Friday, October 29, 2010

Dallas Stars Drinking Game

Well Boys and Girls, it's time again for another wonderful post.  This afternoon I came across one of my good friend's Down Goes Spezza's blog regarding the Flyer's Drinking Game.  This stemmed from a similar blog post from Peter Evans regarding his own NHL Drinking Game.  Personally, I thought this was a great game if your friends aren't complete hockey morons like mine are.  In other words, I'd like to have a drink before I die of thirst in that game.  So what goes into a Dallas Stars drinking game?  Glad you asked!

-  I would offer up a sip of beer every time Kari Lehtonen makes a save, but the goal is to enjoy the game, not try to have a power hour during the first period.

-  Every time a Dallas defenseman makes a boneheaded play, drink.  I highly recommend driving to Oklahoma to purchase 3.2% beer prior to this, otherwise you will be drunk before warm ups are over.

-  On the same token, when Trevor Daley eventually tries to over-play on offense and screws up, find a bottle of your favorite Russian vodka (if I had to choose I'd say Stoli or Imperia) and drink until he starts to resemble Sergei Zubov. (Ed note: This will likely result in liver failure, so please proceed at your own risk)

-  Before the game begins, everyone picks five obscure phrases.  If any of these quotes are used by Darryl Reaugh during the broadcast, everyone else finishes their drink.  Hell, if any of them are used, you win at life.

-  If you are watching during the upcoming Dallas/Buffalo game this Saturday, anytime a Sabres players shoots right of the net, have them take a shot of something strong, then make them watch this.

-  During the same game, anytime you recognize a player on the Sabres other than Ryan Miller, take a drink.  This applies to Sabres fans as well cause honestly I don't even think they know.

- When If the Stars pull of a successful penalty kill (12 PPG against in 36 times short handed), have a drink because a miracle has obviously occurred, and you deserve to celebrate.

- When a legal hit is made, take a drink if Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, or other well respected sports figures start writing about the possibility that it could be a suspension.  If drinking liquor, you should probably grab a 1.75L for this one.

- If Marc Crawford accidentally remembers he has four lines and lets them all get playing time, drink until you forget that line exists.

- If Fabian Brunnstrom is actually playing in the game you are watching take three drinks in honor of the number of goals he scored in his first NHL game, which is ironically the same number of goals in his entire NHL career.

- If the attendance on your couch is larger than the attendance at a Stars home game, take a drink. Not exactly for you, but in honor of whatever dollar Tom Hicks thought he had left in this world.

It should be noted that myself and Discard What You Don't Need does not endorse any use of this game in actuality.  It would obviously pose a health risk to anyone of legal drinking age.  Please do not participate in this game if you are, or think you may be, pregnant.  Basically that means if you're 20 or younger have at it kiddies.

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

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Awards For the Week Ending 10/24/10

Ladies and gentlemen (and knowing my readers, I use these terms EXTREMELY loosely..."sluts and assholes" just seems a too bit harsh), I am once again back in Dallas which means not only do I once again have an internet connection, but I also get the opportunity to witness a home team get outplayed horrifically, yet still win games (obviously I'm not talking about the 1-5 Dallas Cowboys).  A few quick points:

- Congrats to the Texas Rangers for making their first World Series appearance.  Your bandwagon fan base following will ensure that the lowest regular season home game crowd ever, approximately 7,000 in attendance versus the Blues, will actually be high compared to the attendance at the Stars game this coming Saturday versus Buffalo.
- The Stars actually only have 1 more point than they did 7 games into the season last year (3-1-3 in 2009/10).  Funny how those OT wins make you feel more confident about your team.
- Which leads me to my next point: to the few that think the Dallas defense is actually better this year than last *cough latest Down Goes Spezza Post cough* I beg, no, I implore you to reconsider.  The shots allowed are terrible, the PK is beyond horrific, and if there was really any less caring in terms of playing defense, they'd all be named Ilya Kovalchuk.

Now then, our week has come to an end, and it's time for the naming of the first ever "Brad Richards Wanna Be" and "Patrik Stefan 'I didn't do that'" awards.  So without further ado:

Brad Richards Wanna Be
While both Tim Thomas (2-0-0 in 2 starts w/ a 1.00 GAA and 97.3 save percentage) and Kipper (2-1-0 in 3 starts w/ 2 shutouts, a 1.32 GAA and 95.6 save percentage) performed more than adequately to receive top honors and the inaugural receipt of the award, I sadly have to go with the stat line that literally blows my mind.  Henrik Zetterberg (3 goals, 3 assists, +5, in 2 games) was simply on fire this week.  Sure it's only two games and a sample size like that isn't exactly a lot, but consider this: only 2 players this week scored more points (Bourque and Stamkos) and it took them twice as many games played to do so.  Trust me, Stamkos really makes me want to pick him (4 goals, 5 assists), but I just can't for some reason.  This is coming from the guy that drafted him every year except this year (only had one opportunity and sadly I went with Parise as I felt LW was very shallow this year).  So alas, the Brad Richards Wanna Be award is tainted forever by being awarded to a Red know what?  On second thought, fuck that.  I'm not tainting this shit in week one.  Good job Stamkos, you kicked some major ass.

Red Wings suck.

It's ok Mr. Stamkos, we know what you really look like and how to properly spell your name.

Patrik Stefan 'I didn't do that'
Since I apparently deprived a Red Wing player an award, and this is a Stars related blog, why not remedy both situations immediately.  With a -4, 0 points, and 2 PIMs (ie: not very sportsman-like), Mike Modano come on down!

You just love the bitches, don't you Mike?
As always, feel free to leave your comments, hate mail, and new award name suggestions, or just stalk me on Twitter , because what better things do you have to do while at work?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Strange Happenings and How We Got to 2-0

Well damn. As I sit down across from a Popeyes in an airport gate waiting area at 6am, I can’t help but think of how my friends and I named the 2009-2010 the “Season of Weird.” Crazy things were happening left and right, and honestly I’m still shocked the Coyotes didn’t somehow win the Stanley Cup, denounce the rest of the NHL, and defect to the KHL taking our title belt and throwing it in the trash on Monday Night TV prized Cup with them.

Then there is the 2010-2011 season. Hell, you don’t have to look very far to realize something is amiss. And yes, I’m talking to you 3-0-0 Toronto Maple Leafs. Really? Did y’all eat your Wheaties all summer long or something? If that isn’t crazy enough for you let’s also consider some other perfect records like the 2-0-0 Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes. Whomever had both of those teams starting off with that record please raise your hand. Now quickly, everyone who is honest, take note of the liars amongst you and beat them to a bloody pulp. If it’s one thing in hockey we can’t tolerate, it’s liars (divers yes, liars…not so much). Still not convinced? Well why the hell not? Fine, Philadelphia suddenly has decent goaltending, Colton Orr got rocked in a fight, Mike Modano is on the team whose name we shall not speak, and for some crazy reason I’m destroying everyone I know in fantasy hockey. The prosecution rests.

However, in mentioning the absence of Modano on the Stars, I should also note they are one of the teams that are surprising many, yours included, with a 2-0-0 record. Not only that, but they have overtime and shootout wins. This is the same team that may as well have packed it in and given the other team 2 points once regulation ended tied last season, right? Let’s take a look at some reasons on how the Stars have managed to become undefeated, and how they might be able to string together 3 wins in a row for the first time since the 2008-2009 season when they face Detroit tonight:


- Turco usually spotted teams three goals to start a game, so Lehtonen’s two goal spot was really a piece of cake to overcome.

- After two quick first assists by the $100 million dollar man, Crawford had an assistant text Paul Bissonette to figure out what to say that could piss the Russian off.

- Was able to distract Brodeur by having players spray themselves with bacon grease similar to the Taco Bell commercial and then crash the net.

- Promised head coach John MacLean that they would let him start and finish the game with 20 skaters if he let the Stars win. He countered that the Devils should at least get an OT point. Done deal.


- Gave up 4 PPG’s in 2 games to lull the teams into a false sense of security considering the penalty kill was supposed to be a strength this year.

- Realized that despite how fragile Kari Lehtonen is, Andrew Raycroft isn’t getting anywhere near a start unless someone’s life hangs in the balance…and even in that case, I pray for that person.

- Only went to the shootout because Ribeiro wanted to prove to everyone that he could score without pulling off some insane move that no player in his right mind would ever try. (Note: Does not apply to Robbie Schremp)

- By the same token, also wanted to give James Neal the chance to bang his first shootout opportunity of the year off a goal post. Sadly, he missed the memo.

- Found out allowing only 23 shots on goal really helps to limit scoring chances. Hopefully Crawford informed them later that while this is true, they should try not to allow them all in one period.

- While on the surface Stephane Robidas’ two delay of game penalties on back-to-back shifts for shooting the puck out of play seems like poor play, in reality it was the Dallas defense counterbalancing the rest of their play all game, thus ensuring we’d only remember the awfulness that we’ve grown to expect and love.

Red Wings

- Plan on sticking a “Wide Load” bumper sticker on the posterior of Tomas Holmstrom in hopes that someone, ANYONE, will notice when he’s screening Kari Lehtonen.

- Jeff K has orchestrated it so that whenever Modano is about to take a faceoff, a heartfelt Modano moment will suddenly play in the American Airlines Center, thus ensuring his eyes are blinded by millions of tears.

- To combat the morale effects of the inevitable octopus thrown on the ice due to the overwhelming number of Detroit fans that attend Dallas games, the Stars Fanatics are planning on hurling live cattle.

- Had “Please present your AARP card before entering” signs posted at each blue line.

- If Mike Ribeiro can assault a police officer, then Pavel Datsyuk will be a piece of cake.

You may not agree, but that’s what I observed. Then again, maybe I’m just delirious from the smell of the chicken.

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

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Stars Are Undefeated. LOL Wut?

"Oh you didn't know?  Well your ass better call somebody!"
Yes folks.  In case you weren't aware the Dallas Stars are 2-0.  Yes!  Those Dallas Stars.  To make matters even more interesting picture this:  Who was the worst OT/SO team in the NHL last year?  Dallas.  Who is 1-0 in OT and 1-0 in a shootout thus far?  Dallas.  Who is the only NHL team not to win 3 games in a row last season?  Dallas.  Sure Toronto was the last team to accomplish the feat, but do you know how bad it feels to be behind Toronto in something (hint: pretty f-in bad)?  Who is the team that only won 3 of 12 back-to-back games last year?  Dallas.  It's like we actually turned shit around, eh folks?  Not so fast...

Let's be honest, this has nothing to do with an improvement in the Dallas defense this year (3 goals vs the insane 1st line of the New Jersey Devils is tolerable, but 4 goals to a make-shift New York Islanders team?  Really?).  It has nothing to do with Marty Turco leaving Dallas (oh, we'll get there tonight folks, we'll get there).  It really has to do with the fact that the Stars are once again outscoring opponents.  Yep.  We're still gonna suck, but let me relish in the glory knowing that we are better than 26 other teams.  Let me repeat that, because unless we time travel back to 98, 99, or 2000 I can't make this claim: WE ARE BETTER THAN 26 OTHER TEAMS.  Don't freak out too soon though.  The Leafs are after all tied with us, and we all know that's a mistake.  Commence the realistic meltdown now.  Stick around for a new weekly feature at the end of the post, as for now, onto tonight's facts:

- Speaking of the Stars, is anyone else, aside from Tom, as disappointed as I am that when it got down to Ribeiro at the end of the shootout, that he wasn't given the green light to let loose some horrifically cheeky move?  We lost a ton of shootouts last year, and this man just needs a green light to be an effective shootout winning dick.

- I know everyone saw the Kovy/Green fight that was almost as bad as Semin's "playing the bongos" fight last year.  The biggest thing I noticed during the commotion was Caps players willing to step in, and Devils players realizing "um, if one of us gets hurt, we don't have anyone we can call up."  Truly a smooth move Lou.

- How many people expect Derek Stephan to dominate the waiver wire on fantasy leagues tonight. Let me just remind everyone before placing their claim that Aaron Voros and Brandon Dubinsky once dominated for the Rangers at the beginning of a season.  Best to claim him and then sell high.  That's what I did once with leading goalscorer Steve Reinprecht after 7 games.

- Did the Islanders take lessons from Sidney Crosby over the summer?  The only time I've seen more flopping around like something dying is the last time I went fishing.

- Slightly late, but you know it's gonna be a fun year in Edmonton when your TEAMMATES are bitching about a goal you scored in your first game.  Good job Jordan Eberle, though the biggest ego in the entire video has to go to Taylor Hall for expecting everyone to just swoon over him. (P.S. I don't care that it's a tongue-in-cheek spoof. I expect Taylor Hall to be that much of a douchebag)

-  Perhaps the greatest thing I saw all night was the Kings trainer picking up Kopitar's teeth, shaking them in his hand like they were dice, then skating back to the bench like nothing ever happened.  I hope he rolled snake eyes once he got back to the bench.  No one should be that happy about picking up someone's teeth.

- Did anyone else hear Drew MacIntyre was called up from the AHL for the Thrashers?  I hope Vince McMahon didn't have a part in this.

Yep, this guy isn't going to faint in net, he's going to DDT your head in.

- Matt Carkner needs know what, I drafted Matt Carker, so win or lose, as long as the idiot can still stagger into a fight after taking a Colton Orr pounding, I'm actually ok with it.  Good job Matt, keep up the good work!

- Marty Turco.  I told you it was coming.  You knew it was going to be mentioned at some point.  I just need to point something out here.  Way back in early August I mentioned something:

Apparently I mentioned it a bit too soon.  For those wondering about the wonderful and amazing Marty Turco and how AWESOME he was going to be behind a defense that could actually play, let's examine some numbers real fast.  With the Dallas Stars in 09-10 he had a .913 save percentage that was deemed horrific, he current has stopped 62/69 shots for a .898...hell, let's round up for the man, a .899 save percentage for the Hawks.  Betcha wish you had a defenseman that would block a puck with his face now, wouldn't you Marty?

- How does one give up 4 goals to the current roster New York Islanders?  That's like having enough confidence to spot the special education kids an h, o, r, and s in a game of HORSE.  Then again, we are talking about the same team that signed Andrew Raycroft as an insurance back-up goaltender, and then they don't even play him on a back-to-back game when the starting goaltender has a major injury history.  All we need is some high level exec to die and they automatically receive the Darwin Award.

- NEW FEATURE TIME!  We should be rolling out with a couple of these lately, especially since this "2 posts in 2 days" thing is not going to keep up.  There is only so much access to hockey with my insane job, and I'm likely not going to get this much exposure.  That said, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite football humor blogs, Kissing Suzy Kolber, where they do a "Meast of the Week" in addition to a "Least of the Week."  Obviously in hockey it's a little harder to judge things on a per-week basis, but I am going to do my best.  I believe one of the fantasy leagues I'm in rates players on a weekly basis, so I will go off their time-line and their stats.  However, just to spice things up, we're going to give names to these awards.  Since it's a Stars themed blog I have to stick with it and Your "Meast of the Week" will officially become the "Brad Richards Wanna Be" award.  Before you laugh, please realize Mr. Richards is officially your league leader in points.  Plus the guy scored 5 assists against the current Stanley Cup Champs in his debut with the Stars, so if you disagree with the name, go *censored for the youngins* yourself.  As for the "Least of the Week," well this was much harder.  As you should know there has been much failure in the Stars organization.  Tom Hicks comes to mind at the moment, but then I thought back to players.  Shawn Chambers was a great player, but Mario Lemieux turning him into a pylon during the cup finals is a league-wide memory.  I wanted something bigger though.  Something 197-foot-Toskala-esque.  Then it hit me.  So ladies and gentleman, I present to you the official "Patrik Stefan 'I didn't do that'" award.  May they both be bestowed upon some truly great players in the near future.

As always, feel free to leave your comments, hate mail, and bottles of vodka (I really write better when under the influence), or just stalk me on Twitter , because what better things do you have to do while at work?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fun With Numbers - Stars/Devils Game One & Other NHL Stats

The first thing I learned about the Stars regular season opener vs the Devils is that not only did Lou Lamoriello screw Stars fans over by not forfeiting due to being over the cap (how convenient that those two players landed on Long Term Injury Reserve, no?  Someone get me a social worker and prove that there was no domestic violence or anything like that and then I'll believe the injuries), but even when I count on the Stars losing for an excellent blog post, they fail me.  I was actually excited about the prospect of taking a look at where the Stars stood after a blowout loss and to be quite honest, after the 2-0 start the defense was proving to me they were every bit as useful as I expected.  Kari Lehtonen was proving to me that despite appearing super human in preseason stopping 75/77 shots, and in the game I attended giving up maybe 2 rebounds all night, that he really is a subpar goaltender that the Stars put too much faith in.  Hell (LOL a pun!), the Devils were even proving to me that my combination of Parise and Zajac in a majority of my fantasy leagues are going to dominate like no other.  The line of Parise/Zajac/Kovalchuk seem to go together like Huey Dewey and Louie, like Crosby Stills and Nash, even like the Three Tenors (Perhaps not the best analogy on that one.  None are gay, and the fat one is obviously Brodeur).  Then what happens?  The Stars not only fight back to earn that lovely OT point, but instead of going something ridiculous like 3-14 in OT games, they won a game in OT.  WAY TO RUIN THE POST LOUI!

So instead of getting to hear things like "The Maple Leafs and the Oilers are obviously infinitely better than Dallas because they both won their games and Dallas lost," you're going to get the opposite.  Quite the opposite.  Here we go:

- Looking at the points, the Stars are obviously twice as good as the defending Stanley Cup champions, Chicago Blachawks, and also on par with the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Atlanta Thrashers.  Sadly, they are no match for the obvious eventual Eastern Conference Champs: The Carolina Hurricanes.

- Speaking of the Hurricanes, couldn't "Mr. Shootout" Jussi Jokinen pulled out something a little better than the garbage he decided to display today? just got showed up by a rookie in Jeff Skinner chief.  Better start watching Mike Ribeiro so you can learn the definition of the "cheeky" shootout goal.

Shhh, this is what a cocky douchebag looks like. Thankfully this cocky douchebag plays for us.

- Dear Mike Modano, We knew you'd be good on that Detroit team.  Honestly, with the talent around you on the 3rd line, how could you not be?  Was the goal on your first shot really necessary though?

- Speaking of Mike Modano, if the Stars tried any harder to push Brad Richards as the next coming of Modano, I'd almost be convinced the team got sold and Richards was going to receive a Kovalchuk-esque deal.  Keep in mind I did not have any volume while watching the game, but considering all the graphics I saw of Richards and Modano being compared, I fail to see how they aren't trying to market the team around him.

- On the topic of Brad Richards, the Modano record of 93 points in a season is about to be shattered.  Eriksson is going to end the season with 164 goals, and Richards will finish with 246 points.  You can't tell me I'm wrong.  That's the projected stats people.  Wayne Gretzky eat your heart out.

- If anyone was looking for this year's 20+ shooting percentage candidate, look no further than Loui Eriksson.  It's scary when you know his two goals in the game wasn't a fluke, but even worse when you realize he only took two shots on goal.  #LouiEriksson4RichardCandidate

- Looking at other games around the league, a scary moment in Atlanta when Ondrej Pavelec collapsed to the ice with no one around him.  Aside from looking like an Italian soccer player, I sincerely hope he makes a speedy recovery and returns to action soon.  I'd hate to think that we could see Dustin Byfuglien in goal at some point...since he's obviously multi-talented and all.

- Nothing to do with hockey, but it made me laugh a lot, so I need to share.  Some of you may have heard about Michael Young's "check swing" during yesterday's Rays/Rangers game.  Well a local radio station duo that also cover the Dallas Stars decided to respond to the comment that "The game really turned on the check swing call."  Their response?  "Yes, because before that, the Rays had 0.  After that, they finished with 0."  I love people who tell it like it is.

- I saw some hockey bets going around lately, with one unfortunate unnamed Canadiens fan losing 3 bets in one game.  Supposedly these were the first three lost bets ever in history.  Ya, and Brett Hull's Stanley Cup Winning Goal was 100% legit (It was...which means I totally believe this person).  That all being said, I always welcome ridiculous bets.  If I don't accept, ask me again when I've had a drink or two in me.  Don't think it works?  I apparently signed up for a fantasy league drunk, didn't realize it until I was told about it two weeks later, then drafted tipsy, and now I'm going to destroy everyone.  Remember those words people.  Remember them!
- Can we honestly just give Jordan Eberle the Calder now?  That goal was disgusting and Ian White should be fired.  Guess we all know why he was paid $5 less than expected now.

- Last Dead Things mention, but after 1 game, I think it's safe to say that Pavel Datsyuk already forfeited the Lady Byng this year.  Guess it's down to the two former teammates in St. Louis and Richards again.  Good luck Brad.

- Back to Dallas.  What needs to happen to ensure that Raycroft doesn't start versus the Islanders?  I don't care if half their team is injured and the only reason they hit the cap floor is because they're paying a guy in Russia to score goals in an exhibition games against the Hurricanes.

This all being said, I do have an excited weekly feature that should debut sometime this coming week.  At least I hope it's exciting.  For all I know it could suck as bad at the Minnesota Wild.

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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NHL Player Synonyms

So the wonderfully talented Down Goes Spezza and I were having a conversation the other day, when a precarious quote came into play:
You think the phrase "Stop being a Dallas Stars Defensemen" could replace "stop being useless and talentless"  - Down Goes Spezza
This obviously prompted a rebuttal from yours truly which defended the importance and value of the Dallas Stars defense among other things.  So it was then that we both wondered what other synonymous words for the NHL might be:

Dallas Stars Defense: Traffic cones, Stick holders, Punching bags, Reconstructive facial surgery models.

Matt Cooke: Tough NHL grinder, The best place to find an imprint of Evander Kane's fist, The reason Sean Avery isn't under the microscope when it comes to NHL rule changes.

Marc Savard: Playmaker, Contract bargain, Substitute for The Thinker.

Good God, could this concussion make me want to do anything less than sit here like this?
Wade Redden: A $6.5 million paper weight, the AHL's least valuable player, God's gift to NHL defenseman humor.

Kyle Wellwood: A talented center who weighed on the mind of the Coyotes GM for a roster spot, the reason Russia will run out of borsch and blinis, the inspiration for Connecticut's new logo.

Dominik Hasek: A human slinky, the Czech Republic's biggest donor via hockey related assault and personal property charges, The person who had the best view of losing the Stanley Cup to one Brett Hull.

Nazem Kadri: Future of the Maple Leafs, Disappointment, A devout Muslim who got demoted due to picking inopportune times to pray such as on the penalty kill.

Vesa Toskala: You know, it's really too easy.

Vesa on a good night.

Alexi Yashin: Excellent Russian talent, NHL's initial poster child for bad contracts, The reason the Islanders can reach the cap floor.

Dustin Byfuglien: A great playoff NHL forward, A crappy regular season NHL defenseman, Enough letters in his name to put the "FU" in "Dysfunctional $3,000,000 player."

Philadelphia Flyers Goaltending: Laughable, Injury prone, the future home of an unretiring Ed Belfour (his on and off-ice antics should make pray for someone as tame as Ron Hextall to return).

Mike Green: A poor man's Bobby Orr, NHL hair fashion coordinator, The only person who should be nominated as the Selke winner for as long as he plays.

Ilya Kovalchuk: Inspiration to young Russian players everywhere, The reason the LA Kings can afford to give their current roster extensions, Why New Jersey experienced a jelly shortage for a month.

Glen Sather: The man who hired Trottier without any coaching experience based solely on a 93 page application for the job, The GM who almost single handedly created the salary cap era despite not actually winning games, The only reason Darryl Sutter hasn't been committed to a mental institution.

Bryce Salvador: One of the few African American NHL players in the league, Another example of how playing the Philadelphia Flyers contributes to concussions, The sole reason the Dallas Stars won't win over the Devils on opening night by forfeit.

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

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?