Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Epic Showdown Between B-Rad and His BFF, Vinny…and Wandell’s OT Winner

Somehow overtime victories are much more rewarding than regulation ones.  They’re so…epic.  I mean, yeah, I’m mad about the blown lead, but it’s to my third favorite team in the whole wide world, so I can’t stay angry about that. 

Surprisingly enough, the Stars scored THREE power play goals.  Impressive.  You know, for them.

B-Rad rocked my socks, and got revenge for last year’s ATROCIOUS loss to the Bolts.  Sorry, Vinny and Marty, but Round 2 goes to B-Rad.

I’ve now jumped on the Tom Wandell bandawagon.  I HEART TOM WANDELL!  He’s awesome and he’s a Swede.   And his OT goal is three game-winners for him now.  Yeah, that’s the good stuff.

However, the worst part of the night was Niskers.  What are we to do about Niskanen?  To put it bluntly, that giveaway was HORRIBLE.  I’d say trade him to Toronto, but I’m afraid that Niskers lacks truculence.

Ugh.

But whatevs.  My slogan is: “A win is a win, no matter how sloppy.”

Which totally applies to last night.

Anyhoo, next game: Tomorrow vs. the Red Wings.  Let’s win this one, boys.

Go Stars!

I heart Swedes.

11/23/09 Stars Shut Out the Canes aka “Return of the Morrow”

Going into the game, I was pretty worried that we couldn’t beat the last-place Hurricanes.  And after Ray Whitney had seemingly scored, I feared that the win-lose-win-lose trend was taking over again.  But the Stars won in spite of fate, I guess you could say.  Maybe now they’ll get a little win streak going and (finally!) build off of a win.  

Let’s talk about Brenden Morrow.  He rocked last night.  He practically oozed awesome.  He fought Tim Gleason within the first minute of the game, and I smiled because I saw a flash of the old, pre-ACL injured Morrow.  And he just kept on going.  Morrow hit guys like he used to, and he may not have had a goal, but he did have a primary assist on the Bennster’s goal.  I think Morrow really needed a game like that.

And he sure as heck got it.

So…how about Brad Richards?  Every single night he’s consistently awesome.  He creates chances out of nothing and I’m really impressed with him.  Are there anymore Richards-haters out there? If you are, speak up so I can grant about how awesome B-Rad is. 😉

I just wanted to say that James Neal’s suspension was worth it now.  The Stars won both games without him, and it’s all okay.  Why was the suspension worth it, you ask?  Because the way Dorsett went down was the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile.  He looked like a cartoon character who had a hammer dropped on his head.  And that, my lovelies, is why it was worth it.

Great game, and Juicy didn’t even how to embarrass us in the shootout.

Next up is the Brett Hull ceremony against the Blues.  Let’s build on this one.

Go Stars!

The Last Days of James Neal’s Innocence

James Neal was given a two-game suspension for his hit on Derek Dorsett of the Blue Jackets.  I’m really PO’ed about this, and it’s taking all of my self-control not to drop the f-bomb every other word.  I’m mad because Neal’s gone for two games, because this really sucks, and just because Neal had to do that. 

I’ll admit that, yes, Neal deserved a suspension.  I don’t think he intended to injure Dorsett, but he did.  What angers me about Neal is that this is his third boarding penalty this season, and he’s getting worriedly agressive in his play.  Now Neal has a record.  And it’s not good.  With a record, Neal can get suspended again.

Oh, and just look at the probably true flow chart from Down Goes Brown.

That’s what Neal’s got going against him now.  This is bad.  I love James Neal, I really do.  I don’t want him to have a reputation like Corey Perry as a gritty, talented douche bag.  Unfortuantely, the hit on Dorsett was eerily reminiscent of a play I’ve seen guys like Perry and the man himself, Todd Bertuzzi, do many times before.

Neal’s not a bad guy.  He’s like Brenden Morrow in the sense that he occasionally takes it too far, like last night.  I’m willing to bet that Neal’s our future captain.  But will he have a reputation like Pronger?  If he gets suspended again, then maybe.

People are already calling Neal a punk.  They’re mostly Columbus fans, but still.  If anyone’s a punk, it’s Ribs, and I love him for all of his punkiness.  They accuse Neal of hiding behind Trevor Daley when Dorsett challenged him to fight.  No.  Neal didn’t do anything of the sort.  Neal’s not afraid to fight.  Just ask Derrick Brassard.  Neal has more balls than that entire Blue Jackets team.  Don’t call him a punk, because he’s not.

What really irks me more than anything, though, is the inconsistency of the league’s discipline.  They’re more inconsistent than the Stars, and that’s saying something.  Why is it that Mike Richards wasn’t suspended for that hit on David Booth?  What’s different between the Richards hit and Neal’s hit?  You can chalk part of it up to Richards’ superstar status.

Another problem Neal faced in discipline was the classic, “He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”  It’s true; he was.  The league has recently said that they’d crack down on head shots, and Neal had poor timing in his.  It’s just an unfortunate fact.

Those are my thoughts on this.  You can watch the YouTube and see for yourself.

11/18/09 Stars Defeat the Wings aka “The One With the Make-Up Call”

Obviously, the big story from last night is the no-goal that was.  I’m biased, and I’ll always take the Stars’ side, but even I’ll admit that that was a goal.  However, the way I see it is a make-up call from the hockey gods.  Whether it was from the Calgary game or even way back in the Western Conference finals with that bad penalty call on Mark Fistric.  So, that’s out of the way.

There was nothing but good last night from the Stars.  Even if that goal wasn’t waved off, they probably would have won.  They played better than the Wings.

The power play worked (2 PP goals), and they killed four penalties off.  Alex Auld was amazing, and James Neal was awesome.

Hopefully they can build off of that win and create a little win streak.

Tonight: the Blue Jackets come to town.  See you there.

Go Stars!

Neal: Most Underrated Player in the NHL

One of my favorite NHL columnists is ESPN’s John Buccigross. I trust the man’s judgment, and he just released his Olympic rosters.

On Team Canada, he (probably mistakenly) forgot Brenden Morrow, but he put James Neal as  an alternate.

Here’s his quote that I love:

Neal is the most underrated player in the NHL.

Very nice, Bucci.  Very nice.

James Neal is a flipping monster.  He had a great rookie season, and he’s on pace for an even better second season.  No sophomore slump here, eh?

There’s so much to love about Neal.  He’s physical, passionate, focused, slick, and just plain awesome.  Another thing I love is his sense of humor.  He’s funny in a wry way, and I love it.

Neal is the sort of guy you can’t really compare to any other player, because he’s a mix of great players.  The way I see him is that James Neal is Brenden Morrow with Mike Modano’s scoring touch.  Gotta love that, right?  Yeah, I thought so.

Hopefully Neal is a staple in this franchise for the rest of his career.  There’s been so much good stuff from the “Real Deal” and I’m sure we’ll see more.

James Neal rhymes with "awesome."

11/14/09 Stars Fall to Coyotes aka “The One With Dave Tippett”

I’m really disappointed in last night’s loss.  The Stars had so much momentum that they could have carried over from the San Jose game.  But, they didn’t. 

Instead, they were always a step behind the Coyotes, and they never really got going.  There aren’t enough words to describe my disappointment.

In every game, there’s always something.  Something they can’t seem to do right, something they can’t get to work.

Last night, they squandered two early power plays, and they couldn’t win puck battles.  Put it all together, and you get a losing team.

The only bright spots from last night were Marty Turco and Mike Modano.  Mo looks great, years younger than he is.  His backhand goal was a thing of beauty.  As for Turco, the loss wasn’t his fault. The team in front of him didn’t help him out at all.  None of the goals were particularly soft, except for the first one.

And then kudos to Niskers for finally making me say something good about him.  🙂  Good job, Niskanen on the goal.

Next up: our bitter rivals, the Red Wings.  We’d better freaking win.  That’s all I’m gonna say.

Go Stars!

James Neal Interview

Puck Daddy had an excellent interview today with our very own James Neal.  To be honest, Neal is really interesting, and I’m not just saying that because he’s James “Big Deal” Neal.

Check it out.

 

 

11/12/09 Robidas Gets the Shootout Winner Against the Sharks aka “No, Really I’m Serious”

If I told you yesterday that the Stars would beat the Sharks in the shootout, and that Stephane Robidas would get the game-winner, you’d probably laugh.  But that’s exactly what happened last night.

Don’t laugh, I’m serious. 😉

It’s just great, though, isn’t it?  They beat San Jose, easily the hottest team in the league, and in a shootout, nonetheless.  Plus, they came back AGAIN.  I’m seriously loving how they can come back from these deficits.

I’m really happy with this win, and I sure hope that there are more to come.

Next up: Dave Tippett’s Coyotes.  This is gonna be intense.  Can’t wait, and I’ll see you there.

Go Stars!

APTOPIX Stars Sharks Hockey

Who'd a thunk? 🙂

Hull of a Career

I love corny puns for titles like the one above.  And I especially love ones about Brett Hull.  I just think that’s awesome.  Anyway, no game review for the recent back-to-back.  I was all pumped about beating Vancouver and that creepy ginger kid goalie they’ve got.  Then they went and lost to Minnesota.  Freaking last-place-in-the-West Minnesota.  Depressing.

Anyway, it’s Hall of Fame Day.  Dallas’ own Brett Hull has been elected into the HOF.  Cool, right?  He’s the first Star to ever have the honor.  And probably not the last since Joe Nieuwendyk’s a shoo-in next year, Carbonneau will get it one of these years, and Mike Modano is freaking Mike Modano. 

But Hull’s special.  For us Stars fans, he’s a hero.  He won us our Stanley Cup.  And sure, it was controversial, but pssh! Do we care?  No.  What counts is that we took a risk on this superstar and it paid off.  They say we couldn’t have won without Nieuwendyk, but we might not have won it without Hull.  He was the missing piece that gave us a Cup.

Hull is third on the all-time goals list.  That’s only behind Gretzky and Howe.  What’s even more remarkable is the fact that Hull never really cared about the sport.  He was fun-loving and goofy, and didn’t really care about anything.  That’s why “Ambassador of Fun” is a fitting nickname for him as well.

And then there was the shot.  What.  A.  Bullet.  somehow he always managed to find the back of the net.  I’m not old enough to remember any of Hull very well, but I’ve watched countless Stars Cup videos.  Watching Hull, what I really noticed was his shot.  It really kind of freaked me out how good it was.  Hull was scary good.

With Hull going to the Hall, it’s a proud moment for us Stars fans.  One of our own is finally in the Hall. Don’t ever forget what Hull brought to the Stars in those three years he was here.  Don’t remember “that mistake”, remember the goal in triple OT of Game 6 back in ’99.  Because that’s what Brett Hull should be to Stars fans.

Hull, No Goal That Was 6-19-99

It counted. Now shut up and move on, people.

11/4/09 Stars Earn Another Loser Point aka “We Got Pittsburgh-ed and I’m PO’ed”

The Stars deserved to win that game last night.  They played hard, and it was their best game this season.  I’ll admit that the Flames played well, too, but the Stars were just a bit better.  Shame it had to end with the Stars being Pittsburgh-ed, don’t you think?

What we watched last night was playoff hockey, right down to needing the extra minutes.  Both teams played with intensity, passion, and heart.  Dallas more so than Calgary most of the time.

In the first period, the Stars weren’t great, but they were steady.  What really irks me about those first 20 minutes is that they failed to do anything with the power play or that lengthy 5-on-3.  I was disappointed in that, but I was happy that they hadn’t blown the game or anything.

When Iginla scored in the second, I was angry at Niskanen or Daley, whichever bungled that play that led to the three-on-one.  You can’t let Jarome Iginla of all people have the puck with that much space.  I’m not going to dwell on Morrow’s missed penalty shot, because I don’t blame him for anything; he’s not a shootout specialist.  It’s fine that he didn’t score.  I didn’t really expect him to. 

The third period was great- except that last 1:25.  James Neal has a new nickname: Big Deal Neal, and there’s talk that he’ll be invited to play for Team Canada in the Olympics.  Loui’s goal was great, but B-Rad’s pass was slick.  I’m pretty sure he intended for that tip to happen.  With two minutes left, I thought the game was in the bag.  But then the Stars were scrambling in their own zone, couldn’t get it out, and just like that, the game was tied.

When OT came, I kind of gave up since it’s not exactly one of the team’s strengths.  Then, that stupid, stupid, STUPID call happened.  It was horrible.  I mean, there were two officials RIGHT THERE who easily saw that it wasn’t delay of game.  But we all know what happened there.

Great game, bad end.

I’m so angry at Calgary right now, that I’m secretly hoping that “He” and his team will beat the Flames on Saturday.  I sure hope you know who I’m talking about.

Next up is Friday against Vancouver.

Go Stars!