The Back-to-back Curse Strikes Again
I just had to say something, didn't I?
I was talking to my friend Jamie last night, who was lucky enough to attend the Stars-Sharks game, and as a closing statement, I said "I hope our back-to-back game curse doesn't kick in again, or else you'll enjoy watching your Sharks get a win."
Wouldn't you know it, with 30 seconds left in the third period, Marty Turco had yet another one of his famous stick-handling blunders that gave Patrick Marleau a goal and the Sharks a win.
However, that game wasn't too bad for Dallas. They had a lot of scoring chances, and played some good defense. But Brian Boucher brought his 'A' game, and Loui Eriksson was the only Stars player able to break his shutout, during the third period.
The positive side to Dallas' back-to-back curse is that they always have a good game as well, and that would be the 5-2 win they got in Anaheim on Friday.
Mark Parrish certainly had an excellent debut, becoming the second player this season to score a hat trick in his Dallas debut, following the footsteps of Fabian Brunnstrom, who also had a goal against Anaheim. Brad Richards had the other tally for the Stars, and Marty Turco had a really strong game in goal.
The kind of play I saw from Dallas, which involved lots of physical play, a willingness to drive to the net, and strong defensive coverage. Fabian Brunnstrom continues to impress me with his knack of being in front of the net at the right time. After watching highlights of his play overseas on Youtube, I took him to be a finesse guy with superb passing skills who might occasionally pop in a goal. However, while he still doesn't share the same physicality as resident Dallas net-crasher Brenden Morrow, he's displayed an excellent talent of sitting on top of the crease and knocking in rebounds and/or skilled passes from Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro, Mike Modano, and even Toby Petersen once. If the rest of the team can display that kind of willingness to win, whether on offense or defense, we'll have a more successful season.
Here's some quick food-for-thought that I noticed today;
- Minnesota is doing ok so far this year, but you'd think they'd be a bit more worried when Krys Kolanos has as many goals in the season as Marian Gaborik. The Wild's resident super-star hasn't played due to an injury, and he'd help an awful lot if he came back.
- Is it possible to have two people switch bodies? The Washington Capitals might think so, seeing as the numbers typical of an Alex Ovechkin start to the year are being produced by Alexander Semin. Ovie only has 2 goals and 8 points so far. I don't think the Caps should be worried though; they'll see 35-50 goals out of Ovechking by the end of the year.
- Too bad the Thrashers didn't let Bryan Little play a full AHL year last season; if this had been his rookie NHL year, he would be a strong Calder candidate for sure. With 8 goals and 14 points in 14 games, the talented Atlanta center is outperforming Ilya Kovalchuk and could be the cornerstone of the franchise if Kovie does indeed leave town next summer.