Now That I Am Back ….

 You can suffer my opinions about hockey again . Aren’t you glad you came back for more punishment ?

 It took me longer to get things back in order after working fifty plus hours last week and this week I am looking at similar hours with my boss being on vacation . Please bear with me on when I can post since I will be very limited in time yet again .

 I have forgotten where I left off so I will pick up with the game vs. the Wild .
  This game , all the ‘bounces’ went Our Stars’ way . I have never seen a faceoff violation penalty assessed before (well , not in a long time) . James Neal played superb in this game . I was not really pleased with the gameplay . Both teams played mediocre at best . Our Stars just played less badly .

 In the San Jose game , Our Stars just got flat-out run over . Our defense and our goalie could not get anything together . Our powerplay could never get set up and the penalty kill could not keep the Sharks out of our zone . For the record , I sent my Shark loving child to bed early for the Sharks winning this game .

 Now on to the Stars vs. Oilers game .

 Loui Eriksson did a great job in the first period with numerous puck thefts . The powerplay goal that we scored on the powerplay finally broke a twenty-three powerplay dry spell . It was also thankfully the first goal scored in the game . Petersen tipped Niskanen’s shot to make the score two – nothing later in the period . Barch’s , seemingly , five minute fight with Stortini interrupted play between goals . Our Stars won this period with better pressure . They also displayed better puck hounding and control than in previous games . The thing that clinched this period for Our Stars was that everyone did their own respective jobs .

 The second did not go near as well for Our Stars . The Oilers came out of the locker room with more determination than Our Stars did . The Oilers dictated most of this period despite Our Stars taking only one penalty . Hemski opened up the scoring when the Oilers started passing the puck around quickly and got our boys out of position just enough to sneak it in the goal . Our Stars did show some life in this period , but they just could not seem to get things moving or score an ‘insurance goal’ .

 The third period started with the Oilers still bringing solid pressure . Our Stars started skating backwards and the Oil scored their second to tie the game at two a side . Daley , Neal and Avery combined with good hockey sense and Avery scored his third goal of the season . The play that earned this goal was a very smart heads-up hockey play . Each of the three players involved did their own jobs and did what they were supposed to do and relied upon their teammates to do theirs . The Oilers scored of a rebound from a shot off a faceoff to even things up at three . Much later Our Stars had a powerplay awarded to them and it only took Modano twenty-eight seconds to score his thirteen hundredth point of his career by planting the puck firmly behind Drouin-Deslauriers . I thought it was great that the puck flew just past his ear between his pad and his helmet . It was a beautiful goal .

 The important things about this game were as follows ;
 1. Each player did their own respective jobs . Instead of trying to do everything , they did what they were supposed to do .
 2. The defense was sharp early . They started great , but slacked off as time went on but not so much as it cost them the game . Being sharp early is very important . It just needs to carry through the whole game .
 3. The powerplay scored . And it was about time , too . Our powerplay has been at the bottom of the pack for far too long . It has to continue to improve .
 4. Everybody blocked shots . Even though the scoresheet shows only the fourth line and our defensemen blocked shots , I know I saw more players blocking shots early . The shot blocking seemed to drop off (kind of like our defense) as the game wore on . Everyone must block shots , especially if Marty is going to continue to allow three goals a game .
 5. Marty Turco looked and played well . His play dropped off after the second , but he did have two fairly good periods .
 6. Turnovers . Our Stars had seventeen take-aways while the Oilers had only seven . Ribs , Mo and Eriksson all had three stolen puck each . Puck possesion and stealing the puck is very important . 

 MY three STARS of the game ;
 1. Mike Modano – I award this to him for his record breaking with a goal and an assist . He never seemed to slow down and he recognized that there can be “no passengers” and everybody has to play if we are going to win .
 2. Brad Richards – Two puck thefts , two assists , and four shots on goal earns him this award .
 3. Sean Avery – With a team leading nine shots on goal and one goal earned by him , he deserves this . He is also one of the few Stars who continues to go to the front of the net regardless of the punishment he will take for doing it .
 Honorable mentions ;
  Loui Eriksson – He played very well and he just seems to be getting better with time .
  James Neal – He has proven he has incredible potential . Hockey sense and hockey smarts are things that cannot be taught , they must be natural or come by instinct . He is (in my humble opinion) one of the future leaders of our team . He has mad skills and when he applies himself , he has shredded the opponents’ defense . He reminds me a little bit of Modano when he was younger .
  Chris Connor – He had a great game . He played good defense and laid some impressive hits on players bigger than him .

 Oh , and I hope you finally got over your turkey hangover from Thanksgiving .

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~ by Adam on December 1, 2008.

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