Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011

All in all, 2011 proved to be a heartbreaking year– Stars hockey and otherwise.  As Stars fans, we suffered the incredible devastation that came when our guys completely blew it.  All they needed was a regulation or overtime win against the Minnesota Wild.  That’s cake, it’s so easy for us to beat them.  But that’s not what happened.  The Stars were handed the chance to write their own destiny when the Blackhawks lost earlier that day.  But they blew it.

Marc Crawford was fired two days later, surely causing many to celebrate an experiment that had gone wrong. 

The offseason brought a shakeup as Glen Gulutzan was brought in and Brad Richards signed elsewhere.  However, Nieuwendyk being the mild genius he is, used B-Rad’s cap space to bring in Vernon Fiddler, Sheldon Souray, Radek Dvorak, and Jake Dowell to add depth to a team that kind of lacked it.  Then, in a truly awesome twist, Sean Avery was waived, so Nieuwy traded for Eric Nystrom to bring the Stars to the cap floor.  At the time, the trade was kind of like whatever.  Now?  It’s effing brilliant.  Nystrom has already surpassed his career high in goals and we’re not even halfway through the season.

The Stars have struggled through their typical mediocrity, but they’ve been a surprising team this season.  Most critics picked them to finish in the West’s basement, but they’re currently duking it out for a playoff spot.  Granted, tht’s not too different than last year, but things just feel different, you know?  

Despite the injuries piling up, I still think we’re in a good spot.  The new owndership is in place.  Kari’s back.  The third line is all kinds of awesome.  This year might not be the year, but I feel really good about the direction we’re headed.

Same goes for the NHL and hockey in general.  No one can deny that it was a terrible offseason, starting with the Vancouver riots and ending with the Lokomotiv disaster.  We lost a lot of good men over the summer.

One such loss was that of Our Star, Mike Modano, who retired in September.  It wasn’t all that shocking, but it still hurt to see my favorite player of all-time go.  One bright spot in such a sad year was the one-day contract the Stars signed Mo to, to ensure he retired a Dallas Star.   

The concussion epidemic is still going on, with Team Concussion boasting the likes of Sidney Crosby and Chris Pronger among others.  It’s truly been a bad year in hockey, with more bad happenings than good. 

2012 might bring the end of the world, but in hockey, I thik it’s something to look forward to.

Happy Holidays!

Let’s Hear It for the Kid, Part II

Richard Bachman owned that game.  Sure Henrik Lundqvust was great, but Bacher was better.  In a must-win– for pride and bragging rights, I mean– Bachman stood tall and owned an excellent Rangers team.

I wanted to win that one so incredibly bad.  Not because I have any hard feelings about B-Rad but because I wanted us to prove that we don’t really need him.  Brad Richards is a really nice guy, and I don’t blame him for leaving.  Actually, I thank him for leaving.  Had Nieuwy re-signed Richie, he wouldn’t have made the Stars a deeper team with the signings of Fiddler, Dvorak, Ryder et al.  Of course the perfect scenario would have been to keep Richards AND sign those guys, but I’m content with how everything worked out.

Lost in the mix was the fact that we were also facing former Star Jeff Woywitka.  In much the same way that I forgot his existence, I didn’t realize that he played for the Rangers until they were actually playing the game.  Also similar was the way he flubbed the puck and allowed Trevor Daley to score his beautiful game-winner.

However, I was a bit sad that my darling Sean wasn’t able to play.  I know everyone hates him, but he’s lovely…at least to me.  But whatever.  Considering the last time we played at MSG with Avery in the lineup, perhaps it’s better that he didn’t play.

I also forgot about the fact that Mike Ribeiro made his first return to MSG since his throat was attacked by that idiot Chris Higgins.  I think people tend to forget that that happened, since Ribs kind of acts like it didn’t.  It’s like he got his throat hurt, sat out some games, and came back without changing anything.  It’s just one of those odd hockey things.

Next up: let’s get revenge against the Isles.  Make it happen. 

GO STARS GO.

Let’s hear It for the Kid

Richard Bachman made his first NHL start last night, awesomely I may add.  Victories against the Kings are pretty rare, and Bach managed to help us get one.  Disclosure: I didn’ty watch the whole thing, expecially since a stupid pregame ceremony pushed the start back EVEN FURTHER. C’mon, Kings.  Couldn’t you honor Bernie Nichols some other night, like against a true Pacific team? Realignment can’t some soon enough…

Anyway, it was still pretty great to wake up and see that the Stars had won.  It’s also always nice to see rookies debut well.  I wasn’t too stoked to see the Stars after they fell apart in San Jose, but this was a pleasant, unexpected sort of win.

Finally, here’s a funny picture of Michael Ryder from last night!

Shake It Up

One word: realignment! The NHL’s board of governors voted to realign the league, because apparently Winnipeg is nowhere near the Southeast. Who knew?! Of course, this means great things for the Stars. Obviously, we’re not the biggest winners there are, but getting out of the Pacific was the best scenario, so it;s nice that that played out.

In our new conference, we get to be friends with Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, and Winnipeg. Wooooooooo. I mean, yeah the new conferences are a little wonky in the East what with the two random Florida teams left behind, but this is great. Let travel woes be someone else’s problem for once.

Honestly, I’m just thanking baby hockey Jesus that we are out of the Pacific. I’m not saying this new group is a cupcake or a walk in the park, but everyone knows that the Pacific has always been the hardest division in hockey. Frankly, I’m glad to be rid of the LA Kings more than anyone. However, I’l definitely miss the feisty Stars-Ducks and Stars-Sharks games. But it’s a small price to pay.

Of course, these uneven conferences also make it easier for expansion, which could be fun.

Let’s do this.