Just some thoughts on what was a really, really incredible night:
- I love love love the fact that the Modano jerseys they wore during warm-ups were different sweaters that reflected the different eras of his career. So cool.
- I knew Mo’s speech would be hard to watch, and he didn’t disappoint. He started choking up after three sentences.
- The cameos were amazing: the ’99 Cup team (unfortunately minus a few, including Sergei Zubov and Joe Nieuwendyk), Norm Green (hollaaaa), Tom Hicks (ugh), the families of the previously retired numbers (classy as hell), Bob Gainey, Doug Armstrong, Rick Wilson, and…the Stanley Cup. Amazing.
- The game itself was a good one, even though it had its controversial moments…
- like the Houla hit on Kari Lehtonen. The Tim Thomas trade is looking brilliant right now. Hopefully this will silence everyone moaning and whining about Thomas being a Star. I hate his politics, too, but let’s separate his personal life from his hockey life.
- Matt Cooke is still the scum of the earth. Stop saying he’s a changed guy. A reformed Matt Cooke wouldn’t have thrown that dangerous knee on Val Nichushkin.
- Erik Cole scored the game-winner on Mike Modano night. Cole is number 72, and 7+2=9 so there.
Overall, it was an unforgettable night with an epic ceremony and a hard-earned two points that surely made Mike Modano proud.
I knew I’d cry the day Stephane Robidas was no longer a Star. To me, Robi is a perfect hockey player. So few players have set such a leading example of what a hockey player is or embodied the toughness that Robi did in his years here. And yet his efforts have gone largely unnoticed.
That’s just who Stephane Robidas is.
An all guts, no glory player who led by example and would always take one for the team but never asked for recognition or even a simple thank you.
With his rather small size, at first glance he doesn’t look to be much. But did he ever bring it. Robidas’s contributions came largely in the form of physical sacrifices. Shot blocking? He’s on it. Puck to the face? Just another day at the office. He never shied away from hitting players twice his size if it meant helping his team win a game.
The selfish part of me wanted Robidas to stay forever and retire as a Dallas Star, but Jim Nill did him right by letting him go to a contender. He deserves a shot at the Cup. No one deserves it more than Robi. He’s seriously the best.
As if you needed more reason to love this classy, perfect human being:
I would have preferred he not go to a team the Stars could potentially play in the first round (fingers crossed that we hold on!), but honestly it doesn’t even matter that much. If Anaheim wins the Stanley Cup, I will have the biggest smile on my face because one of my all-time favorites will finally get the glory he deserves.
I’ll miss the hell out of you, Robi. Thanks for 12 years.
The Stars played one of their best games of the season last night against the (L)East’s best; I’d put the game up there with the San Jose win. Up against a scary-good team, the Stars dominated and annihilated the Penguins for most of the game. It was like they were one step ahead of the Pens on every play, defensively and offensively. It was a beautiful sight.
If the Stars played with that speed, confidence and fire every night? Well, they wouldn’t be fighting a losing battle for a playoff spot; they’d already be there.
I always appreciate nostalgia, and Dan Ellis’s new mask definitely has that Dallas Stars legends nostalgia going. I love love love that there’s a photo of Brett Hull’s Cup winner on the mask. That, to me, is just so cool and special.
Ellis also pays tribute to Mike Modano, Ed Belfour, and Marty Turco (with the latter two symbolized by what they typically wore on their helmets back in the day).
Check out the rest of the images here.
There was no bigger story from last night than Tyler Seguin’s return to Boston, especially considering the circumstances and bloodthirsty media that surrounded him as he left. Tyler Seguin has been on the receiving end of some of the most unfair backlash and judgment I’ve ever seen, and last night was his chance to face his critics.
A lot of pressure rode on Seguin’s shoulders and he performed magnificently considering the weight of it all. The Boston crowd booed him as though he stole their girlfriend (playa probably did), as though his time as a Bruin meant nothing. It’s not like he asked to be traded. Funnily enough, a slight tribute video played through Seguin’s Bruins highlights, but the stubborn crowd still booed him. Incredible. Then there was pressure from his coach to perform better at the faceoff dot. Ruff called Seguin out after his terrible faceoff percentage in Ottawa and he improved to 67%.
And then Seguin got some revenge against the organization that cruelly allowed him to be the scapegoat for playoff woes and to be slandered by the bloodthirsty Boston media. Sure it was only a shootout goal, but you could tell that he put a lot of emotion into that beautiful wrist shot. Perhaps he vanquished some demons there, I don’t know. Regardless, it had to have been a great feeling for Seguin.
Fittingly, Rich Peverley scored in the fourth round to end the game and win it for his new team.
There was a lot of leadership shown in Boston last night. Whether it was Vernon Fiddler converting on a penalty shot to tie the game late in the third or Jamie Benn saying no to Adam McQuaid, the Stars showed tremendous leadership and played an incredible game as a team.
The last time the Stars won in Buffalo, this happened:
We won in Buffalo when it mattered the most, but up until last night’s game the Stars held a sad 0-4-2 record in the city in which we became champions.
It was a messy win, but a win is a win is a win IS A WIN. So stop complaining about it. Yes, the Stars were sloppy at time and yes, they almost surrendered a three-goal lead to the worst team in the league, but we came away with those all-important 2 points. I’m not saying that we should ignore the problems; I’m just saying that for now we should just be thankful for the win and work on fixing ourselves up for the next game.
Some points to note:
- Tyler Seguin made it back onto the scoresheet with a goal and an assist. After cooling off for a few games, this was good to see from him. I’m happier with that trade with every game. I can’t wait until we’re actually a complete team again.
- A goal is coming for Valeri Nichushkin. He came so close yet again last night and still couldn’t convert. He’s going to get there soon. Regardless, he’s impressed me a lot, and I’m fully convinced that the Stars made the right choice in keeping him in the NHL.
- I was pretty ok with Steve Ott scoring on us. In fact, it made me happier than it should have. Whatevs. I’ll always love Otter, sue me.
- Matt Moulson needs to, like, not. I’m thankful this guy is in the East because that’s 6 goals against the Stars in 2 games. Ouch.
Next up: the Habs on the second night of a back-to-back. I can’t see this ending well, but you never know.
Can we just talk about how Eric Nystrom took an hour out of his life to respond to fans’ Twitter messages?
He didn’t have to do this, but he did. It’s so rare to find a professional athlete who is as open, honest, and classy as Eric Nystrom is. Players can say they care about their fans, and most truly mean it, but Nystrom takes it to a whole new level. He reads our messages and appreciates them and then takes the time to respond back, even if it’s a simple thank you.
I’m going to really miss this guy. I support former Dallas Stars, but I rarely take special interest in them once they’ve departed. Jussi Jokinen has been an exception to that rule, but I think that Nystrom will become the newest exception. He’s a truly good guy, and I wish so much we could have kept him. But that’s how hockey goes; we have to let go and it hurts sometimes.
Eric Nystrom was one of the best stories from the past couple of seasons and a definite highlight in Joe Nieuwendyk’s tenure. Joe traded a random late-round draft pick to take on Nystrom’s full salary so we could meet the cap floor (ugh, terrible times). And then Nystrom flourished here, scoring a career-high 16 goals that season. Last year, he provided great leadership down the stretch when the Stars made their crazy little run for a playoff spot.
Tonight, Ny posted a hilarious Vine documenting his new signing. He’s the literal best.
Nice signing, Preds. You got a good one.