Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Above, the future of the Stars share a moment of consolation.
And so it ends. With too little on the final night. It hurts a lot more this way, with the team fighting all the way back to even in the series, taking the lead in Game 7, only to endure the slow painful bleeding death of the final two periods, but I am glad they showed some heart and resolve in this series.
But, in the end, too little to win the fight. So, here are the last of your playoff notebooks, the morning after Game 7:
• The Refs sucked. I thought that both ways there were horrendous calls that turned a glorious Game 7 into a special teams contest. When you are in the playoffs, the penalty better be a penalty. When you are in Game 7, that penalty better leave a scar. But, no, Rob Shick and Brad Watson were going to show us how much they could star in the finale. And, that was disappointing…unless you were Vancouver’s power play. 2 goals on the final night surpass the tally for the entire series. With 10 cracks at it last night, I can imagine that all the practice finally yielded some nice results for the Canucks.
• Please don’t misunderstand that first point, though. It wasn’t the refs fault. The fact is, whether it was tired legs or just the swarm of Vancouver, the Stars finished 2nd on the ice. They could not get the puck out of their own end. They could not push back in the 2nd and 3rd periods. They just couldn’t dominate the ice like they did in Game 6. In the end, when both teams had to dig down deep, Vancouver could dig a little deeper. I would like to blame the refs for everything, but my eyes told me that the Stars had nothing left in the tank to grab that game by the scruff of the neck.
• In my estimation, Marty Turco was the best player the Stars had. Once again, he did everything in his power. To say he had no chance on the winning goal by Trevor Linden is fair. That tip was just another play that no goalie can stop it would seem. He has taken the blame for many playoff meltdowns, and rightfully so. But anyone blaming Marty for anything in these past two weeks might be accused of not watching the games.
• If you give Mike Modano that chance from that spot on the ice, I swear you can count on him to bury that 9 times out of 10. But, last night, he bounces it right off the cross bar. You had to know there that was the series. And it was.
• How much did the Stars miss Sergei Zubov? What defensemen would you rather have in your own end when chaos is breaking out than Sergei? What defensemen would you rather have on the point on the power play than Sergei? There is no way to prove he would have been the difference, but aside from Turco, what would hurt more than losing Sergei for a Game 7?
• You got to give it to the Sedin Twins. After sleeping through all of those games, they got it done last night. They were all over the game, and stepped it up enough to both be factors in Vancouver’s biggest win in years.
• So, what now? There is very little cap room, and the Stars have many improvements to make. They have all of their money tied up in Turco, Morrow, Modano, Zubov, Lehtinen, and Norstrom. I am not sure they could get in the mix for Ryan Smyth, Daniel Briere or Chris Drury if they wanted to. Would you bring your management team back? Or, like hockey, when it comes to change in this offseason, is “safe” death? Does this team need some real tough decisions made to shock the system and move this thing forward? I liked what I saw in many respects over the last few weeks, but how low is the bar if we feel good about a first round exit?
• The whole handshake line tradition of hockey never gets old to me.
• Can’t believe the Canucks pulled out throwbacks in Game 7. But they did. And the hockey gods let them get away with it.
• I may blame Ralph and Razor for that stunt last night of over-building the Turco shutout streak….just moments before it ended. Nice going, guys.
• Does anyone score bigger goals than Trevor Linden? At this point of his career, he still won Game 4 and Game 7 with timely playoff goals. What a perfect hockey veteran for the playoffs.
• Why did Eric Lindros play so little until the very end?
• I wouldn’t offer Nagy a contract. What an ordinary player - who fancies himself a star.
• In the end, they showed heart, resolve, and guts. They perhaps won back many fans in this city that remembered they love Dallas Stars hockey. I hope they build off this and regain their market share in this competitive sports marketplace. I was proud of the Stars in Game 5 and Game 6, but, they must clean out the lockers now.
• Expect to hear Johnny Cash at high noon today.
Posted by Sturminator at 7:49 AM