MORE HOCKEY !!!

 As everyone knows Our Dallas Stars went up to Colorado Wednesday , October 1st , and were trounced by the Avs . To Our Stars credit , Turco did not dress and only Climie played with his back-up Tobias Stephan . It is just a shame that despite both teams dressing all of their other top players that the outcome was not different . After all , Tippett is trying to see who works with who best .

 I had higher hopes of their game against the Blackhawks (especially since I was privileged enough to attend) .
 The game against the Chickenhawks was more like a parade to the penalty box than an actual hockey game . Everyone who did not have a roster spot locked up (and even a few who did) felt like that game was the one to go out and trade knuckle bumps on each other’s heads .
 The first period showcased both teams willingness to trade punches . At the second faceoff , the punches started flying . The parade to the penalty box started soon after . The Hawks scored almost immediately after going on the powerplay off a clean faceoff win . Our Stars had good puck movement but also suffered from turnovers and a few miscues . Players just are not used to playing on so many different lines with new people almost continually . Our Stars had great chances on a five on three powerplay , but it fizzled out . Crombeen’s second fight provoked pleasantries from both benches . Even wher I was sitting , you could tell these teams did not particularly like each other . The Chickenhawks went goalie bowling and somehow Modano was penalized for interference . I still do not understand that . Our Stars later went on the powerplay and then were awarded a five on three powerplay for another atrocity committed by the Chickenhawks . When the period ended , Our Stars were on the five on three powerplay , but still had not managed to get the puck in the net . The one thing that cost Our Stars the most was the differential in blocked shots . Yes , Our Stars were out-shooting them by a wide margin , but nobody for Our Stars were blocking shots but Turco . All the Chickenhawks players were taking pucks all over themselves to save the goal and that made all the difference . Proof that your goalie is only as good as your defensemen is not only in those stats , but also in the fact that Smitty is still struggling in Tampa with his Swiss cheese defensemen .

 The second period started off with a solid attack by Our Stars . Richards ricochet a shot off the back of the Chickenhawks goalie to get it by him off a broken play . Ott had a good shorthanded chance a little later and Turco was forced to clean up after a nasty turnover right in front of him . Chris Connor had a fabulous chance to score but was denied at the last minute . When the parade to the box resumed , Our Stars again went on the powerplay and Fabian Brunnstrom earned his first pre-season goal . Again , Connor came out sniffing for more chances , but still could not beat Antti Neimi . Our Stars powerplay unit made a huge mistake and turned over the puck to the wrong guy (which is all of them) and Chicago scores a shorty . James Neal did not seem to care for that and scores the game’s first even strength goal with Avery and Petersen assisting on the play . After that goal , the hitting from Our Stars really increased . Robidas at some point had his helmet removed against his wishes (and for whatever reason it went uncalled) and he was bloodied pretty well . He still stood his ground and handed out hits seemingly everywhere he went . The period ended with a hoard of Chickenhawks around Dan Jancevski “hugging” him because they “loved” him so much .
 
 The third period started off with Jesse Boulerice going to the box for (surprise) unsportsmanlike conduct . As soon as his penalty expired , he attacked the nearest Stars player for some perceived transgression . He promptly re-took his reserved seat in the penalty box . Our Stars never even were able to get set up on the resulting powerplay . Connor had yet another great chance and Avery tackled Eager after he had apparently said a few unkind words . Jancevski and Boulerice decided to have a go yet again . After this little battle , Avery was released from the penalty box to the bench and Eager and he exchanged words while Avery made his way back to his bench . Whatever was said caused Eager to decide to take a swing at Avery with his stick and that earned him his match penalty and relieved him of his duties for the night . By this time , the Chickenhawks penalty box was so full that there was literally standing room only . It had been a long time since I saw six (that is right , I said SIX) men in the box . Our Stars ended up with almost seven minutes of uninterrupted powerplay time but still could not beat Antti Niemi despite good puck movement and control . They just did not want to seem to shoot and then fight for the rebounds . I always thought a goal was a goal . Our Stars took yet another penalty and in less than five seconds on the powerplay , the Chickenhawks tied up the game . With sixteen seconds left in the game Aaron Johnson went to the box for boarding poor Robidas (I think) .

 The five minute overtime period started out as a four on three for Our Stars . While Our Stars did have good puck movement and a few good shots , as soon as the powerplay ended , they went back on the defensive . Fistric got beat by his man and took a hooking call with thirty seconds left . It still did not seem to matter because Trevor Daley had the best opportunity to score on the resulting powerplay .
 
 When the shootout started , all of the few fans that were left had high hopes , including myself . James Neal started off the shootout but was denied . Bolland started out the Chickenhawks shootout and missed as well . Chris Connor took his shot and it was no good either . Andrew Ladd beat Marty for the game winner . Avery “tried to take the game even further in the shootout , but his attempt failed miserably .

 All in all , this was an entertaining game , but certainly nothing to write home about . It was more of a contest to see how many penalties could be handed out and who could be the first to be relieved of their duties for the game . The Chickenhawks won the penalty minutes battle with a whopping eighty-nine minutes as opposed to Our Stars measly fifty-seven penalty minutes . That brought the games total penalty minutes to one hundred and forty-one minutes . That nasty total included five fights , a match penalty and three game misconducts . Both penalty boxes had at one time or another up to five players and the Chickenhawks did manage that elusive sixth player in the box once .

 I really wanted to see hockey played and not the parade I witnessed . It was a decent game sometimes , but it seemed that Our Stars had no real teamwork except for between the veterans . Everyone else was just trying to get their name on the scoresheet any way they could .

 For those of you who are truly Stars Freaks , here are the offensive lines and the defensive pairings that skated ;

 Richards , Eriksson , Ott
 Modano , Brunnstrom , Avery
 Lundqvist , Crombeen , Connor
 Petersen , Neal , Barch
 Niskanen , Daley
 Stafford , Jancevski
 Robidas , Fistric

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~ by Adam on October 3, 2008.

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