Piece of evidence #983, 547 that Philadelphia sports fans are fucking morons. Seriously, who tries to fight a professional hockey player?
That’s right, the game on Monday night was such a compelling matchup that even Snackbar will start watching the Dallas Stars play more often. After being beaten (read: demolished) at the hands of the Red Wings last week 6-1 in Detroit, the Dallas Stars had retribution on their minds as they took the ice at American Airlines Center on Monday evening. To a man, every player said the loss to Detroit by 5 goals was embarassing and that they felt the need to come out strong and show what they were made of. Well, after the first period of poor marking (hockey defensive term meaning to stay with your man when he’s in your defensive zone), suspect goal tending and heartless play, it looked as if the Stars were just paying lip service to the ideas of working hard and playing with grit and determination.
I would love to know what was said in that locker room during the first intermission. Perhaps the coaching staff really got into the players’ faces and read them the riot act, or maybe one of the team leaders stepped up and said a few words. We may never know what actually went on in that intermission, but we will be talking about what happened after that intermission for quite some time. The Stars came out and absolutely dominated the entire second period of play, starting with a goal just 52 seconds in. They played with enthusiasm and desire. They never missed an opportunity to finish a hit or pester a Red Wing player who had the puck. They scored another goal when Krys Barch (one of my favorite Star players and the resident tough guy) showed that he was more than just big hits and a strong chin by setting up Mark Parrish with a beatiful pass from behind the net that Parrish deftly directed past Red Wing netminder Chris Osgood.
But, the Stars didn’t stop their hard-nosed play after the second. They continued on into the third period, making the Red Wings look like a prize fighter who had just been rocked and was still trying to regain his legs and composure. And don’t forget, this comeback was being orchestrated against a team that was 9-0-2 in their last 11 games and was riding a season best six-game winning streak. The Red Wings showed their resolve in the third period by pushing one past Marty Turco in the Dallas net to make it a 4-3 game. Things never looked out of hand, however, as the Stars kept having chance after chance and kept up their assault on the the Detroit net. Steve Ott finally got one past Osgood with just three minutes remaining in the game to tie up the score and send it into overtime.
It took just 1 minute and 51 seconds for Trevor Daley to score the game winner in overtime, and one of the best hockey games of the season was complete. This may end up being one of those games that sparks a team into a big run and, quite frankly, the Stars need that run. They are 8-4-2 in their last 14 games, which is pretty darn good hockey by anyone’s standards, but they are still three points behind Colorado for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. And if this team knows anything about the NHL, it’s that regular season success can only take you so far. Great teams are measured by their playoff success. If last year was any indicator for this team, I’m hoping they will continue on with the trend of getting hot right before the playoffs start and mowing through the competition.
Here’s hoping for another Detroit/Dallas Western Conference Finals dance. After their win on Monday night, the Stars should feel pretty good about their chances to avenge their series loss from last year. With the way this team is playing right now, we all know that Snackbar will finally be watching.
It was announced today that Mike Modano will be the Stars lone representative in this year’s NHL All-Star Game that will take place on Jan. 25 in Montreal. For Modano, who is 38 and in his 17th season with the Stars, it’s the ninth time he’s been voted to the all-star game.
While not all Homers contributors will agree (Josh), I think Modano is one of the most quintessential figures in the history of Dallas sports. I love the guy. He’s proclaimed his love for this team, this city and and even though he’s damned near 40, he plays hard every year. He’s brought glory to the city of Dallas both via championship and by breaking every scoring record for an American-born player. He keeps his nose clean, is beloved by his teammates and never complains. You hear that, Cowboys? This guy’s in your own backyard so start taking notes, you fuckers!
The city of Dallas continued it’s sports pwnage of the state of Minnesota last night when the Mavericks pulled off the largest comeback victory in franchise history. With the Timberwolves up by 29 points early in the third quarter, the Mavs pulled off a furious rally and ended up winning 107-100.
And thus, another Dallas sports franchise has one of their hallmark moments on the books against a team from Minnesota. In case you need a refresher, here’s a list of historical bitch slaps that Dallas teams have handed out at Minnesota’s expense:
* The invention of the “Hail Mary” pass. On December 28, 1975, Roger Staubach and Drew Pearson hooked up on a last second desperation pass to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in a divisional round playoff game at old Metropolitan Stadium. The “Hail Mary” has been a part of the football lexicon ever since.
* The longest run in NFL history. On December 3, 1983, Tony Dorsett had a 99 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings. The best part was that Dallas only had 10 players on the field at the time, giving the Vikings a huge advantage.
* The most one-sided trade in NFL history. On October 12, 1989, “The Trade” as it would come be known was pulled off. The Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to Minnesota for what seemed like 55 draft picks, all 10,000 lakes and eventually, their NHL team. (The details of the trade are too long to list, so check out the link above if you want read up on the nitty-gritty.) The Cowboys parlayed the trade into three Super Bowl victories, several hall of famers and what ended up being one of the greatest runs in NFL history. The Vikings got a couple of seasons out of Walker and faded back into mediocrity where they became the poster child for getting completely raped in a trade.
* Dallas steals the “State of Hockey’s” hockey team. In the fall of 1993, the Minnesota North Stars packed up the Met Center and headed for the warmer, greener pastures of Dallas, Texas. For a state that claims to be so rabid about hockey, they didn’t turn out at all for the North Stars, leaving the team in the red and seeking a new home. The team, which had been in Minnesota since 1967, promptly won the Stanley Cup six years later in Dallas; a feat never accomplished in “hockey-crazed” Minnesota.
* The Cowboys, who are currently mired in a 12-year playoff funk, had their last playoff victory against….wait a minute….I’ll let you guess. The Minnesota Vikings! They laid down a 40-15 drubbing of the Vikes at Texas Stadium in December 1996. So even in their current state of failure, the Cowboys can look back on their long-time bitch with fond memories.
* If you want to go a bit further and apply this to the entire state of Texas instead of just Dallas, then you could include “The Comeback” also. On December 29, 2006, the Texas Tech Red Raiders completed the biggest comeback in bowl history when they overcame a 31-point third quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Insight Bowl.
It hurts so good, doesn’t it Minnesota? Don’t worry, since you’re our little sister, we’ll make sure nobody else picks on you.
If the game last night was any indication, they are definitely heading in the right direction. As if Loui Eriksson netting his first career hat trick (he also had 2 goals in Tuesday’s win against the Phoenix Coyotes) wasn’t enough, there were a total of 10 goals, three fights and a shootout was needed to ultimately decide the victor. The Stars played with great passion, an aggressive fore check and that’s what made the difference. Their defense was still a bit shoddy in spots, Turco didn’t have his best game and there were several silly penalties, but this team found a way to win. And that’s how a turnaround gets started.
I’m not proclaiming that they are going to rattle off 10 straight wins or anything stupid like that, but this team has found a little something. Maybe it was finally getting Sean Avery (read: cancer) out of the picture, or maybe it was Ott coming back from a broken hand (he laid some HUGE hits last night), or maybe it was Neal with his tough play and willingness to drop the gloves (a one-sided victory) or maybe it was Niskanen playing well and netting a goal. Whatever it was, I hope to see more of it.
We finally got to see some young players step up and the Stars play with heart and determination. Sure they gave up two late goals that forced overtime and the shootout, but they still won. And winning in the NHL on a night when your goalie isn’t at his best is a tall order, indeed. I’m just excited to see what the Stars have in store for us Saturday night against the Senators. Too bad the game is up against the Cowboys-Ravens matchup. No matter how well the Stars play, they will never beat out a Cowboys game in Dallas. Thank the Good Lord Above for TiVo.
How is that possible, you ask? Well, with the news coming down a few minutes ago (literally, a few minutes ago. I’m like a freaking real reporter now.) that Stars captain Brendan Morrow is sidelined for at least six months with a torn ACL.
Landon Wilson was called up from the AHL to fill the open roster spot. More info to come later, I’m sure. But I think that’s enough for now.
The 08-09 Dallas Mavericks got their season started last night with about as much veracity as a limp dick. Despite hanging in for a good three quarters, the Mavs fell apart in the fourth to fall 112-102 to the Houston Rockets. Offensively, the team looked good. Dirk poured in 36, Howard had 28 and Kidd finished with 12 assists. They ran the floor well like Rick Carlisle said they would, though that dropped off quite a bit whenever the incredibly sub-par bench got involved.
What was noticeably absent all game was any sort of defensive presence. This is a Houston team that scored a grand total of 82 points a couple of nights ago against Memphis. MEMPHIS!! However, the Mavs managed to go out and make Yao Ming (30 points, 13 boards) look like Hakeen Olajuwon in his prime, and they let Ron Artest (29 points, 7 boards) run roughshot all over the court for the entire game. Better yet, Tracy McGrady didn’t even play in the fourth quarter and the Rockets still outscored the Mavs by 11 to clinch the victory.
Which brings me to main point: Why is the concept of defense so foreign to all of our local sports teams? The Cowboys suit up a defensive unit stacked with number one draft picks and high-priced free agents, yet they can make the Rams offense, arguably the worst in football, look reminiscent of the Greatest Show on Turf. Through eight games, they’ve managed to intercept two passes. The Stars, who are currently sitting at 4-4-2, have allowed a league worst 40 goals through 10 games. Everytime Marty Turco looks up, three members of the opposing team are bearing down on him as Sean Avery jerks it to a picture of himself. The 2008 version of the Texas Rangers managed to commit more errors and have a lower fielding percentage than every other team in the Major Leagues.
What ever happened to the credo that defense wins championships? Is that just something that coaches tell you during high school basketball practice so that the two kids with talent won’t dominate all of practice with their shooting skills? Or has the glitz-and-glam image of life and sports in Dallas gotten so pervasive that our athletes feel like they don’t need to do any of the “grunt” work?
Whatever the root cause is somebody needs to pull an Oscar Rogers and FIX IT!
You take it one step at a time:
1. Identify the problem. FIX IT!
2. Identify another problem. FIX IT!
3. Repeat as necessary until it’s all FIXED!