The Stars killed any playoff buzz I was enjoying in Game 1 with an amazing display of incompetence and indifference. I have never seen the Stars so thoroughly pounded in a game of this magnitude, but it is time to believe our eyes. Now, desperation will hopefully on display on Monday from the Stars. If there is no desperation, then there is no Round 2. If there is, then we chalk game 1 up to a simple misstep that got out of hand.
Thoughts from game 1:
• The goaltender is the lightning rod around here, and he should be. Until Marty Turco can demonstrate that he is 50% of Ed Belfour on cough medicine, he is on probation. But, with the exception of the fire drill on the Wolski goal early in the 2nd, Marty was good enough to win. He made several saves that should have been goals on all-world players like Sakic and Blake. He allowed goals that no goalie in the sport would have saved. Honestly, no one is watching Marty closer than I am, as I am a proclaimed doubter of his work, but I certainly cannot claim that he is to blame in game 1. On the other hand, a franchise goalie should be able to carry the mail in Game 2 to get this series even.
• Arnott was a maniac, and because of that, those around him were really good, too. It didn’t matter who he was with; Ott, Morrow, Guerin, and Barnes all looked great, and I suspect 44 had everything to do with it. Double shift the young lad, as we know that no team has an answer for those bulls when they get rolling.
• Sadly, the same cannot be said for the other two lines. Sakic’s crew dominated Modano’s, and the Finns might not have been told that the playoffs started. Especially in the case of Modano, Lehtinen, and Zubov, I think a mulligan is in order. But, only one. They need to be great starting Monday.
• The Stars recognition and presence of mind was flat out unacceptable. To lose player after player on the Penalty Kill is tough to understand. I would imagine that this was the most deflating aspect of the game.
• I am not thinking skill and finesse is going to win this for the Stars. Colorado has just as much, and more skill than the Stars have. Forget it. You need to punish them physically. You need to hit and hit hard. I think it comes down to hitting and passion. I just did not see much besides Ott and Morrow when it came to hitting. Meanwhile, because of the slaughter of Saturday, the Stars blueline must be in a total confidence famine right now. Klemm and Boucher especially.
• The Avalanche played well enough that they could have had 10 goals. I am not kidding. A few pipes, a few amazing saves from Turco, and a few cases of missing wide open nets from 2 feet away. This has to be as good a 7 seed as we have ever seen from a talent standpoint.
• Stat to fear? Last 11 playoff seasons, there have been 22 series between the 2 seed and the 7 seed. The 7 seed is 13-9 in those series. Holy cow.
• If someone hit Modano from behind like Nik Hagman hit Sakic, we would all be screaming bloody murder. That is a fact.
• 18,000 fans made us remember how great a playoff crowd can be. And then they turned on the team in the 2nd period by booing them off the ice, and left the arena altogether with 4 minutes left, apparently because 4:45pm on a Saturday is now a school night. They don’t make die-hards like they used to.
• Jose Theodore? No idea. Hopefully, we will know on Monday.