Category Archives: Karlis Skraskins

37

Karlis Skrastins was a quiet guy.  So what better way for the Stars to honor his memory than in a kind, simple way?  This coming season, the Stars will wear decal “37”s on the backs of their helmets, which I’m really, really glad they’re doing.  Patches felt like a little much for a guy that was never all that flashy, so a helmet decal was my pick for a tribute.

And I suppose you could say that the number 37 has been temporarily retired.  In a classy move by a classy guy, Brad Lukowich switched from his usual 37 to the number 47 for this season.

From NHL.com:

“That’s not a surprise. Luko’s such a standup guy, a great leader and great teammate that it doesn’t surprise me one bit that he’s doing that,” center Toby Peterson said. “I think it’s a good thing for him to be doing.”
“After a game, he’d blocked 30 shots and you knew it hurt. Every time he’d come off, we’d always be asking him, where’d you get that one, Skratch? Did it hurt? He’d say, no I’m OK. You wonder what’s wrong with this guy. He’s a robot,” Burish said. “I know it hurts. I just got hit with one myself. I know it hurts. Just the way he would have this smirk off the side of his mouth and just laugh at us and say he’s OK, we’d try to get him to laugh or tell us he hurt and he’d just give us a little crooked smile and say, ‘I’m OK guys, don’t worry about me.’ So that was always kind of funny.”

 

 RIP Skratch.

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Hellatus

Hockey’s summer from hell continues as word came out this morning about a plane crash in Russia.  The KHL’s Lokomitiv team was on that plane, with 43 dead and two surviviors.

This offseason has been a heartbreaking one, but this tragedy has really, truly torn me apart.  After mourning Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak, I now know what it’s like to truly lose one of my own.

Karlis Skrastins was on that plane.  Former Star, Karlis Skrastins.  To be honest, his death is affecting me more than anything else that’s happened this offseason.  I’ve never lost a Star so fresh in my mind.  Peter Zezel is the last one I can think of, and he played for them a long time ago.  But Skrastins.  Just five months ago, he was part of the push to the playoffs.  Skrastins, like that playoff push, lasted up until the very last game of the season, because that’s how Scratch was. Durable.  Reliable.  Amazing.

He was a real iron man, who rarely missed a game.  A stay-at-home defenseman who kept us in the running long after we should have been.

My favorite memory of Karlis Skrastins remains the game in fall 2010 when he scored two goals against the Detroit Red Wings.  Here you had Karlis Skrastins, a guy who never scores.  Ever.  And he scored two goals in one game, his only goals on the year.  I just remember exclaiming how crazy it was, and it cemented my already burgeoning love for him.

I really, really wanted him to stay with the Stars, but obviously that didn’t happen.  And so this horrible, horrible event did.

Also killed in the crash was Pavol Demitra, one of those “damn Canucks,” yet one of the few that I ever liked.  Less notable are the 40+ others, who I will mourn just as greatly as Scratch and Demitra.

I can barely form words about this, and I’ve been shaking and crying ever since I heard the news.  The world needs to stop treating our hockey family so cruelly.  Please.

RIP you guys.

And Scratch…a Dallas Star is forever.  You will be missed.

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?

Cherish the Angry B-Rad

Because you may never see this side of Brad Richards again.  Ever.  I found it completely endearing, and I honestly went, “Aww, B-Rad!” during his tirade, in which I’m pretty sure he dropped a few f-bombs. 🙂  But I found it all very sweet.  I’m so proud of him!

And I really effing hate Todd Bertuzzi.  The fact that he scored two goals makes me sick to my stomach.  He’s such a dirty asshole that I was screaming at my TV.  B-Rad only took his penalty in retaliation for when Bertuzzo shoved him.  The call on B-Rad was an awful one, especially since Bertuzzi probably dove a little on that.

But whatevs.  WE WON THE GAME! In regulation, too!  And Karlis Skrastins, of all people, played sniper for two goals.  It was pretty much amazing.

It was a rather sloppy game on our goalie’s part, but who cares? WE WON.  My motto is this:  A win is a win, no matter how sloppy.

My Three Stars:

1. Brad Richards- I had to give it to him after that great tantrum he threw.  Plus, he had a really good game today.

2. Karlis Skrastins-  He had three points today, which is a huge total for him.  He played great.

3. Pavel Datsyuk- I’d give it to Bertuzzi, except he exhibited douch-baggy behavior at the end to B-Rad and I’ve never liked him.  I like Datsyuk, though.  He’s hilarious and he had a good game.

Next Up: Monday vs. San Jose.  See you there!

Go Stars!

The Dallas Stars Fluke-Fest

That had to have been one of the flukiest games I’ve ever seen.  It was CRAZY.  It was CHAOTIC.  It was ANARCHY.

I loved it.

After that early goal by the Sucks, I was pretty worried that the Stars couldn’t come back.  And I stayed worried after  there was no scoring in the second.  However, the Stars came into the third looking to win.  And that made the difference.

They HAD to break Giguere’s groove, so they did.  They did so off the leg of James Wisniewski.  When that one went in, I was speechless.  When Otter’s went in a minute later, I was like, “Whoa!”  Then I laughed because Giguere pulled a Marc-Andre Fleury.

I love that Robi took out Mike Modano-wannabe, extraordinaire, Bobby Ryan.  And don’t forget that Robidas is leading all blueliners in the category of most hits.  Yeah, it IS good. 🙂

And how about that flipping amazing play Skrastins made?  I love him.

Next up is the Edmonton Oilers.  See you there.

As always, Go Stars!

Evaluating October

As badly as the Stars have played in recent games, everything’s just fine.  They got the fast start they wanted, tallying at least one point in 11 of 14 games.  They currently sit in a playoff spot.

This is different than last year.  Last season was just…bad.  Nothing was working, the team wasn’t motivated and to top it all off, we had to deal with “Him.”  Last season, the Stars couldn’t put together back-to-back wins until December.  They’ve gotten back-to-back wins once, but they’ve had back-to-back games where they tallied at least one point.

If it makes you feel any better, my dad (a Stars fan since the very beginning) told me that in 98-99 when the Stars won the Cup, they were bad on Friday nights.  That seems to be the trend this year.  Is it a coincidence or a sign that something good will happen?

Mo and Lehts will be back soon to give the kids some stability.  I think that if Modano had played last night, things would have gone differently.

The only problems I see with the Stars right now is failure to win on home ice consistently and the shootout.  For the SO, I say keep Neal, but go with Morrow and Otter.  I mean, it can’t hurt to try something new when things aren’t working.  Or throw a lineup of Skrastins-Robidas-Barch out there.  Whatever will get the job done.

My point is, is that things are different this year.  The Stars got the fast start they wanted and that’s what counts.

Last Season: 4-5-2 10 points

This Season: 6-3-5 17 points

Ponder that.

Go Stars!

Gold Star System

I just had this idea hit me.  See, whenever I think someone did a good job on something, I’ll say, “Gold star for so-and-so!”  Then, tonight  I wondered if I could possibly apply that to hockey. 

Hence, my new gold star system.  So whenever a Dallas Star has a good play or did something awesome, I’ll award them a gold star.  Then I’ll add ’em up at the end of the week, and we’ll have a Star of the Week.  Then Star of the Month and Star of the Year.  Maybe even a special playoff format.

Here’s how it works: A player can receive more than one Star in one night, so if they awesomely get a hat trick or something, they can get credit.  Keep in mind, that they can also be docked gold stars if they do something outrageously stupid or horrible.  I’ll kind of make the rules up as I go along just to forewarn you.

Starting with Saturday’s game, here are the recipients of gold stars:

Jamie Benn- Welcome to the NHL!  He gets a freebie.

Brad Richards- A gold star for growing your hair back! 😛

Brenden Morrow- It’s been awhile, Sir Captain.  A gold star for being back.

Karlis Skrastins- For making awesome defensive plays, he gets one gold star.

Toby Petersen- One gold star for being unnoticed yet awesome. 🙂

Loui Eriksson-  Loui made the second goal happen without ever being credited with an assist.  One gold star.

James Neal- Two gold stars for being awesome and scoring our two goals.

That’s all I’ve got from that game, so let’s hope that I can give out more after tonight. 

Go Stars!