: one welcometoDallas! point; +1
Mike Ribeiro: two for the assist but minus-one for really really stinking at faceoffs; +1
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal; +3


4/09/09 – DAL at COL:

Loui Eriksson: two for the assist; +2
Tom Wandell: one for improving at faceoffs; +1
Mark Fistric: two for the assist; +2
Mark Parrish: three for the goal; +3
Ivan Vishnevskiy: two for the assist and one for having a wicked shot from the point; +3
Mike Ribeiro: one for that shootout goal and one for style; +2
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal; +3


4/10/09 – DAL at ANA:

Last-game-of-the-season special edition.

Nicklas Grossman: one for leading in hits and two for having stepped up big-time as a physical stay-at-home defenseman; +3
Stephane Robidas: one 😦 point for having not gotten to play the last few games of the season, two for carrying the entire defense on his shoulders all year, and one for escaping this season with his nose intact; +4
Matt Niskanen: two for the assist and one for finally showing that he can play without his training wheels (Sydor); +3
Trevor Daley: one 😦 point for having not gotten to play the last few games of the season and one for stepping into the #2 role nicely; +2
Mike Modano: two for his age-defying efforts at the beginning of the season and one don’t-end-your-career-this-way-please point; +3
Brenden Morrow: five points for how ridiculously sorry we are that the Stars didn’t push their season far enough to allow Morrow to come back and play; +5
Brendan Morrison: one thankyou point for stepping up and scoring PPGs when nobody else could; +1
Krys Barch: one 😦 point for missing the last games of the season and two for being the trustworthy (and frightful) Stars cop; +3
Sean Avery: one thankyou point for finding somewhere really far from Dallas and staying there, but minus-six for sticking us with half of that bloated contract and getting what he wanted in the end anyway; -5
Toby Petersen: one 😦 point for having missed the last few games of the season; +1
James Neal: minus-one point for the mixture of severe tunnel-vision (“puckpuckpuckpuckpuck”) and ego (“RAHHH I’M JAMES NEAL”) that lead to him being less-than-effective as the season went on but two determination points for having still tried; +1
Brian Sutherby: two points for coming onto the team from a rival, being willing to work hard, and making a place for himself; +2
Loui Eriksson: one for ending the season on a thirteen-game streak of not having a single giveaway, two for leading the team in goals and for being the 3o-goal-scorer we needed when Morrow went out, one for leading the team in +/-, and one for escaping injury and not missing a single game all season; +5
Landon Wilson: two for being dependable, stepping up as someone who gave 100% when the rest of the team looked mentally exhausted, and putting up with getting scratched way too often; +2
Tom Wandell: one for being a Swedish rockstar; +1
Chris Conner: one for constantly creating chances with his surprising speed; +1
Jere Lehtinen: one for leading the team with 8 shots on goal, one for being the Legendary Leaping Lehtinen, and two please-please-please-take-a-hometown-discount-because-we’d-cry-if-the-Stars-let-you-go points; +4
Andrew Hutchinson: two thankyou points for going from healthy scratch to dependable veteran when Robidas and Daley went out, and doing it admirably; +2
Mark Fistric: one for coming back up from the AHL as the hard-hitting defenseman we all remembered from last year’s playoffs and one for not backing his butt up into Turco’s face as a “defensive maneuver” anymore; +2
Steve Ott: three for each goal, two for the assist, one for the highly-entertaining clip of him sitting on the bench making faces at the Ducks through the plexiglass, and two for growing into a better player and leader; +11
Tobias Stephan: two 😦 points for ending up as the #3 goalie and not getting a decent chance to prove himself because Tippett is stubborn and used Stephan’s career to make a point which is dumb and we could rant about it all day but won’t, two hopeful points for moving on from the Stars after this season, and one sad goodbye point; +5
Marty Turco: minus-one for apparently going from a good shootout goalie to a super-impatient flop-across-the-crease one, minus-two for being Mr. Inconsistent all season, but one for taking responsibility for it, two for his strong play in the middle of the season, and one for showing enough flashes of awesome that we’re reminded there’s still an All-Star under there somewhere; +1
Mark Parrish: two for seeming to have an unbeatable optimistic attitude and two because we have a feeling he won’t be around next season and would be very very sad to see him go; +4
Joel Lundqvist: one 😦 point for having not really come back from his shoulder injury as the Lundqvist we remembered from last season and two because we’re worried Sutherby stole his spot and we’d be very sad to see him go; +3
Phillipe Boucher: two because he is awesome even if he has to play for the Penguins; +2
BJ Crombeen: yaayyyy at least one of our rookies gets a chance at the Cup this season; +2
Steve Begin: two points for sacrificing himself on the PK every night and being a very solid player for the Stars; +2
Darryl Sydor: one 😦 point because he missed the last period of the season, another because his future with the Stars is so uncertain, and one for being Niskanen and then Vishnevskiy’s training wheels; +3
Sergei Zubov: three pleeeeasseee-take-a-hometown-discount-and-come-back-next-season-our-PP-needs-you-so-bad points; +3
Ivan Vishnevskiy: two for the assist and one for looking a little bit like a baby Zubov out there; +3
Mike Ribeiro: two for each assist, minus-one for the dumb penalties, one for leading the team in points and matching his assists from last year, and one for (thankfully!!) not missing a single game all season; +5
Brad Richards: one 😦 point for the tragic comedy that is his injury situation, one for being an important player when he was playing, and one for proving us wrong about his importance by showing us what happens to the team when he’s not there; +3
Fabian Brunnstrom: three for the goal, two for the assist, and one for ending the season by playing impressive hockey and showing everyone a preview of what they can look forward to next season; +6

March 12, 2009

Game Review – 3/10/09 (DAL at STL)

by Chelsea

Game:

Also known as “Another Crucial Game, Another Heartbreaking Loss” or “What Happens When a Team Reaches a New Level of Mental Exhaustion.”

As a fan, I won’t declare this season over until they name the 3 stars of game #82. However, seeing the team play like they think the season is over is getting old, fast.

Now without Brunnstrom as well, the already-depleted team was heading back on the road after a rough loss to the Canadiens on home ice. It was the kind of game that the Stars needed to see a leader step up and steal the win for. 

Unfortunately, that leader was not Turco, who picked a very poor time to have a prolonged brain fart. He let in three goals on the Blues’ first eight shots, putting the Stars in a 3-0 hole only twelve minutes into the first period. 

After the third goal, Krys Barch and Cam Janssen dropped the gloves off the following faceoff, going at it for nearly two full minutes. Barch’s helmet probably did more damage than his fists, as Janssen left the fight with some badly bloodied knuckles.

The dust settled to find Turco not in net, but replacing Tobias Stephan on the bench. It was the first time all season that Stephan was put into the game before it was completely lost. 

Stephan played the game with what seems to be a bit of a trademark. He let in a couple of goals, despite having made some sharp saves throughout, then locked it down for the rest of the game. He played well, so it’s unfortunate that the team in front of him did not.

While two Stars, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro, managed to score a goal each against goalie Chris Mason, it wouldn’t be enough. The Blues persevered and regained their three-goal lead each time Dallas scored. Still, even if Stephan had played perfectly, it wouldn’t have been enough as the Stars lost 5-2.

Though Loui Erikssons point streak ended, Ribeiro managed to extend his to five games. In those five games, he’s amassed five goals and six assists. 

Mark Parrish, who was toppled early in the game after receiving an open-ice hit from Jay McKee, left the game and did not return. He joins Morrow, Zubov, Richards, Petersen, Lehtinen, Brunnstrom, and Sawada on the “man we need them healthy” list. 

For all the times that “the injuries are rough, but they’re no excuse” has been said, there’s no denying after a game like this that all the key injuries have taken the Stars down a rough road. Ribeiro and his line are worn thin from being the last remaining offensive threat, Robidas is starting to struggle under the large load he’s been carrying as #1 defenseman and special teams core piece. Modano looks physically and mentally exhausted. The rest of the team looks like it may not be able to handle much more of Tippett’s “four months of playoff mode” hockey. 

When Marty Turco is saying in interviews that nobody is enjoying anything anymore, maybe it’s time to relax before the entire team drops of fatigue. 

SHR +/-:

Stephane Robidas: one for leading the team with six hits; +1
Trevor Daley: two for the assist; +2
Mike Modano: two for the assist; +2
Brendan Morrison: one for being one of only two people to end up in the positive; +1
Krys Barch: one for the fight and one for winning it; +2
James Neal: three for the goal; +3
Brian Sutherby: minus-three for the suicide pass but one for feeling so bad about it; -2
Chris Conner: minus-two for being a -6 in his last three games; -2
Steve Ott: one for being one of only two people to end up in the positive; +1
Tobias Stephan: two for making more and better saves than Turco; +2
Marty Turco: minus-two for getting bested by a backup that never plays; -2
Mike Ribeiro: three for the goal; +3

March 10, 2009

Power Rankings Round-Up

by Kristine

Welcome to the return of PRRU. I skipped last week due to the excitement of the trade deadline, and a lot has happened between the last one, on February 24, and this round. Petersen was placed on IR, we acquired Steve Begin from Montreal, Ott got mugged and suspended, we went on a five-game losing streak at home, we snagged Brendan Morrison off waivers from the Ducks, and Landon Wilson returned from his shoulder injury. Looking at that laundry list, it will be interesting to see how our rankings have changed. I’ll be noting not only where we are this week compared to last week, but where we were for my last PRRU post (pre-trade deadline).

Actual rank: 19th in league; 9th in West; 2nd in Pacific.
Record: 31-27-8. L10: 3-6-1.

Andrew’s by Mark Stepneski
Stars: 18 this week; 21 last week; 11 pre-deadline. “Stars’ come off solid 2-0-1 road trip by losing to Montreal to extend their home losing streak to six games.”
Of Note: Nashville Predators at 16 this week; 18 last week. “The Predators’ six-game winning streak ends with a 4-1 loss in Philadelphia. Nashville with a 12-5 edge in third period goals over their last eight games. “
My thoughts: See what losing six straight home games will do? Bump you down on EVERY list – including power rankings and playoff contenders and actual league rankings. What good does a solid 5-of-6-points road trip do when you can’t win a home game? If anything, the back and forth and lack of consistency is dooming the team to missing both the playoffs and a decent draft pick. In the mean time, while the Stars are busy losing, the Preds have been busy winning. They currently sit above the Stars in the 8th seed in the West and seem to be making a hard last-hour push. Are they the Stars’ biggest competition right now? I might say yes if I didn’t believe that the Stars’ biggest competition is themselves.

ESPN by Joy Russo
Stars: 21 this week; 20 last week; 11 pre-deadline. “There’s no place like the road for the Dallas Stars? They matched a franchise record with their sixth consecutive home loss in Sunday’s 3-1 decision versus the Canadiens. Last time that happened? 1970.”
Of Note: Anaheim Ducks at 20 this week; 15 last week. “Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer are still in town, Travis Moen and Kent Huskins are not, and the Ducks seem to be slowly falling further out of playoff contention.
My thoughts: It’s no secret that I hate the Ducks. Their players are dirty and they’re just mediocre enough that I can’t respect them for their talent. So to hear that people consider them to be falling further out of playoff contention makes me happy until I realize that their L10 of 3-6-1 is exactly the same as our L10. Ouch. Going by that, if they’re falling out of playoff contention, so are we. ESPN touches on the fact that our six home losses is good for worst home losing streak since the Stars moved to Dallas. It amazes me, honestly, that anyone can still consider us playoff contenders when we’ve been on the worse side of inconsistent since the end of our five game winning streak at the end of January. Take a look at the last 20 games, which starts in the middle of said winning streak: W W W L W W L W L W W L L L L L W O W L. Can you imagine if you condensed that into a seven-game playoff series? Winning every other game won’t get you very far into the playoffs in that scenario, depending on if your series went W L W L W L W or L W L W L W L. Playing all seven games of every round would exhaust even the best teams. The Stars are going to have to find a way to win more than two games in a row soon if they want to even think about beating other teams in the post-season.

The Hockey News by Ryan Dixon
Stars: 22 this week;  25 last week; 13 pre-deadline. “Just seem to be sucking fumes these days.
Of Note: St Louis Blues at 19 this week; 14 last week. “Not dealing Keith Tkachuk shows St. Louis believes it can make the playoffs now.
My thoughts: I think THN sums it up well. It’s not the most insightful comment that could be made, but it’s true. The Stars seem to be running on empty lately. They’ll pull out a game or two here and there that will give everyone hope, and then it’s back to sloppy hockey (see: Anaheim, Montreal games). Sometimes they only manage a period or two of good hockey before sputtering out. Is it the result of playing with a playoff mindset for the entire last half of the season? Is the injury situation finally hitting home and wearing them out? Speculate all day if you want to, but I agree with the person who said we should change our motto to “Our Team, Next Time.” Obviously something just isn’t clicking this season, but the parts are all there and ready to work together next season. In the meantime, the Blues are hanging out at the bottom of the playoff race with 66 points. They’re 6-3-1 in their L10 and their next game? A home game against the Stars tonight. We lost to them 3-1 two weeks ago as part of our dismal homestand, and with them pushing for that 8th seed, it’s going to be a tough match-up.

TSN
Stars: 22 this week;  22 last week; 19 pre-deadline. “Grabbing Brendan Morrison off the waiver wire isn’t exactly making a big push for the postseason, but he’s a serviceable stopgap on the Stars’ decimated forward ranks. Key Injuries: C Brad Richards (wrist), RW Jere Lehtinen (upper body).
Of Note: Phoenix Coyotes at 28 this week; 28 last week. “In the grand scheme of things, the Coyotes aren’t necessarily much worse off without Olli Jokinen, Daniel Carcillo, Derek Morris and Mikael Tellqvist, but they’re on a streak of six straight games in which they haven’t scored more than two goals, so it’s hard to say they’re better. Key Injuries: None.
My thoughts: You can add “Fabulous Fabian” Brunnstrom to that list of key injuries, as I consider him to be an important cog in the duct-taped machine that is the Stars this season. I’m disappointed in the lack of impact Morrison has had so far; the only thing he’s really done has been to center Neal and Brunnstrom, which was not nearly as fiery as when Sutherby centered it. However, like TSN points out, he’s a body, and we’re short on those right now. It’s also important to note that no matter how bad we are, we still aren’t the Yotes! Our franchise is firmly planted here in Dallas, and we’re in the 9th seed and not the Coyotes’ 14th. As far as division rivals go, the Coyotes may have our number this season, but we seem to be the only team they can beat right now.

As always, what do you agree or disagree with? I’d love this series to be an open forum for you guys to share your thoughts on where the Stars are at and how they’ve been playing, so please feel free to comment.

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. 🙂

December 12, 2008

Thursday’s NHL Results

by Kristine

For a summary of the wins and losses from Thursday’s games, including team points, continue reading by clicking the link below.

read more »

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 7, 2008

Russian! And Ducks, Sharks, and Moose

by Chelsea

We here at SHR had had our fingers crossed for the St Louis Blues. They were the only team that stood between our California rivals and us. It was up to them to deflate these teams a bit before we got there. Instead, they lost to both, and injured Shark goaltender Evgeni Nabokov in the process. 

The official word is: “Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov is day-to-day with a lower body injury.” In watching last night’s shootout, you can tell that it’s a leg injury. Word on the Andrew’s Forums suggests that he may have hyperextended something, pulled a groin muscle, or twisted his knee. 

Either way, I’m concerned. Because hopefully he’s not hurt too bad, but also because this backup goalie Boucher has two shutouts in two games. And because we liked facing Nabokov because we got to make chicken jokes all night. Feel better soon, Na”bawk!”ov. 

As previously mentioned, the Blues also lost to the Anaheim Ducks, who now have “DUCKS OUT FOR REVENGE” stapled across their opening page and have not lost a game in regulation since Oct 19. The game kicks off at 9:00 CT. Now, I know that the Stars have more than enough skill to beat the Ducks, but I’m not sure that they’ll match that level of hunger. If they can, it’ll be a heck of a game. 

Robidas, Ribeiro, and Turco have all been good against the Ducks in the past. Robidas had 2 games in 07-08 as the first game star with 1 game winning goal, and Ribeiro had 2 game winning goals that season. Turco was 4-2-1. We knocked them out of the playoffs in the first round. There’s a lot on the line here, but from a perspective without vested interest, we’ll be seeing what that week off did for the Stars and possibly whether or not this slump is permanent. 

In a much colder part of North America, our lovely James Neal and Mark Fistric wll also be playing a game tonight, with the Manitoba Moose. The Moose are on an 8-game winning streak and hope to extended it with a win against the Toronto Marlies. Stars prospects Raymond Sawada (5 assists in 10 games), Trevor Ludwig (+6 in 6 games), and Maxime Fortunus (+7 in 10 games) are all Moose as well. Best of luck to all of them tonight.

Edit:

The Dallas Stars announced today that the hockey club has activated defenseman Sergei Zubov from the injured reserve list. Zubov is expected to be in the line-up for tonight’s game at Anaheim.

That’s right. Mighty Russian returns!