Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Game 7: Van 4, Dallas 1 (Series Over)

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.


andrew said...

should have traded for Marco Sturm instead of Nagy. Sure, no sniper... but a better scorer than Nagy.

Beau said...

Brendan Morrow earned praise for his leadership during this series. With the team down 3-1, Modano was throwing Tippett under the bus while Morrow was calling out his teammates. At that point, it seemed clear that giving Morrow the captaincy was the right call.

Fast forward to game 7. With the Stars on the power play and the game tied 1-1, Morrow takes a penalty by slashing Alex Burrows. For me, that moment brought back memories of Morrow taking a penalty last year in the offensive zone against Colorado, with the team up one goal with a few minutes remaining in the game.

The Stars lost that game, too.

CFB123 said...

Not to sound like a Mavericks fan, but you just can't call a total of 18 penalties in a Game 7. That absolutely destroyed the flow of the game, when it should have been dictated by the players on the ice, and not the constant whistles.

Having said that, you simply can't expect to win a series when the 3 games you won are only when your goaltender pitched a shutout. The Stars have got to do something about that anemic offense if they ever want to get anywhere in the playoffs.

Ah well, at least the effort was there in this series, and that more than this team has been able to say now for a while.

Eric said...

Nagy is very ordinary, I agree, let him go.

This team has nothing but 2nd and 3rd line players. All of our attackers would be 2nd or 3rd line players on any other team still in the playoffs. We need a top tier scoring center / winger pair.

If the Stars truely believe Lundqvist/Jokinen can become our Thornton/Chechoo or Sedin/Naslund then they better proove it next year. Otherwise we should scrap the payroll so we can sign our own top pair.

As much as I love Lehtinen, Modano and Morrow, we cannot spend that much money on three players who can only provide an average 22 goals a piece over the last 3 years.

really mike vanderjagt said...

7 games, 12 goals.

And last night, Vancouver's power play converted on two of it's chances while Dallas, which had 6 chances of their own, couldn't convert.

There's your game.

That having been said, I wouldn't trust Greg Devorski or Rob Schick to officiate a peewee hockey game.

If they were looking to put together a video clinic on how not to officiate a Game 7, congratulations gentlemen. Mission accomplished.

Andy D. said...

What a wipeout of energy the last week has produced. I am not a die hard Stars fan. I basically left when we decided to clean house after the championship runs of 1999, 2000 etc.
Having said that, hopefully other people saw what we have potential of seeing next year. Belfour talent in net. But what else? Let's find that in the offseason and put the total package together to move forward.

Good effort. Haven't seen that since those glory days of the past.

RJ Peters said...

I hope they build off this and regain their market share in this competitive sports marketplace.

That seems like a difficult task. Nothing short of a few years in a row of significant playoff runs will get them back to the 1999 era level.

But, that's not all bad. The goal of every team and every league shouldn't be to dominate the sports landscape.

In particular when talking about the NHL, many people seem to think that it has to become a major force in the American sports scene to survive. There's nothing wrong with being an upper-tier niche sport.

Patrick said...

There are a handful of solid but not spectacular goal scorers on the market as unrestricted free agents this offseason. The Stars need to find a way to make a move for at least one, preferably two.

If the Stars had a single line of "scoring forwards," we're probably already watching the Stars and Ducks at this point.

After watching Turco single-handedly pull the Stars to Game 7 after being down 3 games to 1, I take back every bad thing I've ever written or said about him. He was absolutely awesome and it's a stinking shame that they couldn't muster any offensive punch to help him out.

BACM said...

Really glad my hockey weiner awoke for the last 3 games. Now it can go back into that dark place forever, what a complete powerdown.

Go Mavs beat Nellie!