Stars vs. Wild (Post-game)

That's the kind of game fans want to see out of the Stars!

A 4-2 win against the Wild will hopefully spark the Stars into playing some better hockey tonight, and throughout the rest of the season.

Here's some notes from the game:

- During the pre-game interviews, Dave Tippett essentially reinforced the fact that the Stars need Sergei Zubov in the line-up. He talked about how one of the best things the Stars do on defense is pair a young guy with a veteran, and that Zubov and Matt Niskanen were one of the stronger duos using that system.

- You gotta love Steve Ott's personality. When asked about playing on a line with Sean Avery, he said this: "...so look for us to just dump the puck, drive the corner and run some people over." Typical tough guy, but they're key to the team.

- The Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson line had a great start to the game, and kept it up the whole time. The opening goal took advantage of a lazy Minnesota defense, and

- Minnesota tried to fight back during the first period with a lot of hitting, and the entire match turned out to be full of hits, although there were no fights.

- Seeing Fabian Brunnstrom on the fourth line surprised me a bit; he had that little bit of chemistry with Toby Petersen on his first goal, but other than that, there weren't many positives. He didn't get very much ice time, although he was given some power-play time, and he didn't have many scoring opportunities either. I'm not sure that he should move, though; every other line looked pretty good.

- Tobias Stephan's first start of the year was excellent. He made a lot of key saves during the game, and some were even spectacular. As for the goals he gave up, they were goals that any goaltender would have given up. Marc-Andre Bergeron just might have the scariest slapshot of any defender (with respect to Zdeno Chara), and Andrew Brunette's fluke goal would've slipped under anyone.

- Brad Richards had a great game, scoring a goal and an assist to bring his season totals up to 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points on the season. He'll be a top scorer in Dallas again.

- Sean Avery's offensive skills only took a few games to click in. After last night's two-assist performance, he has a goal and 5 assists in 10 games.

Like I promised earlier, here's a fun little stats pro-rating thing that would show how the Stars scorers would finish their seasons if they kept up the same exact pace through 82 games. Fabian Brunnstrom, Steve Ott, Joel Lundqvist, Toby Petersen, and Mark Fistric will all be pro-rated based on if they were to play the rest of the season without missing any more games. Doug Janik has only played one game, so he doesn't have anything to pro-rate.

Brenden Morrow----33--57-90--164------
Mike Ribeiro-------9--81-90--32-------
Mike Modano-------32--50-82--32-------
Brad Richards-----25--31-66--0--------
Stephane Robidas---8--49-57--115------
Loui Eriksson-----33--24-57--16-------
Fabian Brunnstrom-50--10-60--0--------
Sean Avery---------9--40-49--271------
B.J. Crombeen------8--33-41--172------
Trevor Daley------16--16-32--82-------
James Neal--------16--16-32--65-------
Steve Ott---------15--15-30--200------
Krys Barch--------17---8-25--98-------
Matt Niskanen------8---8-16--0--------
Toby Petersen------0--10-10--20-------
Mark Fistric-------0---9--9--36-------
Joel Lundqvist-----0---9--9--18-------
Phillipe Boucher---0---8--8--49-------
Nicklas Grossman---0---8--8--90-------

Now obviously, most of those stats (if not all) will be completely different, but just doing that shows some of the flaws in the Stars' game so far through October. For example, this pace would give the Stars 7 different players with at least 90 PIM's. That's an awful lot of penalties.
Also, it's fairly obvious that B.J. Crombeen, Sean Avery, and Mike Ribeiro will score more goals then this. And while Ribeiro might have the potential to get that many assists, I doubt Crombeen and Avery will set up _that_ many goals. It'd also be pretty funny to see Fabian Brunnstrom score 50 goals while only getting 10 assists. Maybe someday he'll get into that range, but I think he's a more complete player and get a little more than just 10 assists.

*Dallas vs. Chicago:*
Tonight, the next up-and-coming team in the NHL goes up against the Stars, and Dallas needs to come out with a win to keep their momentum going.

The Hawks will be led by the heroics of Patrick's Kane and Sharp, Jonathan Toews, and surprising young rookie Kris Versteeg. Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith will hold down the defensive end, while either Nik Khabibulin or Cristobal Huet will be relied upon to keep goals out of the net.

On Dallas's end of the ice, they'll look for scoring from anyone and everyone, while hoping that a young defense can bring Wednesday's performance to the ice and keep the Hawks' sharpshooters away from likely starter Marty Turco, who needs to bounce back from a rough start to the season.

No comments: