Friday, March 14, 2008

Detroit Defeat

Well, I said yesterday on the show that it wasn’t about the final score, it was about looking at the teams and wondering if the Stars had what it took to play the Red Wings straight up.

Uh. Not great results again. Yes, a 3-1 lead late in the 2nd Period gave you the distinct impression that the worm had turned. And then, it did. The wrong way.

The Red Wings shifted to another gear. And the meltdowns started. A bad turnover. A bad effort from Turco on the opening goal of the 3rd. An inability to stop the bleeding. And another crushed effort in Detroit.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

By the way, I understand changing things around, but the Modano-Morrow-Richards line is a dumb idea. I hate breaking up 63-10, and I also hate the self inflicted idea of making yourself a 1 scoring line team.

Then, your checking line is 26-39-21 was not close to good enough to stop Detroit’s 13.

Put 10-63 back together. Put 91 with 15 and 20. And stick Modano with Ott and Lehtinen, and let’s play some stinking hockey.

Also, say a prayer that Zubov is back in the mix in time for the playoffs. Because the kids were exposed last night on many occasions.

The Stars look like the Stars have looked in their previous big games for quite a while. Not good enough.


The house of horrors that is Joe Louis Arena continued for Marty Turco and the Stars on Thursday.

Turco allowed two goals in the first 1:01 of the third period, and the Dallas Stars blew a 3-1 lead and lost, 5-3, to the league-leading Red Wings.

It was a frustrating outcome for several reasons. One, the Stars have been outscored, 12-3, in the third periods of their last six games and have gone 2-4-0 in that span. Two, Dallas is in a slump and falling farther behind San Jose for the lead in the Pacific Division. And three, Turco fell to 2-10-5 against the Red Wings and is winless in Detroit at 0-7-2.

"It's more about the loss than anything else," Turco said. "We had the lead, and we didn't do the things we needed to do to keep it."

Turco had possibly the defining moment in the game when he allowed a 40-foot laser shot from Pavel Datsyuk to slip past him and tie the score at the :36 mark of the third period.

"It was not a good goal," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

But Turco wasn't alone in his struggles. Niklas Hagman and Mark Fistric combined on a coverage mistake that allowed Datsyuk to walk in alone on Turco for a goal at the 16:17 mark of the second period. And the entire team participated in a chaotic mess that ended in Stephane Robidas flipping the puck into his own net for what turned out to be the game-winner at the 1:01 mark of the third period.

"That's not the way we want to play," Robidas said. "You can't afford to do that in the playoffs."

Tippett said the score "flattered" the Stars, and that they really weren't playing that well when they took a 3-1 lead on goals by Trevor Daley, Jere Lehtinen and Brenden Morrow. He said the top scoring line of Morrow-Mike Modano-Brad Richards had zero scoring chances at even strength and that the checking line of Loui Eriksson-Joel Lundqvist-Lehtinen was the team's best.

"There are puck battles that need to be won, and their top players beat our top players," Tippett said.

When asked if he was sick of losing in Detroit, Tippett responded, "Very sick of it."

"When you watch [Henrik] Zetterberg and Datsyuk go out there and dominate the game, that's frustrating," he added. "These guys are setting the bar for the Western Conference, so we better raise our bar. We better raise our bar, or we're in trouble."

The Stars (42-26-6) have used up the space they created with a 13-2-0 run last month and now are back in the thick of playoff positioning that could quickly move them to fifth place in the conference. What's more, they have nine games remaining in the regular season and appeared to fail a key test that had a playoff feel to it.

Jen goes crazy on the Stars …she can’t really be this ticked over a regular season game really? I often wonder if there is a bit of artificial rage in her bag…

Don't be too upset about the Dallas Stars' gutless-pig meltdown Thursday.

They aren't.

In fact, players seemed pretty OK with gagging away a huge victory against a really good Detroit Red Wings team. And nobody appeared too terribly worried about how
panicky and overmatched they looked doing it.

The Stars were busy talking about the good things they did in the first 40 minutes and how they just need to finish and ignoring the fact we have seen and heard this 1,000 times before.

Until they prove otherwise, this is the Stars.

They are the ones who too often fold their tent first when the game gets hard.
This is who they are. This is what they do.

NFL Mocks – Don Banks

22 CB Mike Jenkins South Florida Sr. 6-0 200

The Cowboys haven't been much of a player this offseason, so the draft appears to be their personnel acquisition method of choice in 2008. Having lost a cornerback in Jacques Reeves to Houston, Dallas could use another pair of hands in the secondary. If receiver is the pick here, rather than at No. 28, which Dallas also owns, Cal speedster DeSean Jackson would get the nod.

28 RB Felix Jones Arkansas Jr. 6-0 205

In this mock, we don't have Dallas trading up with No. 7 New England for the right to land Razorback running back Darren McFadden, so we're back to giving Jones to the Cowboys with their second first-round selection. The backfield tandem of Marion Barber and Jones would make for a tantalizing combination of power and speed.

Sportsline’s 3 Mocks

22 DAL Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn. State DeSean Jackson, WR, CaliforniaDominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tenn. State
28 DAL Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas Early Doucet, WR, LSU

Champions League Draw is not kind to Liverpool

Arsenal have been drawn against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The Premier League giants will face each other three times in a week next month, with a top-flight match sandwiched between the two legs.

Manchester United will face Roma - who they have played in the competition already this season and knocked out a year ago - with the second leg at Old Trafford.

Chelsea have the most favourable draw of the English clubs with a trip to Istanbul to face tournament outsiders Fenerbahce, before a second leg at Stamford Bridge.

In the other last-eight tie, Barcelona take on Schalke.

Arsenal and Liverpool have never faced each other in European competition before, but the stage is set for a more familiar semi-final line-up.

Should the Merseyside club make it through to the last four - with the ties being played on April 22/23 and 29/30 - they would be likely to face Chelsea at that stage for the third time in four years.

Were Arsenal and the Blues to make it through, it would be a repeat of the quarter-final clash from 2003/04 when Chelsea prevailed.

If Manchester United see off Roma - who they thrashed 7-1 at Old Trafford in the last eight a year ago - they would take on the winner of Schalke versus Barcelona in the semi-finals.

Today was the first time four clubs from a single country have figured in the quarter-finals draw for the Champions League.
The final will take place in Moscow on May 21.

Gillett hates Hicks

Liverpool co-owner George Gillett has finally broken his silence on his strained relationship with Tom Hicks.

Gillett has not made a public statement on the current takeover turmoil at the club since the controversial financial repackaging of the loans Hicks and Gillett took out to buy the club last year.

Gillett's son Foster - a board member - was withdrawn from the day-to-day operations at Anfield as Gillett prepared to sell his 50% stake to Dubai International Capital.

Gillett, who also owns the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey club, was speaking at a sports conference in California when - answering a question on whether he would remain a co-owner of Liverpool - he said: 'I would say, choose your partners wisely.'

That remark, in answer to a question from Abraham Madkour, editor of
a sports business journal in the US, explained much about the differences between Hicks and Gillett.

Gillett was appearing at the IMG world sports conference in California.
He also said: 'He (Tom Hicks) is a great guy - but he has just got a different perspective on the media.'

Hicks has this week been critical of DIC's use of the media to support their plans to buy out Gillett.

Dallas-based Hicks has criticised DIC's tactics and terminated talks with the Dubai-based sports empire on Monday.

For those like me, the story of Wikipedia

The new headquarters of one of the world's most popular websites is 3,000 square feet of rented space furnished with desks and chairs bought on the cheap from EBay and Craigslist.

A sheet of printer paper taped to the door says the office belongs to the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runs Wikipedia, the online almanac of anything and everything that users want to chronicle, from Thomas Aquinas to Zorba the Greek.

With about 300 million page views a day, the site by some estimates could be worth many hundreds of millions of dollars if it sold advertising space. It doesn't. Wikipedia's business plan is, basically, to hold out a tin cup whenever it runs low on funds, which is very often.

When it comes to money, "we are about as unsophisticated as we could possibly be," Executive Director Sue Gardner said as she swept up Styrofoam packing nuts in the office, the foundation's home since it relocated in January from St. Petersburg, Fla. "It's time for us to grow up a little bit."

Growing up can be hard to do.

Wikipedia, the "encyclopedia anyone can edit," is stuck in a weird Internet time warp, part grass-roots labor of love, part runaway success.

A global democracy beloved by high school term paper writers and run largely by volunteers, the site is controlled for now by people who seem to view revenue with suspicion and worry that too much money -- maybe even just a little money -- would defile and possibly ruin the biggest encyclopedia in the history of the written word.

"Imagine if the other top 10 websites in the world, like Yahoo or Google, tried to run their budgets by asking for donations from 14-year olds," said Chad Horohoe, a 19-year-old college student in Richmond, Va., who was until recently a Wikipedia site administrator, one of the 1,500 or so people authorized to delete pages or block users from making changes to articles. "It isn't sustainable."

Looking at it one way, it's cheap to run Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation's other endeavors, which include an online compendium of quotations and a multilingual dictionary and thesaurus. The annual budget is $4.6 million, more than half of it dedicated to 300 computer servers and other equipment. On the other hand, the foundation has a tough time raising a few million dollars. The last fundraising campaign featured a video of co-founder Jimmy Wales literally wringing his hands in desperation.

The 45,000 or so individuals who contribute annually give an average of $33 each, so campaigns, which are conducted online, raise only about one-third of what's needed.

For the rest, foundation directors have to hit up outside donors, such as Stephen J. Luczo of Seagate Technology and U2's Bono.

Rangers Chatter back at it

Beckham’s Blog on his coming to Dallas ….

He tells us:

"Hi everyone,

It’s great to be back in LA.

I really enjoyed the tour to Asia. It was a great chance for the team to bond and get our fitness levels up before the new season. It was also a chance for Ruud Gullit and the coaching staff to get some of their tactical ideas across and I think we played some great soccer.

We’ve now only one friendly left against FC Dallas until the new MLS season begins at the end of the month. Obviously, I didn’t get to play there last season, so I’m really looking forward to the match. Dallas has such a rich sporting history with the Cowboys of the NFL and the Mavericks in the NBA, so it’ll be great to go there and play their soccer team.

Anyway, that’s all for now.
Speak to you soon


Review of Lost

Billy Crystal, Leadoff Man Video



Over the last couple of weeks, I've read several pieces criticizing Dallas for trading Harris for Kidd. Each one described Devin in far more glowing terms than I had ever seen anyone - other than the pre-trade Cuban - apply to him before the trade. SI, for instance, called him a "blur" who was a tough cover for even the quickest Western Conference guards, while Bill "Do I really know anything about anything?" Simmons makes it sound like Dallas gave up a perennial All Star for a guy who couldn't start in the Keller rec league. Yet, before the trade, nobody - other than Cuban - ever thought of Harris as a top five, or even top ten, point guard in the Western Conference, let alone in the NBA. He's never even sniffed an All Star or All Defense selection, and every scribe, pre-trade, would have ranked him far behind Kidd as a player. So, why has he now been elevated to some kind of superstar diamond that Dallas gave up for some poo-poo? I think these writers just like to criticize.

Dave in Tulsa

Love the work you do here for Dallas sports. I'm a recent graduate of SMU and I'm curious as to the impression you have of June Jones. I graduated in 06 so as you can imagine SMU football was not exactly the highlight of my time on the Hilltop. However, I've spoken with several younger alums who are now really excited to see what JJ can do for us. My question to you is A) Do you think SMU hired the right man for the job? B) As a Dallas sports fan are you now interested in at least attending an SMU game? and C) Your general impression of the man from talking to him.

Thanks alot Bob and keep up the great work!

P1 Kurt


Kurt, I think SMU absolutely hired the right man. I find him to be generating the most buzz of anyone I could imagine. I would very much like to see a game this year. I think he should have you very excited- Bob

More email:

The Smyth hit was far more critical and whoever slammed him into the turn buckle was not suspended. The Morrow hit was similar but he didn’t leave on a stretcher like Smyth. Get over that!

Ott left his feet.

I am an Avs fan and could care less about Jordan Leopold but if a player leaves his feet, out. When I was a Stars season ticket holder, I didn’t care for Ott but he was strictly a pest. Now he is that obnoxious player out to hurt. I only wish Scott Parker had played that game and shown him what a real beard is and kicked his runt arse.

As for Ruslan Salei, I was there when he slammed Modano many years ago and I can’t believe the Stars fans didn’t boo him at the Avs game this Sunday. I may not be a Stars fan anymore but I was very disappointed when the Avs picked up Salei and he got what he deserved in that fight. Bad karma will catch up with you at some point.

I love you guys but as an Avs fan you make me nuts.


I know you said a lot of interesting things, but I cannot get past you saying that you are an Avs fan who used to be a Stars fan. That is the craziest thing I have ever read I think. I may never understand the process of changing favorite teams in mid-life…Bob

Bruce Bowen – Knucklehead

Nolan Ryan on Soap


Joe said...

Good email on the Kidd vs. Devin trade. I like Simmons from time to time but sometimes he irks the crap out of me. His last article on the "What If?" NBA trades was ridiculous. Just a creative way to take more shots at teams and GMs.

Also that Bruce Bowen clip is one of the main reasons why its hard to take the NBA seriously anymore. Things like this and the Mavs/Heat Finals completely sicken me. They need a complete overhaul of officiating and Stern. "Star" players get away with way too much.

Fake Sturm said...

I hate Bruce Bowen. What a POS. If you actually go to the Youtube link there is a whole list of related videos of Bowen taking cheap shots at players. The drop kick to Wally Szerbiaks head is unbelievable.

Did anybody hear the Tom/Dan fight on the Musers E-Brake this morning? Tom is such a whiney little bitch. Musers were killing him, saying there is just something weird about him. Seriously, how is this dude still on the radio? I realize he is an "off air" guy, but so is Danny and he is the best part of the Hardline. I just think Tom brings absolutely nothing to the table.

BACM said...

I gahgree Fake Sturm but you have to remember that Gribble is a dangerous combination of both Aggy and Marine. Pretty intimidating if you ask me.

Jake said...

That 3rd period yesterday was brutal, not to mention what could have been without that b.s. suspension of Ott.

P.S., I don't support the troops, j/k, just trying to get more hits and comments for you Bob. I can only generate so much smack about my friends in Lubbock and Austin before I get tiredhead. Good times.

Fake Sturm said...

Yeah BACM, pretty intimdating as a security guard at Whataburger, not as a producer of a radio program.