Just when you thought the Stars had emerged from their potential season ending slumber, they let down their guard again and surrendered a short hander that may cost several members of Stars management their jobs. To lose 2 games on home ice in any series is generally enough to cost a team a series. To lose the FIRST 2 home games on home ice is near-certain death.
But, they got themselves into this mess, and now they must figure out if they are interested in trying to get out of it. But, if they don’t at least one thing has been accomplished: Never again will I confuse this group of Stars with the groups that preceded them. Frankly, the Post-Hitchcock/Gainey era cannot hold the jock of the glory years. They may wear the same jersey (unless they are wearing the silly 3rd), but they are not near the team. Sad, but true.
Notes from the groin-kick that was game 2:
• As big a fan as I am of Dave Tippett, the line changes smelled of extreme panic. There is just no other way to say it. You cannot put combinations together that never materialized in the preseason or regular season and expect it to work. Further, you can expect everyone on your team to think you have lost your mind when you skate Jussi Jokinen with Steve Ott, and Bill Guerin with Mike Modano. For different reasons, those combinations make little sense.
• Which goals were Marty Turco’s fault? It doesn’t matter. 10 goals against in 2 games for any reason at any point of the season is 100% unacceptable. But, at least he has been tied up through 2010.
• Brett Clark deserves credit for the goal that tied the game on Monday. But, that was the luckiest thing he has ever done in his life. Give him 100 more passes from the corner and I promise he cannot tip another one into the top corner, near side like he did. He pulled it out of his rear, but you know what? That is hockey. Deal with it.
• The Stars did answer questions about the size of their heart with the amazing 2nd period, but after winning 1 series in the playoffs since 2001, I can hardly get fired up about moral victories. This team needs results. And they just can’t find them.
• Milan Hejduk is a man amongst men. The Stars have never had an answer for him, and it looks like it is only getting worse as he gets 4 points on a night in which Colorado scored 5 goals. All of his assists were primary, too. He is really good.
• The Finns were much better, and will need to continue that in Denver for this team to have any chance.
• I wish I could explain Guerin’s situation. They are not putting him on the ice when the game is intense, and when they do, he looks tentative again. I fear a buy-out is right around the corner unless he can find a way to become a meaningful member of this team again. Frankly, as much as I like the dude, I cannot blame Tippett for his decision here.
• Healthy scratch Trevor Daley? Panic much?
• I have been asked about the chances of the Stars to come back plenty in the last 24 hours. Honestly, as big a sieve Theodore is, there is no reason to believe that the Stars cannot get right back in this thing. But, Saturday morning, I have the Stars at about 70% likely to win the series. Now, it is roughly 7%.
• Another crazy idea is whether Johan Hedburg should get the start between the pipes. I highly doubt they would entertain this idea, but if Tip believes the guys in the room have lost faith, then do it. You got nothing to lose. Hedburg has been in a playoff run before. You owe it to your team to do what you need to do. And honestly, is it that much crazier than the decisions that were made before Game 2?
• Do we believe? Doesn’t matter. Do those 20 guys believe?