Islanders vs. Stars - 3-2 in OT

YEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a game!!!!!!!!!!

I finally saw my Stars live, and I couldn't have picked a better time. Try, close game that ends in OT with a perfect view of the winning goal. I mean, perfect view....check it out!

That was just a sick goal. We don't exactly have the best angle, but still, it's not often you get that clear of a goal via fan video. By the noise, you can tell that my uncle, my dad, me, and the Stars fan we had sitting below us were the first to see the goal. Well, other than Modano and Hagman and all the guys on the ice. But it was a really great game to be at.

The Stars had some killer defensive plays. I definitely remember about 10 different times when an Islanders rush was pushed to the boards and transformed into a dump-in. A top 6 of Zubov, Boucher, Robidas, Daley, Niskanen, and Grossman was perfect. Niskanen and Grossman made some nice plays on the back end, and Zubov, Boucher and Robidas had some nice offensive opportunities. Actually, though you can't see it in the video, Robidas was essential to the play in OT.

There were a couple really good lines out there that night. The OT unit of Zubov, Robidas, Modano, and Hagman played just an insane 15 seconds or so. Total puck possesion to lead to a great No. 9 goal. The Stars chose the defense pairs well, putting youngsters with vets. Stephane Robidas paired well with Niklas Grossman as a shutdown line. Niskanen and Zubov fit well together as a line with some offensive upside but still good defensive play, and Boucher and Daley were basically the same. Also, Stu Barnes, Jeff Halpern, and Steve Ott worked well together, almost like an energy line. They worked the shutdown crew, but had a few offensive opportunities too. Curiously, on the fourth line, Brad Winchester, Joel Lundqvist, and Halpern/Krys Barch were also strong. Winchester (*gasp*) had a couple offensive chances. Barch is really appearing to have potential as another Steve Ott. He only had a couple of shifts, but shadowed Mike Sillinger pretty well on one and is normally a good agitator. If he can morph his ECHL scoring and NHL/AHL fighting and toughness, we could very well have a new John Ferguson. Well.....relatively speaking. Ferguson was a 20-goal guy who could knock anyone's lights out, but Barch could only be a 10-goal player who can knock a few lights out and damage some other ones.

Not to say that Loui Eriksson is going back to the AHL, but Loui Eriksson should go back to the AHL. He looked really shaky last night and didn't appear to have the elictrifying scoring skills he was supposed to display. But he will play, as it would be all but impossible to have Chris Conner fly up to New Jersey and still be ready for the game tomorrow.

Anybody want to come out and admit they were wrong about the Stars offense? Sure, no top ten guys, but Morrow needs two points in the next game to be a point-per-game player again (he didn't score in the last game and that messed it up). Mike Ribeiro is a point-per-game guy. Zubov is 2nd in defenseman scoring behind Sergei Gonchar, who plays for a much more offense based team. Niklas Hagman actually leads the Stars in goals with 10, and Halpern has gotten over half of all the goals he scored last year through in 24 games.

Speaking of Halpern, I wish I had known he had scored his 100th goal while I was watching. That's a great milestone for a tough worker like him. Congrats Mr. Shutdown-guy-who-almost-lost-his-offense-in-Dallas.

Turco let in another bad goal. Who cares.

I don't. Really.

Okay, so it bugs me a bit. Everyone has a bad day.

Some more often than others.

Like Turco, for example. That's only, what, the 50th goal he's given up like that? It doesn't help that Peter Schaefer's bouncing goal over Turco's dive is burned into my head. It's okay, though, Turco. You're only a bonehead. Better say thanks to Boucher for me.

That's all the writing for today. I'll show you guys a few more videos and a couple pictures, but I've got little more to say. I did fight off Sparky the Dragon after he tried to eat my Stars hat.

I duke it out with Sparky....and win! :-P Just gave him a little smack in the (fake) face...

You wanna fight? I'll beat the crap outa you before you touch Jokinen! No, Jussi is good, actually roughed it up with (probably as tough as he dares) Mike Comrie...

Hmm.....Blogger isn't quite ready for me to put up so many videos. Sorry, that's all I can give you today. Write you later, possibly after the Devils-Stars game that I have a chance to go to.


Is Cloning the NHL secret?

*The following post is completely humorous and in no way intends to insult the abilities of players currently in the NHL or in any other league*

Take a look at these two.......

Anybody see a little similarity there? No? You should........even though these two players (Jared Boll and Danny Briere) are entirely different in playing style and (except for these two pics) appearance.

Even in these next pics....

...the two look anything but the same.
However, can't the same thing be done with plastic surgery?
Here's my theory (remember guys, this is fake...).
The NHL is tired of getting prospects such as Alex Volchkov or Ari Ahonen, who appear to be spectacular players until they try out the AHL or NHL and they flop.
To be rid of this problem, the NHL has carefully taken different players who had successful careers, and cloned them so that they can play in the NHL again. Briere is the most recent subject to have his clone in the NHL via the supposed 'Jared Boll'. Notice how the year before Boll makes his NHL debut, he suddenly gains offensive talent. Is this natural? Or was the NHL frustrated with Briere-2's development and decided to take action?
Previous experiments have had more success. Cliff Ronning was cloned and his clone, alias Teemu Selanne, has had a spectacular career. David Volek, a clutch man similar to Chris Drury but with less consistency, was cloned and Volek-2 became Alexander Ovechkin, the superstar.
I have proof in the form of random pictures on hockey cards. One pic which I believe to be Volek's rookie card is clearly the face of Ovechkin, yet when another pic of Volek and a pic of Ovie are compared, the two look nothing alike. The same goes for a fluke picture of Ronning, where he distinctly has a Selanne-air about him.
Could the NHL be attempting to control prospects by nearly ensuring their abilities? This could be a bigger scam than steroids in baseball. Keep clicking and I will update you on cases of NHL clones.
*Please remember that this story was fake. I have no belief whatsoever that the NHL is cloning players, or that the NHL is trying to cut down on poor prospects in that way. This was just for fun.*
-It appears that Finland is the new factory for power-play quarterbacks. Four players have been signed out of Finland almost specifically for their offensive abilities. Most of them have delivered. Lasse Kukkonen returned to the Hawks in 05-06 to score, and while most of his points were not on the powerplay, he still scored. Ville Koistinen was a scoring specialist in Finland and the AHL, and is currently in training to do the same thing in Nashville. More recently, Tobias Enstrom and Cory Murphy went to Atlanta and Florida to improve the power-play. Enstrom has 13 points in 21 games this year, including one power-play goal out of his two total goals. Murphy is 1-10-11 in 19 games, and his only goal came on the power-play. Not only is Finland asked for power-play standouts, but they deliver as well.
- On the note of suprise defenseman, plenty have appeared out of nowhere. Besides Enstrom and Murphy, Steve Wagner is one of the most notable D-men. A blueliner for 18 games in St. Louis, Wagner is 2-6-8 in those games. He too, even has a power-play goal. Tom Gilbert, an Oiler D-man, in 3-4-7 points in 22 games, from being an emergency call-up last season. Matt Niskanen is a pleasant surprise in Dallas, going 1-4-5 in 21 games, and he's +2. Mike Mottau is a strong young D-man in New Jersey, and Mike Lundin is going strong in Tampa, 0-4-4 in 21 games with a +4 rating.
-The interesting thing about teams with low attendance in the NHL is that it's way easier to get great seats. This year, I am watching the Islanders play the Stars on the 26th, and we get $75 seats about 2-3 rows up from the boards. Spectacular view of one goal with reasonable viewing of the other. Some guys might want to see the whole rink perfectly, but when you've got an automatic video-replay screen that shows every goal, you're pretty much good anywhere.
- Which team will be the Blackhawks or Blues next year? As in who will have the best rookie class, it will probably be Columbus or Philadelphia. The Jackets will likely have Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek in their line-up in 08-09, suggesting some killer offense. The Flyers will have Steve Downie (if they don't play him this year) and Ryan Parent, meaning some tough, physical play will increase (again).
That's all for today (surprisingly, it isn't June yet), and I'll try to write more often. Of course, I always say that before I forget to write for about a month or two. Don't expect much.