Stars Drop Coyotes In Their Final Home Game

 The pre-game showed informed us all that Ribs and Richards both had the flu and would not be playing . Not good news . Then , we were all informed of worse news . Sergei Zubov is in Germany having a “procedure” done . That ensures that he will most likely miss most of the playoffs unless Our Stars get into the third round or better . They said he may return after the second round , but I do not share their optimism . Since bad things come in threes , we also discover that Michael McGeough is reffing the game . Damn . There went the game already .
 The game got off to a very slow start . Both teams showed that they knew how to play sloppy . Petersen took a delay of game penalty and the resulting powerplay was easily killed off . Hanzal took a charging penalty and Lehtinen got a great chance on the powerplay but could not get the puck past Bryzgalov . Unfortunately the Coyotes had a short-handed chance , but thankfully Our Stars were up to the challenge and kept the game a clean sheet . Our Stars’ chances did not end with the powerplay . They continued to attack and Eriksson and Lundqvist had a great attack after a terrible turn over by the Coyotes . This period was very slow paced . All entries into Our Stars zone were met by greater numbers by Our Stars . Their defense seemed to return after being absent for many games . The Coyotes only proved that they have a great goaltender that kept them in the game and that they knew how to turn over the puck without pressure from Our Stars .
 In the second period , Turris tossed the puck out of play and Niskanen scored from the blueline . Stu , Ott and Barch attacked the Coyotes immediately to keep the momentum going . The Coyotes started to show some sparks of life and Turris got a few chances on Holmqvist . Holmqvist answers and Turris is sent away empty-handed . Our Stars took away the puck and continued to dominate the puck with good puck movement and puck control . Niskanen took a tripping penalty and a very short time later , Mueller takes one of his own to kill the Coyotes’ powerplay . The shortened powerplay for Our Stars proved to be more than the Coyotes could handle . Robidas scored to bring the score to two to zip . The Coyotes continue their turn over habits and The Cap’n scores off a kind assist from Ballard . This period was not an overpowering one , but the Coyotes allowed themselves to be run over like they were trying to slowly cross a busy road in five o’clock traffic .
 The third period started out slowly , just like the rest of the game but the tempo was definately going to change . Yandle tossed the puck out of play for another Stars’ powerplay . It was fairly uneventful . As soon as it ended Carcillo and Barch squared up and Barch was knocked flat with Carcillo’s second punch . The Coyotes seem to rally around the fight and really started to wake up . Boucher and Holmqvist foil Doan’s bid on a goal but they could not stop Lisin from scoring with a shot from between a defender’s skates . Carcillo attacked Ott for seemingly no reason other than he was there and available to punch after Daley was held by Lisin . Gretsky was livid that about the penalties , and the Coyotes put his anger into action and score short-handed . It was Ballard’s sixth goal of the season . The rest of Our Stars’ powerplay was horrible . They never managed to get set up for even a few seconds . Bryzgalov went to the bench with about a minute remaining , now that they had a chance to win . The Coyotes turn over the puck yet again and Mo gets the empty net goal to end their hopes . Despite having only seconds left in the game , Lundqvist and Eriksson attack Bryzgalov in the dying seconds and almost make the score five to two .

 Stupid Carcillo Attacks People Without Cause ;

 Our Dallas Stars won this game by playing what can only be defined as “blue collar hockey” . They did not bulldoze the Coyotes , but they worked hard and punished them for the incessant turn overs .The defense played well in the earlier periods when they were not being challanged , but ended up panicking when the Coyotes finally woke up from their two period nap .
 Johan Holmqvist played very well . He needed the win , especially since the team failed him in his last start . He saw the puck very well and cleaned up more than just the odd mess . He made some quality saves on skilled players . He earned his second star of the game . I did have to laugh at his interview in the locker room after the game (not because of him , though) . I could hear that terrible music in the background that Eriksson likes so much .
 Jere Lehtinen may not have scored in the game , but he did play very well . He had several scoring chances , but could not manage to beat Bryzgalov . Lehtinen ended up being one of only three Stars’ players with a positive +/- ranking at the end of the game .
 Steve Ott said in a mini taped interview in between the periods that if he had not been a hockey player , he probably would have been a cop . That is a scary prospect . I would hate to be pulled over by him . I would have been beaten half to death for telling him I was not speeding . I am thankful he plays hockey . I think the world is a much safer place with him playing hockey .

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~ by Adam on April 5, 2008.

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