Category Archives: Red Wings

Blow It Up, Pt. 2

Tomorrow morning, the Joe Nieuwendyk era will officially come to an end in Dallas as the Stars introduce new GM Jim Nill (former assistant GM of the hated Red Wings). The timing was a bit bad—the Stars seemed distracted the entire game, so maybe the leak shocked them as it did the fans—not to mention surprising. Well, it was surprising to me. I thought Joe would be around for another year since he hasn’t had full cap power for a full season at all in his tenure, but Tom Gaglardi thought otherwise.

In Jim Nill, the Stars gain a tremendous GM. He’s experienced, and he’s already scouted for Detroit so he should be very in the know about this year’s draft class. Bonus: teams have been trying to pry him away from Detroit for YEARS. He must have liked what he saw in the Stars if he was willing to leave a place he’s been for almost 19 years. This is really exciting, guys.

Overall, I think Joe did a decent job with what he was given. Situation-wise, he was constantly screwed. This was the first season that he didn’t have salary cap issues, and it was a shortened season. Had it been a full season, perhaps the Stars would have made the playoffs. But we’ll never know. Joe might even have been allowed to finish his contract had Jim Nill turned us down. Who knows?

I have to give mad props to Tom Gaglardi in all of this. He’s being very aggressive and showing himself to be a man with a plan. I like that he’s smart, and I think it bodes well for the team moving forward. He knew he wanted Nill, so he went for it…and here we are.

As for Joe Nieuwendyk, he gained some valuable experience and I expect him to be back as some other team’s GM after taking off a year. Florida and Calgary (two other former JN teams) will more than likely be looking to hire in the near future.  Gaglardi did give Joe the option to stay in Dallas in a reassigned role, which is great if a lot awkward (seriously, I knew as soon as we hired him that it would awkward if his stint didn’t work out).

I have a lot of optimism for this team moving forward. I know I’ve said that after every lost season and it gets pretty repetitious after not making the playoffs for five years, but I’ve got a good feeling about this most recent shakeup. Everything’s changing—players, GMs, coaches, uniforms… This is going to be a new Stars team, and I can’t wait to see them.

Advertisements

Nuthin’ but heart and perseverance, babydoll.

I’ll admit that I’ve had my doubts about how good the Stars actually are.  Well…they’ve just about convinced me that they’re the real thing.  They showed so much heart in yesterday’s win.   Perhaps it was even the heart of a champion.

The task: defeat the top-of-the-West Detroit Red Wings less than twenty-four hours after defeating the Blue Jackets.  Mission accomplished.

Of course, the Stars came out extremely flat and didn’t even register a shot-on-goal until about ten minutes into the first.  They surrendered two goals to the Wings and already looked defeated.

But then, Brad motherfuckin’ Richards took a swing at a bouncing puck and got a few lucky bounces, thus narrowing the Wings’ lead to one.  By the end of the first, it was a tied game set to turn into a thriller.  And we all know that it did.

However, the Wings weren’t through with us.  With 16 seconds left in the second period, Johan Franzen scored a truly deflating goal to put the Wings in front again.

The third frame was thrilling as we Stars fans waited for a game-tying goal to occur.  Morrow was the one who scored it, and it was pretty sweet the way he dished it through his legs into the goal.  And so the game went to overtime…

Fun fact: the Wings haven’t won a game in OT or the shootout against Dallas since Halloween 2001.  So basically we had history on our side.

And history prevailed.  Who else but Loui Eriksson would even score the OT winner?  That guy is a game-winning goal machine.  With that goal, the Stars denied Chris Osgood his 400th career victory.

I can imagine how awkward the Detroit locker room was after the game.  I’m sure the team convinced Babcock to start Osgood as the Stars had so many factors going against them that ensured a loss.  Awkwaaaaaaaard!

But whatever.  We did it, and look who’s STILL at the top of the Pacific, bitches! Haters gonna hate.

Get it girl.

“90 is just a number. 9 is forever.”

I did not expect that. And let’s be honest, did any of us? We fucking OWNED that game. Last night was full of personal expectations for me that were not met. I expected to cry when I saw Mike Modano, but I didn’t even shed a tear. I expected the Wings to obliterate us, but instead we showed them the Dallas stars Blitzkrieg.

Crazy, right?

We had goals from the guys we need goals from- Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow, Loui (LOUI) Eriksson, and James “Real Deal” Neal.  Fun fact: Brenden Morrow is among the league leaders in goals, Brad Richards is a leader in points assists, and plus-minus, and we’re 3-0. Kari Lehtonen was a solid presence in the net.   We were outshot, and Kari performed magnificently.  Oh, and the PK wasn’t as atrocious as it was.  I mean, we only let in one goal on the PK. That’s progress.

Mark Fistric was a monster, as evidenced by this hit to Johan Franzen that has the Wings camp in an uproar:

Franzen left and is rumored to have a concussion. But never fear, it was a totally clean hit.  Fishsticks hits people to play the game, unlike guys like James Wisniewski who hurt guys to settle this sick desire to hurt people. But that’s just my opinion.

The Stars were the better team last night, and they showed it by doing the little things.  I was really proud of them.  Bottom line, we’re three-and-oh, bitches.  Stats are useless; the only one that matters is wins.  Obviously the Stars will fall back to Earth sometime, but I want to enjoy this wondeful feeling while it lasts.  It’s fun being at the top.

Finally, here’s some Modano footage, including an interview:

Nest up, we play the Blues.  The big question is, Will the Stars finally crash back down to Earth? Or will they keep up this shocking run?

Let’s make it happen. GO STARS.

These Playoffs Are Getting Insane

So last night around 6 pm, I was super nervous.  The Game 7 between The Habs and Pens was about to start and I REALLY didn’t want the Pens to prevail.  My hatred of the Pens is kind of irrational, but it’s very strong.  I hate the Pens so much that the next best thing to a Stars Stanley Cup is a Pens loss.  That’s how deep my loathing goes.

Anyway, I was just a ball of nerves.  My palms were sweating and I lost my appetite out of those nerves.  I found it hilarious when Sidney Crosbiyatch took that dumb boarding penalty not even a minute in.  That made me feel a little better.  Then, Brian Gionta scored and I was even more relieved.

Well, it got up to 4-0 and the Pens started pushing back.  That really kind of scared me when it got to be 4-2.  The last ten minutes of the third, the Penguins were really laying it on the Habs and I got worried that the midget Habbies weren’t going to hold on.  Needless to say, I as wrong.

This Canadiens team is the real deal.  The Caps’ loss to them is easier to comprehend because of the Pens’ loss.  If the two most skilled teams in the East can’t get past the midgets, then it’s okay.  These Habs are like 2006’s Edmonton Oilers.  You know, the eighth seed who had upset after upset en route to the Stanley Cup final?

With Montreal’s win, I think that the road is paved for a West champion.  Yes, Halak’s been fantastic, but you don’t know what real playoffs are like until you’ve played the West.   All of the East teams left have a weakness, a bad weakness at that.  Montreal’s been a cinderella story, but it’s unlikely they’ll keep it up.  Boston can’t score to save their lives.  Philly is the epitome of goalie problems.  Chicago and San Jose can snuff any of them out.

The best part about the Habs’ win is that I’m fine with whoever ultimately wins the Cup.  The two teams in the playoffs that I loathed (Vancouver and Pittsburgh) are out now.  I’ll be contet with whoever wins.  Although, I will admit this: please don’t let it be the Sharks.  It’s a Pacific thing.

And finally, I always love some good hockey irony.  With the Pens’ semifinal loss, that means that they finished in the same round as the Detroit Red Wings did.  Now there’s two teams who are destined to be forever parallel.

Over on the Boston-Philly series, the Flyers have forced a Game 7.  What’s special about this is that they came back from a 3-0 deficit.  That’s crazy.  It’s also something you don’t see everyday.  If they win tomorrow night, they’ll be only the third team ever to do so, and the first team in 35 years.

You gotta love the playoffs.

“History Will Be Made” is Becoming a Joke

Shortly before the playoffs began, the NHL debuted its new playoff slogan: “History Will be Made.”  In addition, they created these nice, heartfelt commercials featuring the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Ray Bourque.  Here’s the Ray Bourque ad:

That’s one of the most touching moments in sports, not just hockey.

Another unforgettable moment the NHL used was Bobby Orr:

Then there’s the indelible parodies, such as this lovely short made by the great Bloge Salming,  featuring Brett Hull:

All of these featured moments they’re still talking about to this day.  What a great idea, eh?

And then, the NHL made their big mistake.

They just couldn’t stop making these “History Will Be Made” commercials.  Here’s one about Jaroslav Halak upsetting the Caps in Round 1:

He was great and all, but will that become one of the defining moments in our sport?  Well if the Habs win the Stanley Cup it might.  But they’re currently deadlocked in a 2-2 semifinal with the Pens and it’s somewhat inevitable that they’re not going to win since the Pens ALWAYS win.  It’s not exactly history-making until the Habs get past the Pens.  If that happens. 

Moving on to Lil’ Joe Pavelski’s ad:

It looks like the Sharks will win this series, but you never know if they’ll choke or not.  If they choke, people won’t remember Pavelski’s big postseason run.  They’ll remember the Sharks’ big choke.

In addition to those, there’s also a Kris Versteeg one out there.  That’s not to mention the fact that you can count on a new commercial after every playoff game.   That’s kind of how the NHL is working things these days.

So, NHL, I beg of you this: please stop making all of these ads until you’re sure that the moment will be a defining one on hockey and not just a random story from these playoffs.  It’s great to honor these players, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

You’re making this into a joke.

Playoffs? Who Needs ‘Em?

Yeah, that’s my sad attempt to feel better about the Stars not making it…again.  But you know, whatever.  I have some reasons why this isn’t the worst thing ever.  My belief is that there is ALWAYS a silver lining.

So, I give you my reasons why the Stars not being in the playoffs isn’t the end of the world:

1. You don’t have to stress over how the Stars are doing in the playoffs.  Since they’re not in the playoffs,the only thing we have to worry about is who they’ll draft, free agents, etc.  I learned last postseason that that is actually a really good feeling, a welcome break from the stressful playoff runs of the past few years.

2. The opportunity to get to know other teams is worth taking.  Last year, I jumped on the Capitals bandwagon and eventually the Red Wings bandwagon.  Throughout the playoffs, I learned more and more about these teams.  They became my teams and I felt their happiness when they won and their heartbreak when they lost.  At the end of the playoffs, I could name every player on every line of those two teams.  I was a Caps fan before, but now I’m still a Wings fan.

3. We have high hopes for next season.  With the end of our second straight  playoff-less season, we once again have a lot to look forward to.  Jamie Benn.  Tom Wandell.  More James Neal and Loui Eriksson.  Kari Lehtonen.  These kids will continue to grow and impress us all.  Besides, next season hasn’t even started.  We can hope all we want to.  It’s a fresh start.

4. They don’t have high hopes for us next season.  They being the media and the so-called “experts.”  They won’t expect anything great from the Stars.  We’ll either wallow in a pit of misery like they expect us to, or we’ll have an amazing season that makes them go, “Wow.  How about them Stars?”  It’s a no-lose situation.

Guys, this is, like, a new beginning.  Like in that song, “Second Chance” by Shinedown: Sometimes good-bye’s a second chance…

You’d better like it.

Go Stars!

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!