Tag Archives: kari lehtonen

True Grit

The Stars-Ducks game last night was the only game in the league, and it was seriously entertaining. When NHL Network analyst, Jamie McLennan, said that the Stars and Ducks “don’t have much of a history,” and I was like

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The Ducks are the closest thing we have to a rivalry, so I don’t know what McLennan was getting at with that statement. Stars-Ducks games almost always bring hostility, and last night’s matchup was no different.

The first period was particularly gritty. We saw:

  • Brad Staubitz being a dick on two separate occasions, both of which led to Stars goals. That spear, though, was an especially dickish thing to do. Since it happened early enough in the game, it was basically a one-game suspension, so he got what he deserved.
  • Corey Perry and Stephane Robidas jawing at each other and ultimately fighting. I didn’t realize it at the time, but their scuffle stemmed from Robi knocking Perry into the boards and injuring him last season. And Perry is also a douche, so I’m sure that had something to do with it as well.
  • Sheldon Souray and Jamie Benn going at it. Souray seemed angry during the game, leading me to believe that he harbors some extreme resentment toward the Stars for not re-signing him. Anaheim is doing so well that he really shouldn’t be that angry, but I could feel the resentment from him.

Overall, this was a huge win for the Stars. Finally, they’ve beaten a real opponent. This wasn’t a hapless Avs team; nope, it was the Pacific division leaders. They played a great game last night, and it’s starting to seem like Glen Gulutzan actually knows what he’s doing.

Just some other game notes:

  • Jamie Benn’s goal was sick. His shot is severely underrated by the rest of the league, even though he showed it off at the All-Star Game a year ago. It’s like the Loui Eriksson of shots.
  • Loui Eriksson looked so relieved when he scored that goal (a sick one at that). He’s seemed off at times, and I know he knows it. Scoring that goal should give him a good boost of confidence.
  • Kari Lehtonen continues to be stellar. God, where would we be without him?
  • Trevor freakin’ Daley. Ugh, he had SUCH a good game. He scored the opening goal, he made key defensive plays (ex. the amazing play on Palmieri), and he was just overall amazing.

My Three Stars of the Game:

  1. Trevor Daley
  2. Jamie Benn
  3. Brad Staubitz

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Kari Lehtonen is Better Than You

After a little over one week of play, the Stars have just been okay (fun stat: all six games have been decided by one goal…I’m not sure that that’s a good thing), but you know who’s been more than okay? Kari freakin’ Lehtonen.

The Stars have not been particularly kind to Kari, allowing an average of over 35 shots per game. But he’s been a real champ throughout it all because Kari is just awesome. Bottomline: we would be at the bottom of the league with Washington if Kari wasn’t here.

And if you need more convincing, here is Kari being sassy to Red Wings fans after they heckled him for losing his shutout:

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And here’s his insane save from last night because Kari is just made of “Saves of the Year” (via Tumblr user henriked):Image

‘Nuff said.

 

 

Awarding It Stars Style

So…another disappointing, not to mention frustrating, playoff-less season.  As much as that sucks, at least we can still have some fun and give some awards to the Stars who showed up this season.  Here we go…

Hart Trophy

Brad Richards.  The one we’ve come to call B-Rad had an amazing season.  Wanna know how amazing it was?  He was two points away from tying the franchise record for points in a season.  Two points.  That’s not to mention the fact that he had this stellar season after last year’s freak hand and wrist injuries.  The Stars might have finished with a lottery pick if it wasn’t for Brad.

Norris Trophy

Mark Fistric.  Fishsticks finished a plus-30 on the Stars.  To have such a great plus-minus on a bad team is always a good thing.  Then there’s the fact that he’s bad-ass.  I mean, he beat a guy up with his helmet and then got ejected for it.  What a rebel.

Runner-Up: Nick Grossman

Vezina Trophy

Kari Lehtonen. Turco was disappointing.  So was Alex Auld.  Kari Lehtonen was this bright little ray of sunshine that fell into our laps.  Kari played out fo his mind most of the time and he was really good. I think he’s the future.

Lady Byng

Mike Modano.  I think his moving ovation sums this one up perfectly.  Mo is the epitome of class.

You don’t see such an ovation for just any player.

Masterton

Brad Richards.  The Stars still have not named their nominee, but I’m hoping it’s B-Rad.  Flashback to March 29, 2009:  Brad broke his left hand in his first game back from a broken wrist.  That game ended the season for him and, essentially, the Stars’ chances to make the playoffs.  He had an incredible season after such a tragic string of injuries.  That’s what I call perseverance.

Other Trophies…

Rocket Richard- Loui Eriksson

Art Ross- Brad Richards

Jennings- Turco and Lehtonen

Well.  That’s all for now.  Go out and watch some more playoffs, alright?

Maybe next year will be our year…

Ponder This…

Kari Lehtonen has allowed two goals on the last 65 shots he’s faced.  Besides, the little blemish of the 4-goals-on-29-shots debacle, he’s been extremely solid.

In five games, he has allowed 11 goals on 170 shots.

Uhm, that’s pretty much amazing.

Kari has been playing out of his mind right now.  I can see why we made that trade and how it’s paying off now.  Just think how different the season could have been had Turco not been the starter at the beginning.  Kari Lehtonen has showed us that the Turco era is SO over in Dallas.   I want Lehtonen to be the new starter.

For those naysayers, the stats don’t lie.

Lehtonen is the future.  You’d better believe it.

We Made Some Shark Stew

It doesn’t get much better than an 8-2 win over the top team in the West, the Sharks.  I always love playing the Sharks…they really bring out the best in the Stars.

First of all, Kari Lehtonen was amazing.  That loss against Pittsburgh didn’t count as the Pens have always had their way with the Stars.  If he plays like he did last night, this may very well spell the end of the Turco era in Dallas.  He faced a whopping 46 shots!  Atta kid, Kari. 🙂

Brenden Morrow always seems to end Evgeni Nabokov’s night, doesn’t he? 😛 Was it “Olympic” Morrow or was he just doing his thing against the Sharks?  Stay tuned…

Can I just say how ridiculous Robi’s boarding major was?  Clowe’s a dirtbag and he should have been called for interference earlier in the game, but the refs ignored it.  I very much hope that Robi’s not suspended.  It would be as stupid as the favoritism showed toward Matt Cooke.

Did you know that the Stars haven’t scored two shorties in a game since November 2002?  That’s crazy.

I don’t really know what else to say about the game. It’s shocking when the Stars score eight goals in a game, let alone eight goals in a game against the Sharks.

These sort of games make me so, so, so, so happy.  I know that the Stars are pretty much out of the playoffs, but I can’t stand watching them lose.

What Now?

I’m not happy.  Not happy at all.  In the past two games since the Olympic break, the Stars have been outscored 11-2.  Basically they’ve lost all the momentum from before the break.  I’m calling some guys out on this one. ..

Our “Lovely” Goaltender…

Dear Marty,

What happened?  I mean come on, man!  Before the Olympic break you played like you wanted it!  What is it, now that your job is secure you don’t give a crap anymore?  Is that it?  If that’s the attitude you’re going to take, then I’m all for Kari Lehtonen taking the starting job from you.  Grow up and play some hockey.  The Stars aren’t gonna re-sign you, so you’d better put on a show if you want a team come free agency.

The Gold Medalist…

Dear Brenden,

Thanks for looking like you cared (a little).  You looked tenacious (at times) and like you wanted it (partly).  However, you still don’t look like Team Canada Morrow or (my personal favorite) Brenden Morrow, Circa 2006-2008.  Please pull it together. 

You can’t blame the knee anymore, Brenden; we all saw the way you played at the Olympics and know you can do the same for the Stars.  Can you not handle the pressure of being captain?  If that’s the case, maybe we should hand the captaincy over to Stephane Robidas, who is perfectly capable.

P.S. I’ll forgive you if you remember to hit Sidney Crosby extra hard tomorrow.  That way I’ll know you’re out of your Olympic funk.  Alright, Brenden? 🙂

To the Rookie…

Dear Bennster,

You SO won your first NHL fight last night.  I’m so proud of you, kid.  If I”m not mistaken, it went a little like this, right?

JB: How about that Sidney Crosby, eh?

EJ: Son of a…*drops the gloves*

I enjoyed it, Jamie.  A memorable first fight, eh?

Erik Johnson, meet Jamie Benn's fist

Next Up: tomorrow against the Pens (!!!)

Let’s kick some ice.

But There Is Hope…

And with one game, the Stars gave us hope.  This last win before the Olympic break against Phoenix was arguably the best game of this season.  The Stars played like they wanted it, and sure the Coyotes were tired and not in it, but the Stars just made them look even worse.  It’s games like those that can make a team, make a winning streak.  I’m bummed that the Olympic break had to happen, just when the Stars look like they could start a streak.

Anyway, here’s some thoughts I had from the game:

-Obviously the James Neal hit on Petr Prucha was a big story from the game.  In my opinion, it was a clean hit that resulted in a freak injury.  The glass sucks in Phoenix, so that was probably a contributing factor.  It’s unfortunate that Prucha was injured; concussions are NEVER a good thing.  What was dirty though, was the way Phoenix retaliated.  Somebody tell me how the hell Shane Doan did NOT get called for charging.  He was waaaay out there when he stared to come toward Neal.  Then Jovanovski went after Neal and had Nealer not seen him coming, Neal could have been seriously injured.  It was almost Bertuzzi-like how the Coyotes were after the hit…

-Speaking of Neal, after that game, I just loved him more.  You can add the Phoenix Coyotes to the ever-growing list of teams that hate James Neal.  Our Nealer is a truculent fellow, eh? 😛

-How about Marty Turco?  I just love the competetive Turco we used to see in the Mike Smith days.  If this Turco is the one that plays the rest of the season, then I love Kari Lehtonen.  Because the new guy in town is bringing out the Turco we know and love.  Our goalie situation is the best it’s been all season.

I also just wanted to say how bad I feel about that luger who died, Nodar Kumaritashvili, of Georgia.  I am, however, happy that he died doing what he loved.  RIP, Nodar.

Now let’s forget about our wonderful sport of hockey for a little while and go watch the Winter Olympics.  Then, obviously, we watch the Olympic hockey and have fun.  

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!