Friday, October 1, 2010

Preason Fun With The Stars

So I was owed some favors at work, and since I won't be in the state for the home opener vs The Dead Things, I opted to redeem one of said favors tonight in the form of some Stars tickets.  Luckily, I know some pretty important people so my seats were fairly decent.

So tonight was the Stars/Avs.  This rivalry is special to me as I lived in Colorado for 5 years and sadly got to witness the Stars get eliminated from the playoffs by the Avs more times than I wish.  For the most part I was cringing during the game.  Here's a few key points:

Stars Defense:  As you've noticed by now, I despise the lack of talent on this group of D-men.  Tonight, I was pleasantly surprised as their play.  Before your jaw hits the floor, please realize that my expectations were so low that anything better than giving up 5 goals was going to be ranked an A+ in my book.  While I was impressed by the amount of hitting and grinding by the D-men, when you do such things you typically aren't playing D, which was seen by the Avs peppering Mr. Lehtonen with shot after shot.  My one big strike against the D was during an excellent short handed chance for the Stars.  Ott came in, fired a shot on Anderson that left a huge rebound, Eriksson came in and left a layup drop pass for the defender skating in - One Mr. Nicklas Grossman.  Sadly for the Stars, Mr. Grossman did his best impression of me on a Sunday afternoon and swept the puck along the ice straight into an awaiting Craig Anderson.  I now realize why you have only scored 2 goals in 4 NHL season Nick.

Brad Richards:  Fortunately for Stars fans, Brad decided to take the game off tonight in order to rest up for the regular season opener next Friday.  Strangely, I can't figure out how the hell he was written down for ice time.  Must be a typo.

Since this game doesn't count and I make a ton of money, do I even need to try?
3rd Line (Ott, Benn, and Vincour):  Vincour is probably going to be bouncing between the NHL and AHL this season, so I'm not really worried about him.  I am worried about the other two.  What the hell is the point of this line?  Is it supposed to be a third scoring line?  Is it supposed to shut down opposing top lines?  It isn't constructed to do either.  Instead, it's almost a spare parts line that has great talent, but is just waiting for an injury to a top-6 guy so that someone can move up.  Also, I'd like to congratulate Steve Ott on not killing Scott Hannan tonight.  In the first period Hannan and Ott got tied up at the Dallas blue line with Ott fallen and Hannan not really letting him get up.  A few head massages later, the look in Ott's eyes, and the grip and motion with his stick, almost made the Donald Brashear incident look like a mild muscle spasm.  Ott kept it together and only snapped post Avalanche goal in the third period.  I'll take that as a victory.  As for Benn, if he wasn't 6' 2" I swear I'd assume he was 12.  The guy looks younger than half of the Avs roster and that says a lot.

Beer Races:  What's better than grown men dressing up as beer bottles and running around the time?  When one guy gets such a big lead that he stops to taunt his competitors, and still has plenty of time to win.

Guess what Canadians? Your beer didn't win.

Kari Lehtonen:  I have to admit the guy has grown on me.  I was surprised to hear he's played in 6 NHL seasons since I know he's 26.  It then occurred to me that this is a slightly misleading fact as his actual games played put him at just over 2.5 seasons.  In watching Lehtonen play, the only goal that he let in, he never had a chance on.  In fact, he probably only gave up 2 bad rebounds all game.  Pretty impressive considering he seemed to be the only Stars player that cared for the first 10 minutes of the game.

This is what I look like upright BEFORE the groin injury

Adam Burish:  I'd heard all the praise about him playing with Ribeiro and Morrow, but didn't really want to believe it.  After watching his first few shifts, I was questioning what people were smoking.  After seeing him bounce to every line except the first, I was starting to feel bad for the guy.  Nearing the end of regulation tied at 1, I was wondering who would be replacing him on the second line.  Then suddenly here comes Burish with some great speed along the near side boards.  Ok, so at least the guy has wheels as advertised.  As soon as that thought went through my head, a pass towards the front of the net and a crashing Morrow puts in the game winner.  Guess we found our right handed right wing shot after all.

As always, feel free to leave your comments, hate mail, and season tickets, or just stalk me on Twitter , because what better things do you have to do while at work?

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