12.01.2008

THE PLAN

Alright. I am extremely frustrated with the way the Stars are playing, and I'm sick of the fact that we aren't doing anything to fix it.

Let's face it: Mark Parrish is our new Nik Hagman. Darryl Sydor and Phillipe Boucher play the exact same style of game. James Neal didn't need that time in the AHL. Fabian Brunnstrom probably does need that time in the AHL.

Here's what Dallas needs to do in order to improve this year, and stay strong for years to come.

*1*- +Knock some sense into Marty Turco's head.+
If the man who runs Dallas' net-minding duties can't get his act together, he needs to get out of town. Here's Turco's current stats, straight up:

Season GPI Min W L OT GA SA SO GAA Sv%
2008-2009 21 1,198 7 10 4 72 544 0 3.61 .868

I look at these numbers and grimace. Where's the Marty of last season, who had a 2.31 GAA and a .909 Sv%?

The fact is that even though a good number of those 72 goals against have come from defensive lapses, Marty's game hasn't been at its top and there are a number of times where a goal could've easily been stopped and he just didn't have his head on straight.

Here's a tip for you, Marty, a tip that I hear repeated by everyone from fellow Stars fans to casual hockey fans to Ralph and Razor as the announce games.
STOP HANDLING THE PUCK SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Every Dallas game that I've watched, there's at least 5-1o moments where Turco grabs the puck away from his net to make a risky pass, and I cringe, waiting for the turnover and the empty net goal. Fortunately, there haven't been too many mistakes like that this year, but I've seen them, oh boy have I seen them. Check the Peter Schaefer goal a few years ago, or Richard Park's goal last year that forced the game into OT instead of giving the Stars a 2-1 win over the Islanders.

Another idea goaltending-wise would be to give Tobias Stephan more games. He's been in 5 games so far this year, but only has credit for a win and a loss and has only played 190 minutes. However, his play has looked promising and I'd like to see more of his play in net.



*2* +Send Fabian Brunnstrom to the minors for 5 games or more+
Why not? They sent James Neal to Manitoba for a quick spell, and it worked wonders. Neal has impressed me beyond any expectations I had for him so far. His goal-scoring is incredibly well timed, although his efforts sometimes don't get equaled by the rest of the team.
Here's the deal with Brunnstrom: he wasn't all the way ready. To be honest, I'm surprised he was as good as he was in the beginning of the year. The hat trick was great, but in his next 19 games, he only had 3 goals and an assist, not to mention his plus/minus dropped to an awful -9. I say Fabian needs a good 5 games in the AHL, just to see whether or not he'd be dominant at that level. Worst-case scenario, he turns into a Kirby Law of sorts, dominating the minors but making little-to-no impact NHL-wise. Best-case scenario, he pops back into the lineup like James Neal and starts piling up the points.

*3* +Check up on Dave Tippett+
NO, that does not say fire him. Although I can imagine quite a few Stars fans wouldn't object to a new coach, I can't help but look at the fact that he's so successful, we'd have to lose over 100 games to turn his 235-127-48 record (since being hired) into a losing record. He's a good coach, no doubt about it, but I'm wondering about some of the strategies he's using.
First of all, Dave–Please emphasize shooting! At all times! Power-play, even strength, even on penalty kill chances. During the San Jose game on Friday, I saw Mark Parrish skate into the Sharks zone with what was essentially a break-away (he had maybe half of the ice, a Sharks defender was in the other) and instead of shooting, he pulled back and waited for a pass, which didn't work. Also, a lot of power-play opportunities have failed because our players are not willing to shoot enough.


Now, here are some positives to build off of.

*1* +Loui Eriksson's skyrocketing skill level+
Nobody can deny the talent that we've seen in Loui since day one. However, in his first two seasons, his talent was inconsistent and nobody was sure what kind of player he would be.
HELLO! Think again, folks. So far this season, Loui has the same amount of points (19) in 23 games as he had in 59 games during his rookie year, and nearly twice as many goals (11 to 6).

*2* +James Neal is one heck of a rookie+
You got it, people, James Neal is the man of the future. Right now, we have Modano, Morrow, Richards, and Ribeiro. Soon, we'll have Neal, Eriksson, and Brunnstrom. Specifically of Neal, however, his skill at finding the right moment continues to amaze me. 6 goals and 3 assists in only 18 games, now that's pretty good.


Alright. 8-11-4 isn't a good start. But we had that win against the Oilers the other night, so let's try and build on that boys.

GO STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!