Stars Sweep Away Avalanche

 What a great game ! After the game the day before , Our Dallas Stars needed to win this one . All their seeming lethargy had cost them the Pacific Division lead . It was a shame to see the Minnesota Wild AND the San Jose Sharks in front of them on the leader / points board . That was repaired by the end of this game , though .
 Before the game , Razor and Strangis were talking about the last few games and how nobody stepped up to score the goals when the ‘big guns’ were not responding like they did before the “Richards” trade or in the game with Chicago . I , honestly , was not surprised . Hull and Jackson traded two of the guys who have the ability to step up and score when the big guns are silent . One day , maybe I will not be bitter about the trade , but I have not gotten over it yet . Maybe when Lord Stanley’s Cup is hoisted high over Our Sats players’ heads again , I will , but , not yet .
 The game’s first face-off started with the ‘fourth’ line on the ice . Stu Barnes , Kris Barch and Joel Lundqvist started the game and attacked the Avs immediately . The Avs freaked on the second shift of the game and Salei makes a hooking mistake for the game’s first power-play for Our Dallas Stars . The power-play showed that Tippett still suffers from ADD and / or ADHD with his lines . But it worked . Our Stars generated huge chances . Daley was absolutely robbed on a shot that looked like it was an easy goal . Somehow Jose Theodore managed to stop the puck just in time . The refs felt like they needed to review that one . I felt like I needed to review it myself ! Stu takes the puck and puts it in the net after the next face-off with Daley earning an assist instead of the goal . After that goal , Our Stars did not let up on their attacks . They kept bringing the pressure and it paid dividends . Modano and Richards get the assists on Robidas’ goal from a hard shot from the blue line . The Avs attempt to get things going offensively , but Our Stars harassed them so badly in the neutral zone , that they just could not get anything going . Sauer put a rather vicious hit on Richards and Daley drops the mitts to defend him . The resulting fight ends with Suaer having a few knuckle bumps on his head , or at least more than Daley had on his head . Daley took an additional roughing for the tussle and it put the Avs on the power-play for the first time . The Avs’ power-play was absolutely terrible . Not only did they never even manage to get set up in Our Stars’ zone , they could not even get the puck in for more than a few seconds before Our Stars cleared the zone . As soon as the Avs’ power-play ended , Our Stars attacked back immediately . The hard attacks by Out Stars included a hit that Salei took exception to . He decided to make a very poor choice and toss aside his gloves and hit Ott in the face . Ott was not having any of that . He obliged Salei’s wishes and pummeled him to the ground . What a poor choice by Salei . Everybody knows not to mess with Steve Ott . I think that Salei will be hurting for about a week from the pounding that Ott gave him . When that very one-sided fight ended , Hagman and Miettinen attacked the net and both had grand larceny committed against them by Theodore . The Avs attempted to get things going at the 2:30 mark and Grossman committed a hold , more by accident than anything else , for a second Avs’ power-play . The Avs STILL could not manage to get a shot at Turco on the resulting power-play . Our Dallas Stars out shot the Avs twelve to nothing . They absolutely shut the Avs down this entire period . Anytime the puck was loose (and that was rare) Our Stars picked it up . The rest of the time , Our Stars owned the puck . They forced the Avs to turn over the puck continuously and took advantage of it . 
 The first intermission ran a story about Jere Lehtinen meeting Slayer , his favorite band . I had read about it earlier in the season at , but I still enjoyed the story . I thought it was a little ironic that he would say that maybe next time the band members would remember him . Isn’t that the way fans of anything feel ? Irony .
 The second period started with the scoreboard being added a courtesy shot on goal to the Avs in the first . Obviously somebody felt sorry for them (I did not) . The Avs start game-play (if that is what you want to call it) with multiple elbows and hard hits on Our Stars . Finally the refs see Sakic’s stick in Modano’s face and make the call . The resulting power-play was weak , but not terrible . After an entire period of giving Marty Turco time off , the Avs make their first shot at the 15:50 mark . He made the save off-handedly and Our Stars attack back immediately . Modano , Richards and Morrow race down for a three on two chance and Richards scores his first goal as a Dallas Star . The game play that followed could simply be called “puck movement” . Our Stars still had the puck often , but no real scoring chances followed for a while . The only way that the Avs managed to get the puck was when they had two players to take the puck from the one Stars’ player . The game-play was mostly battles along the boards . The Avs went on the power-play after Norstrom took a weak hooking penalty . The Avs had a few good chances , but it was nothing that our defensemen and Marty Turco could not handle . Our Stars dominated this period as well . They continued to force turn-overs and they swarmed the puck . Where ever the puck was , so were many guys wearing black jerseys .
 The third period started with a new face in net for the Avs . Budaj had to handle Our Stars after Theodore clearly could not . There was far more back and forth hockey at the first part of this period than there was in the earlier periods . The Avs seemed to be pushing harder but Turco still answered everything that came his way . Morrow , Modano and Richards had a huge chance , but they could not manage to find the net again . Lundqvist , Barnes and Barch had a great follow-up shift and Ludqvist put a huge hit on one poorly positioned Avs player . Robidas took a hooking call and , despite huge chances for the Avs , they still could not beat Turco . The power-play ended and Our Stars went back for more . Modano and Richards try it again , but come up empty . Hagman tried out Budaj as well but could not beat him either . Both teams decide to have a see-saw battle but nobody could score anything else . At the two minute mark Morrow took a stick to the face , but the refs refused to call it . Morrow was continually molested after that and after the game ended , he still wanted explanations as to why it was allowed . To be honest , I want the explanations , still .

 Beaten in more ways than one ;

 Our Dallas Stars beat the Avs badly . They needed to after the past three games . They came out of the locker room determined and it showed on the ice and on the scoreboard . They never truly allowed the Avs to get anything going . They completely dominated game-play and the puck . They gave a sixty minute effort and received the two points as a reward . They truly earned this win .
 Stephane Robidas earned his third star of the game . He was everywhere . He took hits , gave better than he received , blocked shots and scored the game’s first goal . I am proud that he is getting the recognition that he so rightly deserves . He really led the defensive core to a very solid outing despite missing Boucher , Zubov and Niskanen .
 Marty Turco was not tested too terribly much , thanks to his defensemen . He still earned the shut out that he posted . I am pleased to see that it was a shut out that earned his thirtieth win of the season . He is truly a great player .
 This game was won on hard work and effort . I am glad to see that Our Stars remembered that they can dominate a game like this . I hope that they continue to do it . With so many other teams breathing down their collective necks , they would do well to repeat this performance .


~ by Adam on March 10, 2008.

One Response to “Stars Sweep Away Avalanche”

  1. Stéphane Robidas is seriously so awesome. I got my Robi jersey in the mail today. Oh I can’t wait go to to another game!

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