If This Is It …………

 Before I get any further , I need to thank my wife for going with me to the last home game of the season . She has had TAKS testing going on all week in her school district . We arrived home very late – and we knew we would – but she sacrificed an awful lot to come out to the game with me . I never would have gone to the game without her and I owe her for it .

If this is it for Modano , Lehtinen and Turco , it was one hell of a way to go . Ralph , Razor and Ludwig all agreed that the game could not have been any better if it had been scripted . They all also agreed that this was probably one of the most memorable games in the history of the franchise . I cannot argue .

As far as the overall gameplay went , we played very good (considering) . I say “considering” because we probably could have scored many more times if Modano had not been fed the puck at every opportunity (I do not blame them for it – I would have made the same effort – I am simply stating fact) . We played great team defense , great offense (52 shots on goal is nothing to sneeze at) , our penalty kill was very good , and we showed great determination . Everybody played hard as a team . Pick any name off our roster and they played great . Larsen and Gagnon both played exceptionally well .  And of course Cap’n Morrow just so happened to be one of the better players on the ice despite suffering from the equivalent of a broken foot .

 The poor Ducks never had a chance . Oh , they might have had one on the scoreboard , but they never really had a chance . Everybody knew going into the game that this could very well be Mike Modano’s , Jere Lehtinen’s and Marty Turco’s last game – whether in a Stars’ uniform or otherwise .

 The gameplay was almost irrelevant . This was more about our emotions for our players and theirs for us than it was about the hockey game . We won and did well , but that was certainly not the main attraction . Throughout the entire game , the big screen kept showing statistics from each of those three players proving how valuable they have been to Our Dallas Stars  in their distinguished careers with this franchise . 

Razor said (before Modano had scored his first goal) that if Modano scored , the AAC would go ballistic . It did . Yeah , it may have been tipped with a high stick but to quote Razor , ” Toronto had better check their stones if they want to reverse that call .” He was right . I am almost positive that the safety of their referee crew would have been in serious jeopardy if they had reversed the goal and disallowed it . I am not saying I would have done anything , but 17,999 others might have . Thankfully , the goal stood and no riot ensued .

 The way this game was won is what made it so great . The game started out with Modano touching the puck every other chance . Everyone fed him the puck . It was inevitable that he was going to score at least one . After he got the deflection goal , we played a more evenly balanced game . It seems that everyone on our team did not want Modano’s (maybe) last goal to be one that deflected off of him and past our own goaltender .

When the game went into overtime and then to the shootout , I do not think anyone in the AAC was surprised that Modano and Lehtinen were in the shootout line up (but , honestly , I was pleasantly surprised they both scored – their shootout percentages are less than stellar). Modano scored on our second shot and the AAC , again , erupted . Then when Lehtinen scored on his shot , the AAC turned into a madhouse .  Oh , yeah , and Marty’s saves on the poor Ducks also brought the cheering volume up to a deafening roar . I know that I was one of many thousands who were chanting , “Marty , Marty !” . 

 The fans were spectacular for this game . Marty had his time on the big screen and plenty of applause and cheering . Lehtinen had his time on the big screen and his fair share of the same . Obviously , Modano out-shone them both simply because , for most fans , he is the Dallas Stars . When gameplay stopped for more than three minutes in the third period so that all of us fans could cheer for Mike Modano , he cried on the bench , stood up and waved , many of us fans teared up as well . Those tears he cried were as much for us as they were for himself . He knows we love him and that we do not want him to retire . You could tell that by the multitude of signs all around the glass begging him , Lehtinen and Turco to stay for “one more year” . If he does retire , this was the right home game to end it on .

Mike Modano is , was and always will be a huge part of our Dallas Stars and the success that both hockey and the club itself has had here in Texas . As I wrote in my letter to him , no amount of thanks any of us could give him would ever be enough . I could write much more about Mike Modano but anybody and everybody with a keyboard will be doing that anyway . Besides , Ralph and Razor covered him well enough last night . I could not d him justice .

 Marty Turco has been an integral part of our team for many years . He may not have been as great recently as he has in the past two years , but I have few doubts that he still has plenty more “gas in the tank” . Many people I know think he will end up with another team and shut us out every time he plays against us .  I really enjoyed a sign that my friend made . It said , “Once a Star Always a Star except for Avery He is a douche ” . I could never agree more .

 Jere Lehtinen has been the rock on this team . I had it pointed out to me that his scoring has dropped off considerably in the past two seasons and that is why he needs to go . His scoring has dropped off , that much is true but  his gameplay has allowed Jamie Benn to develop into the kind of player that he has been this season . His role for our Stars has changed from goal-scorer and defensive forward to simply defensive forward . He has been the “safety valve” on at least three different lines when the other two forwards are only thinking about scoring and have neglected (or not yet learned) their defensive responsibilities . Jere Lehtinen has been called “The King Of The Little Things” because he does everything right . That is how he is the rock  on this team . You always know what to expect from him . He will work hard along the boards , drive the net , kill penalties , play on the powerplay (whatever he is told to do) and he never takes a shift off and skates standing upright . No matter if our team is up by ten goals or down by ten goals , he always plays the same way . Hard . I know that we have been told not to use words like “always” and “never” but with Jere Lehtinen , those words are simply the only ones that could possibly be used for his gameplay . We may all miss Modano because he has been the “face” of our team for so long but if Jere Lehtinen retires , we will lose so much more .

 I loved what Craig Ludwig said about the three stars of the game . “They were gonna’ be the three stars yesterday . Today , they earned it .” No truer words , Luddy .

 And for the record , I still have not gone to sleep yet and George Parros still needs to shave that “seventies-bad-porn-star-mustache” I don’t care what Razor thinks .

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~ by Adam on April 9, 2010.

5 Responses to “If This Is It …………”

  1. I get teary just thinking of the Stars without Mo or Lehts 😦 I hope they both return.

  2. I loved that sign about Avery being a douche. It still makes me laugh 🙂
    It was great finally getting to meet you at the game after reading your blog for so long. Hopefully I’ll see you around in the Fanatics section next season.
    I thought all 3 guys played so well (with a lot of help from the rest of the team) and it made the whole tribute night a lot more special. Getting shut out 4-0 wouldn’t have been quite the same!
    I cried when Mo started crying. I’ve never seen a huge group of people that emotional before.
    Amy

  3. I enjoyed meeting you as well . I hope you did not get in trouble with your friend for spending too much time away .
    You should see me next year in the Fanatics section unles something goes horribly wrong – even though it will not be the same without so many players (and a few fans) .
    When Mo cried , I think very few of us in attendance were not either choked up or crying . I know I was physically and emotionally drained after this game at least for the next day .
    It is only a shame that Mo’s last game in Minnesota was almost a let down because this game was so emotional .

  4. Nah, I didn’t get in trouble. He knows that nothing really gets in the way of me spending time with the Fanatics 🙂 It won’t be the same, but I’m really looking forward to it because I’ll actually be living in Dallas. You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this!

    I had to watch the game on Center Ice yesterday, so it wasn’t quite the same without pre/post game shows. Also, I had the Minnesota announcers. They weren’t bad but it wasn’t the same as Ralph and Razor. It didn’t even compare to Thursday’s game though

    Amy

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