1.23.2009

Lots of time away, lots of Stars news

Well, I missed four games to cover.

I’m planning on writing a book where all the people from Buffalo disappear, starting with Ryan Miller, Paul Gaustad, and Jason Pominville. Just kidding, but I hated that night’s game so much. I was expecting the Stars to dominate the Sabres throughout game after they started out leading 3-0. Then the Sabres pulled a comeback, dragged the game into a shootout, and stole the win.
..I nearly dented my wall with my phone..
Gotta love seeing Matt Niskanen score, and Steve Ott’s breakaway goal was fantastic. Turco had the game of his life until the third period, and the shootout probably included goals he would want back. Buffalo’s offense was sparked by desperation, but Ryan Miller had a great game as well.

The Los Angeles game, a shootout win, proved that while the Stars haven’t had the greatest year, they can still pull out wins.

The Tampa Bay game, a devastating loss that saw the Stars collapse in the third period after leading 2-1 throughout most of the game, proved that the Stars can no longer look at a team and say, “easy win, don’t worry.”

However, the Florida game was against a team that I’ve considered an “easy win” opponent, and last night, the Stars seemed to get just that. After slightly struggling in the first period, and giving up a goal to Karlis Skrastins, the Stars turned up their game and powered their way to a 4-1 win, led by the duo of star-caliber Mikes on the team. Mike Modano, who will be in the All-Star game that is to arrive very soon, tied the game with a power-play goal from a beautiful Brad Richards set-up. Then Mike Ribeiro played goal-crasher, break-away speedster, and empty-net-scorer to get 3 goals for his first NHL hat trick.

Ribeiro’s hat trick made him the 5th Stars player to get a hat trick this season, and the 4th Stars player to get his first career, following Fabian Brunnstrom, Loui Eriksson, James Neal, and Mark Parrish.

Speaking of the All-Star game, I was glad to see Stephane Robidas chosen to replace an injured Nicklas Lidstrom for the Western Conference team. Robidas is definitely among the top defenders in the West, and although I think Nicklas Grossman has been more consistent this year, Robidas has still been one of the best defensemen for Dallas this year.

Injuries have struck the Stars over and over again this year. Steve Ott went down with a broken hand earlier in the year, and the drawbacks are still tangible, as he can’t provide a fighting presence for Dallas. Brenden Morrow’s been on the IR list since November, and no date has been placed on his return, which likely means he will in fact be out for the year. Joel Lundqvist has been placed on injured reserve a couple times already this season, and hopefully this current return will be his permanent one. Fabian Brunnstrom was recently placed on IR, and no word has been made about his return any time too soon. Landon Wilson was placed on injured reserve, and his efforts will be missed. It’s incredible that the Stars haven’t fallen any more than they have already with all these injuries.

Colton Sceviour was recently signed to a three-year contract. Hopefully, this means we’ll see another talented young Stars player in the line-up within the next few seasons.

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