Monthly Archives: September 2010

/facepalm

Dayum Willa.  You’ve gotten rather porcine since the last time I saw you.

But I suppose that this atrocity just means Jersey Fouls are back.  And the return of Jersey Fouls means we’re that much closer to hockey season! And I mean the regular season, not this preseason crap that counts for nothing.

And that’s something to celebrate.  Right Conan?

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Let’s Hear it for the Preseason

After last night, the stars are currently 1-1 in preseason games thus far.  They play St. Louis tonight, and I’m not expecting great things, unless the Blues put out their AHL roster.

But whatever.  Let’s talk about Kari Lehtonen.  None of these games have been (or ever will be) on TV, so I haven’t gotten to watch.  But according to those who went to the Colorado game last night, Kari played his butt off to the tune of 32 saves and only one goal. It’s nice to see that he’s acting like a solid, legit number-one goaltender.

From the looks of the scoresheets, B-Rad is just picking up where he left off last season.  He had the primary assists on both goals scored.  I haven’t checked yet to see if he has hair this year, but that’s on my list of things to do.  For B-Rad, the power is in the hair.

And how about Severin Blindenbacher? According to those who attended, he was really making a case for himself to be on the Big Stars this season.  If you can recall, we signed him over the summer, and he’s kind of a Europe vet.  I mean, Blindenbacher’s no rookie; he’s 27. I’m hoping that he gets a roster spot. He’s already making himself more useful that Matt Niskanen and that useless meatsack, Jeff Woywitka.  Plus, he’s got one of the greatest names ever.  If he makes the team, I’m greatly looking forward to calling him a mixture of “Blender,” “Severus Snape,” and “Blindy.”By the way, Blindenbacher will fit on a jersey.  It’s got the same number of letters as Langenbrunner.  Just in case anyone was curious.

Preseason doesn’t really matter, but it is getting me excited for hockey.  The only thing preseason is good for is evaluating the youngsters, assessing whether Jonathan Cheechoo still has it in him (he doesn’t), and picking a backup goalie (the battle’s still, uhm, “raging”).  I won’t believe anything until I see it for myself on October 8.

This post needs a gif…

"I'm busy." "SHUT UP."

Old News Worth Repeating

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that James Neal and Matt Niskanen have been re-signed. Awesome, right?  Well, the Neal contract is at least.  Most fans are less than thrilled that Niskers is coming back for two years.  So that means we have no contract problems going into training camp.

Speaking of which, can I get a big “Woot woot!” that training camp has started?  I thought so.  The Stars are in PEI for training camp this year, and the town is happy to have them.

Check out these plaques of native PEI-ers, B-Rad and Otter.

Those are something to be proud of, guys.

Evidently there’s all kinds of intensity in today’s scrimmage thus far.  Guys are hitting each other and Gilbert (aka Tom Wandell) is apparently hurt.  That’s not good, but I’m just glad that hockey’s back.

Then maybe I can post something of actual substance, not just goofy-looking plaques in PEI.

I’m Thuper Thuper Excited

Players are arriving at the Dr. Pepper Stars Center in Frisco to start skating because it’s almost my favorite time of the year.  Training camp is coming up, and the idea of that makes me giddy. 

The thing I love about training camp and the preseason is that we get to have a look at the prospects, and we have some pretty cool kids in the system.  Top picks like Scott Glennie and Jack Campbell aren’t quite ready for the NHL, but they will be in a few years.  Focusing on the present, we’ve got some good prospects in the Texas Stars like Colton Sceviour, Ondrej Roman, and (probably) Philip Larsen.

If you remember, Ondrej signed an entry-level contract in February after he had some contract issues with his team in the Czech Republic.  According to Mark Stepneski,  Ondrej is pumped. Here’s what the fabulous Mr. Roman had to say about finally being able to play some games after not playing a game in awhile:

It’s been a long time.  It was like back in February or January and it was a game in a Czech junior league, so that doesn’t really count. I’m pretty excited.

I’m so excited for this kid, no lie.  From YouTube yoinkage and stuff I’ve read, Ondrej is super promising.  Glennie and Campbell are a few years off, but Roman isn’t.  I think we could see him as a potential call-up, along with Aaron Gagnon.  No matter what, though, he’ll be one of the top centers on the Texas Stars.

Moving on, let’s talk about the guy I’ve started calling Phil, Philip Larsen.  He played in the final two games of last season, and his debut was overshadowed by the Modano/Turco/Lehtinen drama.  From what I saw in those two nigts, I was impressed.  Unlike someone we know (cough, Matt Niskanen), Phil didn’t look completely lost out there.  Of course, that’s slightly meaningless.  Larsen did only play two games, which doesn’t tell us a lot.  But he wore 36, my favorite number, so I’m automatically rooting for this kid to make it. 

Unfortunately, Larsen is pretty much our only defensive prospect.  Like GM Joe did at this year’s draft, it’s essential that we stock the cupboard with future d-men.  That’s not awesome, but we’re wirking on it.

Tomorrow, a bunch of our prospects fly to Traverse City for the annual prospects tournament.  Recall, we won the tourney back in 2008.  This is just a further sign that hockey season is almost here.

Be patient, y’all.  Only about a month until the season starts.  Let’s make it happen.

Realistic Expectations

Last season, I said the Stars would win the Stanley Cup.  Obviously that didn’t happen, and I was, after all, being overly optimistic.  Let’s be realistic now.

The Stars won’t win the Stanley Cup next year, no matter how much you or I want it to happen.  Cry your tears now.

Better?  Okay, let’s be serious now.  While the Stars most definitely won’t be Cup winners, they just might be able to make the playoffs.  Maybe.

We have a really nice young team (minus the defense /eyeroll) that might be able to prove the haters wrong and exceed expectations.  Sure Fabian Brunnstrom is a waste of space and a failure at life, but guys like James Neal, Jamie Benn, Mark ‘Fists’ Fistric, and Nicklas Grossman make up for that.  Remember, with every season, our youngsters are just a bit older and more experienced.  In today’s league, that can be kind of a big deal.

As for the veterans, we have Brad Richards, who is coming off of a campaign that saw him finish seventh in the league in scoring to the tune of 91 points.  Atta kid, B-Rad.  Brenden Morrow should be back to normal (oh Lawd he better be) after 2008-09’s ACL injury and last year’s questionable leadership.  Stephane Robidas starts the first year of his new contract. Karlis Skrastins won’t tire because of thise darn Olympics.  Mike Ribeiro will hopefully adjust to Marc Crawford’s system.  Things just might be less mediocre than last year.

Mike Modano, Marty Turco, and (more than likely) Jere Lehtinen aren’t returning.  The old order is gone.  Guys like Brad Richards, Kari Lehtonen, and Loui Eriksson will be relied upon to bring this team back to the playoffs.  I have faith in the Stars to be better than last year.

Bottom line, the playoffs aren’t an unreachable goal.  It’ll be a tough journey getting there, but I know the guys have it in themselves to do it.  Even if they do stink it up again, I’ll still have fun cheering them on.

I’ll be pessimistically optimistic until it’s official the season’s done and over for them.  But no matter what those crazy guys end up achieving, this should be fun.

Y’all ready for this?

Happy birthday to me.

Well kiddies, it’s September 1st.  It’s my birthday and also Jeff Woywitka’s and Brian Bellows’.  The beginning of September also marks the fact that we’re one month way from October and HOCKEY.

But until then, I have a little present for you: Muse!  Listen to all of their stuff, because Muse is pretty much the greatest (besides Lady Gaga).

Here’s the alternate live version of “Supermassive Black Hole.”

I give the gift of Muse because I’m wonderful like that.  Enjoy.