It’s Over Now

 Technically , it has been over for a long time for us , but some people just never give up or (like me ) are just too hard-headed to ever give up .

 I would have to classify this past season as a loss , but not a total loss . I think I will start out with what I think are the positives and go down hill from there .

 First of all we did see a lot of young players , many of them very gifted . James Neal is definitely the brightest spot out of all of them . He plays well with and without the puck and the only fight he got into , he put a gash on his opponent from eyebrow to ear (yeah , I am still lovin’ that three-hit fight) . He also finished very close to the rookie lead for goals this season and he did not even play in every game like the kid who won that contest did . Fabian Brunnstrom has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the season . At first he was all offense and absolutely no defense , but he was improving all the way up to the last game he played in . We also got to see Tom Wandell , Ivan Vishnevskiy , Andrew Hutchinson , Garrett Stafford , Landon  Wilson , and Raymond Sawada . While some of these guys have been around for a while , we did manage to establish the fact that even with the “B team” we could still play decently . We do have a bright future with these guys .  

 As all of the faithful Dallas Stars fans now know , Brett Hull and Les Jackson are no longer Co-GMs . Instead , Joe Nieuwendyk has been named GM . I think that it will be an interesting time with Newy leading the club . I have faith in his hockey sense and I think that the hockey gods will like us a little more this next season than they did in the last one . I do not place blame on either of the ex-co-GMs for our poor season . I think they did the best that they knew how to do – even when their actions confused the fans . I simply believe that their talents lay in other areas . Now we will see if Newy has the skills that we need him to have .

 This past season , we lost far too many games . Of course if you are a true fan , you probably cried most of the season like I did . Razor’s mantra this past season was special teams and goal tending . Unfortunately , we had neither part of that equation solid or consistent .
  Marty obviously did not have a good season by any stretch of the imagination . He was the sole owner of the worst goals against average in league for far too long . That was not all his fault . His defensemen sometimes resembled the Swiss cheese that plays defense for Tampa Bay . He did however allow many soft goals and allow many stoppable shots through . I think the loss of Mike Smith , who was a viable alternative to Marty , actually hurt us more than it helped  . Having someone to challenge you to do better , makes you better . This past season , no chance of a challenge existed from any other goaltender in the organization . I am sure that Marty will do better next season – rumour has it that we have another excellent goaltender coming down through the pipes .
 The other part of this equation is special teams . There were times that we were on top and times when we tested how low the percentage could possibly go . The problem was (not only personnel – which I will get to later) failure to perform consistently . Sometimes we ran the table and other times we looked like we just showed up to skate . Foolish mistakes and carelessness with the puck also caused problems and put ugly shorthanded points up against us . The consistency was simply not there . There were a few players gave everything they had every shift (whether it was on the PP or PK or even strength) but most just played when they felt like it .

 That rolls right into the question , should Tippett be removed ? My answer is still no . Too many distractions and problems that were not his fault ruined this past season . I think he did the best he could , but I strongly feel that he needs to find new ways to ‘motivate’ his players – no matter what the cost .

 Our injured reserve this year was booked solid . At one point I was beginning to believe that you would need reservations in advance to make it onto the list . There were also times that the IR list was longer than the roster of active players . I forget the final tally of man-games lost but I believe that it was upwards of three hundred and twenty . When you consider the players who were on that list , the season’s results should not come to anyone as a huge shock . Lehtinen , Zubov , Richards , Morrow , Connor , Lundqvist , Sutherby , Petersen , Barch , Ott , Daley , Brunnstrom , Grossman , Fistric , Robidas and even Marty Turco missed a few games due to illness (I am sure that I missed some players , but the list is so long that it is hard to remember everybody who spent time off-ice) . If we can get healthy and stay that way , we do have a chance for next season .

 As I promised I have gone from good to bad , and now , the worst ;
 Sean Avery . I do not fault Brett Hull for bringing him here . He did what he honestly thought was best for the team and I am proud of him for that and for standing up and saying so . Nobody knew that he would not like playing here and act like he did  when he got here . Obviously we do not know what went on in the locker room , but it apparently caused enough distractions early in the season , that many players were not able to focus on their respective jobs . I honestly thought that he would be a good edition to our team despite the fact that everybody hated him before he came here . I am now on the “I hate Sean Avery” list because of the problems that he caused our players . I am not saying he was the only reason that our team flopped (many other reasons have been covered above and even more reasons were not) , but he certainly did not help . If you really think Avery was not a part of the problem , you never went out to watch the team practice . I did . He never participated in any of the drills at close to a half-speed and never acted like he was interested in even being there . I am very glad he is gone , but it leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth to know that we will be paying him for another four seasons money he never got close to earning .

 Despite the horridness (is that even a word?-spellcheck says no) of last season , I do have lots of hope for next season . Until then …………………

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~ by Adam on June 4, 2009.

9 Responses to “It’s Over Now”

  1. One of the good things about a season like this is, it brings out the band wagoners! There it no doubt in my mind that with Newy here now and Morrow being back we will definitely be a force to be reckoned with next season! I design Stars banners and the one I will be looking to do next season is one of Morrow whipping Avery’s collective butt!

  2. Adam, I also wanted to get your take on our new contractees, Climie and Krahn! You think they’ll be any good for us or will we just dump and the end of this season! I, personally, saw a lot of potential from Climie! Krahn, I’m not so sure I only got to see him play one game at the NHL level and, well, we weren’t exactly playing all that well that night!

  3. I think Climie and Krahn are both good goaltenders , but I do not think they are ready yet – of course , that is what was said about Dan Ellis and look at him now (starting for the hated Predators and he stymies us every time we play against him) . I would like to see more of Brent Krahn simply because of his overall good attitude . Matt Climie showed a lot of promise as well , but who knows who we will see in behind Marty . I have heard rumours that there could even be another name tossed into that mix . I guess we’ll have to wait to find out for certain ….

    • Well, hopefully whoever it is, Tipp gives him a little more ice time than he gave Stephan. Now, don’t get me wrong Stephan wasn’t that great I know! But, Tipp should have given him some more ice time to improve instead of keeping Turco out there all season like he did. But I am leaning towards Climie right now. But, only time will tell where my opinion lies at the midway point of next season!

  4. Do not misunderstand , I think that Climie was probably the better player between him and Krahn . I just liked Krahn for his eternally positive attitude . He knew he was going to be put in only in a bad situation turned worse , but he was still happy to be playing . Climie has (I believe) a Calder Cup win on his recond from the ECHL with the Idaho Steelheads . Either way , both of them need to learn how to control rebounds a little better .

    As far as Stephan , he is a good player , but none of the coaches seemed to have any faith in him for whatever reason . I would think that if Andy Moog cannot get a goaltender to play how he should , I do not know who could . I , personally liked Stephan and never thought he was a bad player . He was even more likely to cut up with the fans than other players were when giving autographs at practices , so , to me , he was enjoyable to have around .

  5. HOLY COW, ADAM! You have been linked and quoted by Heika! You have made the big time, dude! Congrats!

    • Yeah , hah ha . I had to go and read all of the comments that were attached to the article as well . It seems that a lot of the people who left comments on the subject responded to it without reading my entire blog – not surprising but honestly I still say you cannot pin last season’s flop ALL on Tippett . It just would not be right .

      In the end though , we do not get to make that call . I am almost glad I do not have to .

      • Ok, your first mistake was reading the comments on Heika and then your second mistake was expecting them to be logical. I gave up reading the comments on Heika lonnnnng ago. It appears their only interest is to attack or deride each other. But I love Heika!

        And yes, I’m very glad I’m not the one to make those kinds of calls. I would never make it as a gm.

  6. Sure you could . The main difference in being a GM and being a fan is the circles you would run in . If you were the GM you would not read ANYTHING ANYBODY wrote or listen to ANYTHING ANYBODY said . You would make all the descisions on your own (or rather with the owner’s input – and I am sure if you were winning , Hicks would not have much to say).

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