Monthly Archives: June 2011

Welcome to Our Club

Draft weekend is so over, so the only thing left before a long summer of despair and gloom is free agency on Friday.

This past weekend, the Stars added some new members to our little club of awesomeness.  Let’s just say that the newest Stars aren’t exactly little cherubs.  They’re adorable- DEFINITELY!- but the average height of our draft this year was 6 foot 3.  And I’d say it was a pretty good draft for us.

Let’s talk about a couple of the more notable picks…

Jamieson Oleksiak (1st Round, 14th Overall)

This is Jamie Oleksiak, a defenseman from Northeastern.  He’s tall.  6 foot 7 to be exact.  According to scouts, he has a lot of upside.  Think a future Tyler Meyers.  The only question nagging anyone, really, is whether he’s American or Canadian.  /Kanye shrug

I love this pick, and so does Ralph Strangis.  Ralph tweeted that the pick reminds him of good ol’ Derian Hatcher, which is a great comparison if you ask me.

Brett Ritchie (2nd Round, 44th Overall)

Meet Brett Ritchie.  I think he looks like a young Phil Mickelson, but that’s just me.  In fact, he looks more like Phil Mickelson than Phil Mickelson does, because Phil Mickelson looks like Mike Modano.

Well anyway, he’s a big kid as well.  And a right winger, which is cool, because we always seem to run out of those. 

I didn’t really appreciate the irony, though, when the draft board read “B. Ritchie.”  It’s like the hockey gods are laughing in our faces or something.

Troy Vance (5th Round, 135th Overall)

Ahhhh…the annual fifth round pick.  Judging by his company, Vance has a ton of weight on his shoulders.  When your fellow Dallas Stars fifth round picks are Jamie Benn, Tom Wandell, Philip Larsen, and Thomas Vincour, you’d better follow in their footsteps.

I have no doubt that Vance can.  There are so many great things about him.  One is his size: 6 foot 6.  I envision a Stars defensive pairing of Oleksiak and Vance, a new era’s Hatcher and Matvichuk.

Then there’s the fact that the Stars obviously have plans for him.  It was a Stars scout who suggested Vance to the Victoriaville team in order to make him eligible for the draft.  They wanted him, so they must have known what they were doing when they drafted him.

Besides, doesn’t the name “Troy Vance” sound like that of an all-star defenseman?  I think it does.

Welcome to our club, children!

The Awkward Loui

Oh, Loui bb, could you look any more uncomfortable?  He looks like his mom got him all dressed up and it’s picture time.  Either way, Loui makes awkwardess adorable.  I love you, kitten.

Love you, boo.  Don’t ever change.

Walk Walk Fashion Baby…

Everyone, including me, loves a man in a suit, so the NHL Awards is one of my favorite times of the year.  I get to see some of my favorite men on the planet dress up in their rugged, beautiful way.  So…let’s talk about their outfits!

Henrik Daniel Sedin

Like many, he went with a nicely cut black suit.  I like that he went sans tie.  His shoes are very shiny, which is a plus.  Overall, I think it’s a sharp look…even if I don’t particularly like him that much.

Shea Weber

Oh…the eternal Western conference hate.  I’m feeling it.  Like Danny Sedin, I’m not too fond of Shea Weber, but it just goes with the territory.  I will admit, though, that he is a rugged kind of pretty and that if he wasn’t a Predator, I’d probably have a ridiculous crush on him.  He looks very sharp, and I love his tie.

Doug Weight

Okay, I have a ridiculous crush on Doug Weight, stemming from his time on NHL Network.  The man knows how to wear a suit…and a smile.  This fits him perfectly.  Not too baggy, not too long.  I love it.

Corey Perry (Ew.)

I like the suit itself, but the shoulders are a bit baggy.  The jacket in general just seems too big.  It’s pretty “meh.”

Steven Stamkos

I’m sorry, Stammer, but the greasy hair makes you look really douchey.  Which is a shame, because the real douche on this page is situated right above you.  However, I LOVE the purple shirt.  And I’m glad to see that his nose is all healed up.

Roberto Luongo

Why the long face, Roberto?

He looks so sad that I don’t have the heart to go all snarkfest on him.  Though I’m sure at some point he talked about how he looks better in a suit than Tim Thomas.

Jeff Skinner

He’s so frickin’ cute.  Once again, I don’t have the heart to tear into his fashion choices for the night.  Skinner’s a rookie, so he gets a free pass this time.

Welp, that’s all I feel like doing for now, lovelies!

Hey Gulutzan Heyyyy

Let’s talk about our new coach!  We’ve had him for about a week, and he’s…

Thank you, Dean.

After having a lot of success as head coach of our BB Stars in the AHL, Gulutzan got promoted to the big leagues.  This move surprised absolutely no one, because using AHL coaches has become something of a trend in the league (see: Dan Bylsma et al).

When Marc Crawford was fired, there came cries from every which way.  Bring back Ken Hitchcock!  Promote Desjardins!  Not Keenan!  Kirk Muller!  Stay out of it, Cory Clouston!

We had a TON of options, including assistant coaches from around the league.  Because it’s just not cool to hire seasoned veterans anymore.  Nope.  The new thing is to promote from within or to snatch somebody’s assistant coach. 

I could see this move as shaping up to be a good one.  From what I’ve picked up, Gulutzan (or “Gully” as they call him) is good with young guys and is an all-around players’ coach.  That’s a quite different approach than what ol’ Crow brought to the table.  It might have something to do with the fact that, at 39 years old, he’s the youngest coach in Dallas Stars history.

Gulutzan’s got a good resume to the tune of a surprise Calder Cup finals showing in 2010.  He clearly knows what he’s doing, and he looks like a calming force leading the bench, as opposed to Crawford’s vehement insanity.  Ok, it wasn’t that insane, but it felt like it sometimes.

Here’s a quote from GM Joe on Gultzan and the trend of AHL coaches in the NHL:

 I think obviously, the success of Danny Bylsma and Guy Boucher last year in his first year out of the American Hockey League are examples of that, but the league has gotten younger. I think maybe that is a factor, maybe these young coaches that are innovative have a good relationship with those young players. But regardless of that, we have a young coach that we feel is going to be our leader and that’s where his strengths lie. Even though he’s young, he has a relationship with our guys and they’re certainly going to know who’s in charge and they’ll play hard for him.

Bonus: Gulutzan has this Conan O’Brien air about him.  I think it’s the hair.

Out With a Bang

Unless you’ve been living in a hole, you might have heard that we have a new Stanley Cup champion.  Congratulations to the Bruins for vanquishing the Damn Canucks and for starting Armageddon in Vancouver (boy, if that’s what they did when they lost, what would it have looked like if they’d won?).

This Cup final felt so much more emotional than last year’s.  I felt like it was inevitable that the Hawks would win, and they surprised absolutely no one when they did.  This year, though, there was a feeling that Game 7 could go either way, because it had been a truly bizarre series. 

Ultimately, Game 7 was a bit of a letdown, especially if you’re a Canucks fan.  I never like to see Game 7 blowouts, but the game itself was actually pretty intense up until the second Bruins goal.  That was the one that insured a Bruins victory.  The way I saw it was, Tim Thomas isn’t going to give up more than a goal.  If you’re lucky, he might give up two.  In the end, he didn’t give up any.

There have been years where there hasn’t been a definitive Conn Smythe candidate.  This year, though, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it would be Tim Thomas.  Thomas played out of his freaking mind LIKE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL.

Plus, he’s much too classy to say what we were all thinking whenever Luongo let in a goal: Tim Thomas would’ve gotten that one.  In the end, Luongolol’s comments came back to bite him in the ass.  Ditto with Daniel Sedin’s guarantee of a Vancouver win.  The Canucks got ahead of themselves, and they paid dearly for it.  Karma, perhaps?  Probably.  The Canucks cheap-shotted and bit their way through the series, unlike the Bruins who only cheap-shotted their path to the Cup.

Anyway, just some random thoughts relating to last night…

Mark Recchi is finished.  Lost in all of last night’s chaos was the fact that it was Mark Recchi’s final game in the NHL.  My oh my, what a way to go out.  Congrats on a fantastic career, Recching Ball.  You will be missed, good sir.

There’s something in the water… I loved the hoodoo/voodoo trick the Bruins did.  It was positively ingenious.  Pouring Garden water on the ice?!  Brilliant!

Tyler Seguin. The kid is 19 (so he can legally drink the champagne in Canada), and he’s already won his first Cup.  To put it into perspective, he hasn’t even been drafted for a year, and he’s already winning.  You go, Seguin.

It was a great Cup final (maybe one of the greatest ever), and it’s nice that it’s over.  However…it is now the dreaded off-season.  109 more days until the regular season starts up again.

It’s going to be a looooong summer…

Game 7 FTW

As if this crazy, bizarre, and throughly entertaining series could end any other way.  Just sit back and enjoy it, because Wednesday’s game will be the last hockey we see for a very long time.  Best of all, there’s really no telling who’ll win.  Just cherish this wonderful series for everything it’s been, because finals like this one are rare.

After the jump, a little gift…

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They are Bruins, watch them roar.

This is lightly late, but whatever.  I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a hockey game these playoffs as much as I enjoyed Game 3.  It’s always nice to watch a team you really, really hate get crushed when it matters most.

The Bruins brought it, there’s no doubt about that.  They were mean.  And I liked it!  I think their lack of real grit and mean-ness was what cost them the first two games of the series (and bullshit, but let’s not talk about that).  We all knew they were the Big Bad Bruins, which is kind of why people tend to hate them, but they weren’t really showing that.  Well…they finally did.

It was pure awesomeness. 

My favorite parts:

  • Tim Thomas’s hit on Henrik Sedin.  Goalies don’t hit that often, but Timmy Thomas isn’t just any goalie, I guess.  I laughed when he hit Ginger Twin 1.  That’s Tim Thomas for you.  He doesn’t take any Canuck’s shit.
  • Lucic taunting Burrows. Ok, so maybe it was immature, but whatever.  Julien yelled at him, so all’s good, right?  I laughed so much at this moment, though.  Maybe it’s because Lusty Lucic gave me a case of the giggles.  Or maybe it was out of intense hatred of Alex Burrows.  Who cares?  It was hilarious.  It was also the last time we’ll see it this series, because there’s now a strict penatly to go along with finger taunting.  Sigh…
  • The Canucks’ pathetic end to the game.  You do realize that all four of the Bruins’ third period goals occurred in the last 8:20 of the period, right?  I’m pretty sure that three happened in the final minute and a half, which is really sad.  The Canucks gave up, and it was a sorry sight.  How ’bout those President’s Trophy winners now, eh?  Sure they’re a good team, but when they get down, they get really down.
  • The last 20 seconds. When I wasn’t too busy crying tears of laughter, I watched the Canucks skate with the puck for the final 20 seconds of the game,  My favorite part was how Luongo was off the ice before the final horn even rang.  It was so beautiful.

I’m not going to really comment on the Rome hit on Horton.  I don’t think there was any malicious intent (as far as assbutts go on the Canucks, Rome isn’t the worst), but it was a dangerous hit to make.  For that, I’m glad he was suspended.

Next up: Tonight.  Versus.  Be there.  As if you haven’t put in your plans already.