Stars Flounder Out In OT At The Shark Tank

 Before the game , this game was being called a “show up or else game” by Strangis and Reaugh . The Stars showed up alright , but they just could not close out the deal . It was a hard loss to take given the way that they lost . I am sure Boucher wanted his first game back to be better than this game ended up being .
 The game started relatively well for Our Stars . They seemed ready to play and got after the puck . Norstrom’s penalty was a pretty weak call . it looked more like Grier lost his balance and fell into him more than he actually committed interference . Lehtinen and Mo were robbed by Nabokov short handed on the resulting power-play . Ott’s tripping call slowed down attacks for Our Stars about five minutes later . The resulting power-play helped the Sharks with lost of offensive zone time but not with goal scoring . Our Stars attacked back as soon as that power-play ended . Ehrhoff took a crosschecking penalty for his hit on Ott . Cap’n Morrow scored the game’s first goal when a play with Modano and Ribiero had the Sharks scrambling in front of Nabokov . It may have been an ugly scramble , but the goal was a beauty . That goal made The Cap’n his first season to reach thirty goals . Stu Barnes came back on the attack and he hit the cross bar with a well aimed shot from a very sharp angle . It was a shame it did not go in . Robidas took a hooking call depite  the fact that the envisioned “hook” really did not have any effect on the Sharks player he allegedly hooked . The period ended with The Sharks on the power-play from that call . Despite being out shot and out scored , the Sharks were the better team in this period . Our Stars did play well , but the Sharks had far more zone time , thanks to all of the Stars’ penalties (imagined or otherwise) .
 The second period started with the Stars still killing off Robi’s penalty . Roenick took a slashing penalty for his stick in somebody’s face  and the brief four on four was very ugly for Our Stars . Shortly after Our Stars’ power-play ended , Petersen took a hit from McLaren that included a surprise elbow to the face . Crombeen took exception to that and decided to earn the instigator penalty when he attacked McLaren for a short wrestling match . Paveleski scored on the resulting power-play . Both the Sharks and Our Stars traded offensive punches and game play moved right along at a good pace , at least until Norstrom almost scored on Turco . The Sharks started swarming and Our Stars started panicking . McLaren got too excited and took a hooking call for his second “Time Out” in the box . Mo had a shot from the point that back fired and was almost a huge chance for the Sharks . Sadly , less than a minute later , that chance blossomed into a short handed attack by Brown , who rang it off the post . The Sharks bench became a little too excited and were called for too many men on the ice . The ensuing five on three resulted in Our Stars posting their second goal of the game courtesy of Lehtinen , Ribs and Mo . Turco denied Setoguchi’s chance and he went “goalie bowling” . Despite Turco’s obvious protestations , he received no call for his efforts . Stu took a holding call and on the delayed penalty , Ott was mugged in the corner before he managed to get the whistle . Even though the Sharks scored in this period , Our Stars played better than in the first . The Sharks seemed to have more organized attacks on Our Stars and they had far too much time in our zone .
 The third started out strong for Our Dallas Stars . All of the lines seemed to be clicking together . Crombeen , Lundqvist and Petersen had great attacks in the Sharks’ zone . Thornton manages to get both defensemen to completely ignore him and he buries his shot behind Turco on a chance strafe in Our Stars’ zone . Niskanen and Stu had a nice little chance when they attacked back and Lehtinen , Ribs and The Cap’n had solid attacks as well . They really had the Sharks scrambling to clean up their mess . The Sharks attacked back and Turco made a huge save with his stick that stopped the puck dead just on the safe side of the goal line while he was fully extended . Rivet took a hooking call and on the resulting power-play , Lehtinen was robbed and Hagman was robbed twice . I almost thought that Our Stars had it sewed up but this game was destined for overtime .
 Overtime was the ugliest thing about this game . Mo took a highstick to his face from Murray but it was not called . The blatant highstick/slashing call that Turco committed was . That little bit of animosity caused Our Stars to be on the penalty kill for the remainder of the overtime period . Then a short time later , Daley shoved his stick in some Sharks’ players gut and that , for all practical purposes , ended the game . Marleau parked in the crease and Boucher did not remove him so that when Thornton took his shot , Turco had too many different areas to cover and the shot got by him , ending the game . 

 Practice Till You Puke Time (Again) ;

 It looks like more of those practices await Our Dallas Stars after this game . I had heard that Tippett had run those kinds of practices for a while now . I cannot say that I blame him for it , with the way that the team has played in past , recent games .
 They did play much better this game , but taking stupid penalties ruined Our Dallas Stars chances of getting out of the game with a win . Many of the penalties that were taken , were senseless penalties to take . I could list them all off , but if you saw the game , you know which ones were pointless . Tippett knows and I imagine a few players received Tippett’s form of punishment for them and are probably not going to forget it for a while .
 Our Stars did play very well despite the loss . The Cap’n , Mo , Lehtinen , and Hagman led the offensive charge and Turco shined (except for that stupid slash to the neck) in goal . They do need to fix their errors in positioning and coverage problems . The needless penalties are their biggest problems . Craig Ludwig said after the game that these mental errors cost them and that Tippett needed to concentrate on helping the players focus on repairing them . I think he hit the nail on the head . If they focus on repairing those things and play like they did , they will win hockey games . And they had better start doing that or they will surrender their potential play-off spot to Trashville . And I would HATE that . I HATE Trashville .

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~ by Adam on March 29, 2008.

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