Well hello, old friend. Long time no see! Now that we’ve reached the end of another year, I feel like recapping the year that was 2012.
Over the course of the past year, we’ve lost friends and gained new ones. Been triumphant one night and devastated the next. Missed the playoffs yet again and generated hope for next time around. Of course, everything that’s happened in 2012 has been overshadowed by the lockout.
Easily the story of this hockey year, the lockout has been a tough pill to swallow. I could rant for days about why the lockout is the absolute worst, but I won’t. I just have a lot of feelings about it, like basically everyone.
Instead, I’d rather focus on what 2012 has been like for the Stars. We missed the playoffs again (the ridiculously tough last batch of games didn’t help our cause at all), but GM Joe made some notable moves in the offseason that are the kind that truly give a struggling team hope.
When Brad Richards departed for New York, there was nothing sudden about it. B-Rad leaving was as inevitable as Lindsay Lohan messing things up for herself…again. I knew it, you knew it, your neighbor who doesn’t even watch hockey knew it. We all knew it. That’s why it was so easy to deal with. Well, as easy to deal with as those sorts of things can be. I accepted it, albeit bitterly.
Even though there’d been trade rumblings for ages, I never saw the Mike Ribeiro trade coming. And as a Ribs fan, ouch. It hurts. I understand why the trade was made, and I like it. But that’s not enough to rid myself of the sadness that comes when a player I very much enjoyed having around is traded.
This post is kind of a eulogy, even though I hate to call it that. Ribs didn’t die; he was merely traded. Though in the hockey world, they might as well be the same thing. Analysis will come from everywhere as we prepare to assess our Stars team for free agency and the coming season, but I’m not going to dwell on how spectacular Cody Eakin will or won’t be.
No, right now I just want to take time to remember a guy who’s been an important Stars player and a hell of a great character.
Yesterday’s win against the Canucks was huge in so many ways. We got two points that we never expected. We won against the best team in the league. We came together in a perfect, flawless comeback that I won’t forget any time soon.
The first period started off well: a 0-0 deadlock, which is more than anyone usually asks for when playing Vancouver. However, the Cancucks made it 2-0 in the second off of a couple of soft goals.
Michael Ryder countered with a hell of a one-timer late in the second to cut it to 2-1. The score stayed like that for awhile…until the final minute of regulation actually. After receiving a lucky icing call, the Stars managed to get that tying goal with the sixth attacker on. Steve Ott wonderfully won the faceoff, Sheldon Souray settled it down, and Alex Goligoski shot a perfect shot that deflected off of Mike Ribeiro’s stick and into the net. My, it was a magnificient tip.
From ESPN Dallas:
“It was a big draw. Otter won it pretty clean, so it gives you more time to do something with it,” said Ribeiro. “Great heads up play from Goose We kind of looked at each other and it was more of a shot-pass than anything else and I was just trying to redirect it on net. I was lucky enough that it went in.”
By the time overtime came, the Stars were buzzing and much more relaxed than they had been the entire game. They dominated that overtime period. Vancouver registered no shots to the Stars’ 4. That last one was the one that mattered, because that was when Trevor Daley took a pass from Steve Ott and sent to a lonely-in-the-front-of-the-net Loui Eriksson who sealed the win.
“It was a great pass,” Eriksson said. “I was open there … so it was pretty easy to put home.”
Here are just some random tidbits about the game…
- The Canucks were previously 5-0 in overtime until the Stars played spoiler and made them 5-1.
- This four-game winning streak is the first the Stars have had since October-November.
- It was a great crowd. The final attendance number was 18,010, a pretty big draw for our lowly Stars. The fans came out and were treated well. But most of all, they treated the team well, chanting “Let’s go Stars” and making me smile.
- The trade deadline is now over, and the Stars did absolutely nothing. That’s ok, though, because I wouldn’t split up the team right now. Not now that we’re actually #winning. A week ago I wouldn’t have said good things about the Stars, but now there’s this belief all around that we CAN do this. We CAN pull this off.
Just roll with it.
And that’s the story of how the Dallas Stars made a huge comeback against the Vancouver Canucks to stay in the eighth playoff spot.
It’s been a little while since we last chatted. Since the last time I posted, Jamie Benn has been an All-Star who went h@m in the shot accuracy contest (awesomely), Nicklas Grossman left for Philadelphia, and the Stars slumped.
First, let’s talk about last night’s win against the Habs. I felt like there were two very awesome moments that came from that besides the whole statement win thing.
1. Kudos to Ryan Garbutt who scored his first career goal. It’s always sweet to see guys get those.
2. Mike Ribeiro is a sassy, flawless human. While I don’t think he harbors any ill feelings toward the fans in Montreal, they certainly do so towards him. I laughed at the way he mocked them both after his goal and during his first star celebration. I love him so much.
Right now, the Stars are smack in the middle of the playoff race. Two points out of 8th is it. Can they pull it off? Only time will tell.
GO STARS GO.
Last night’s effort against the Preds was pretty close to perfect. The Stars played a great road game, and everything was flawless except for the power play. But whatever; you can’t win them all.
Especially awesome was Mike Ribeiro, who had a ballsy sort of game. His night started out with a sick, beautiful goal that was completely amazing. He then scored another. However, his shining moment came after he took Trevor Daley’s shot to the face in the second period. Ribs immediately skated off, holding his face. Personally, I wasn’t sure what to think. It didn’t seem too serious, judging by everyone’s mannerisms and such. However, it still wasn’t good.
He returned in the third, emulating Stephane Robidas with the full cage. His efforts here were valiant. He lost a tooth but went back out to play and even killed some penalties. It was just really great and heroic.
Call him a hot dog or a little guy or whatever, but Mike Ribeiro has evolved so much from the skeezy Hab that faked an injury to a truly elite player. One thing I’ve always admired about the Stars is their ability to take in castoffs and help them to their full potential. Ribs is te epitome of that, and I hope he stays in Dallas for years to come.
Last night’s win was a big one. Let’s keep it rolling.
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.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but do you realize that the Stars haven’t lost a game in two weeks? That’s phenomenal.
Last night, they rode into Anaheim, hoping for a Duck-hunt. After some pretty easy matchups (cough, cough Columbus), this felt like the first real challenge the Stars had faced all season. And they performed amazingly.
Loui set the tone when he scored just 13 seconds into the game, further proving to the world just how awesome he is (and perhaps how little Brad Richards really mattered to his playing ability). The undeniable star of the night, Loui added an assist on Ribs’ game-winning goal and got another goal himself just a little into the third period.
Claps for you, Loui.
Kari Lehtonen was excellent yet again. I don’t know how else I can say it. He had a lot of pressure on him at the beginning to step up, and he’s done so. If he keeps this up, he has great potential to be a Vezina candidate.
As much as I like George Parros, his elbow to Barchie wasn’t cool. He’s not a repeat offender, so he probably won’t be suspended, but I hope he never does it again.
At this point, I guess the Stars are supposed to lose to the Kings tonight. That will probably happen. But what if doesn’t? Damn, this season has been incredible. We’ve seen some good stuff. I can’t wait to see what comes of it all.