Friday, March 28, 2008

Turco'd in San Jose

In the Stars last nine games, they have one win (1-7-1) which was the home game against the Avalanche on March 9th. In those 9 games that have knocked the Stars from the 2 seed all the way down to the scramble to stay in the playoffs, the Stars have 1 goal after the 2nd intermission (Mike Ribeiro’s in Nashville) and their opponents have 16.

Last night we saw some real nice things from the Stars, but the final analysis shows a blown third period lead, another round of mistakes that cannot be made (Marty!), and another loss.

But, an overtime loss! A Point was rewarded! The third of the month of March, knocking the Stars forward to 90 points and they lost their way back up to the 5 seed (for now).

If this team is going to go anywhere, Marty Turco is going to need to tighten things up. That penalty in overtime is defined as another “what was he thinking?” moment. Sadly, those partially define his legacy for now. For that legacy to change, he will have to rise above those meltdowns. And some wonder when that will happen.

Also, another night of not really noticing too much from Brad Richards. I think I need more for 95k a game. And, although he needs to be allowed a bit more time before we totally slot him as part of the problem, it should be noted that if Mike Smith was still here, he certainly would be playing in games like the Kings last week and the Kings tomorrow. But the Stars have such little trust for their new back up tender Johan Holmqvist, that I would assume it would take a drastic reversal in fortune for anyone but Turco between the pipes…No matter how badly Marty needs a “sit down”.

By the way, the game experience at the Shark Tank is awesome. Kind of Edmonton mixed with Reunion Arena. I really recommend it.

San Jose keeps both team’s trends alive

Marty Turco is a direct reflection of his team right now.

The Dallas Stars goalie did almost everything right Thursday.

But stress the "almost."

Turco had a spectacular game, until he took a foolish four-minute high-sticking penalty and helped hand the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 overtime victory at the HP Pavilion.

The win pushes the Sharks’ point-scoring streak to 17 games at 15-0-2. San Jose (46-21-10, 102 points) can clinch the Pacific Division title with a win Friday against Anaheim. The Stars’ slump runs to 1-7-1 for the month of March. They now have 90 points and still are battling to maintain a playoff spot in the West.

Turco said he felt like his team had one of its best games of the month. Still, he said it came up short at all the wrong times.

"We made progress, but you don’t feel much better,’’ Turco said. "Mental mistakes are a lot easier to change than when your game’s not there. Tonight, I thought we did some good things."

Turco claimed responsibility for one of the biggest mistakes of the game. In the middle of overtime, he clipped Joe Pavelski in the head with his stick. Turco was trying to put a stiff arm into Pavelski to force the Sharks forward further around the net and create space for a Stars defenseman to carry the puck. But Pavelski leaned into a turn to go around the net, and Turco hit him square in the face.

"That thing in overtime was nothing short of dumb,’’ Turco said. "There’s no excuse. It was what it was, it doesn’t matter what you were trying to do. I always am trying to help my guys out, but in that case, he didn’t really need any help. It was just a reaction – and something that’s easily stopped.’’

And the sad tale of the Dallas Mavericks roll on …The Mavs were up 15 in the 2nd quarter, and I knew there was no way they were bringing that one home…just a feeling I had that you likely did, too…

The Dallas Mavericks executed a near-perfect first half, scoring 70 points to lead the Nuggets by 10. Yet they ultimately boarded their plane bound for the Bay Area with the hollow realization of just how difficult winning without Dirk Nowitzki will be when not playing the Clippers.

The Mavs, swept away 118-105 by a desperate Nuggets second-half performance, still must face the Golden State Warriors on Sunday before meeting the Clippers again on Monday in Los Angeles.

By then, the Mavs, outscored 58-35 in the second half for a fourth loss in five games, could be in a virtual deadlock for the eighth and final playoff berth. Those are the stakes with 10 games to go.

"We didn't come out in the third quarter necessarily all that well and it was a tale of two halves for us," Mavs coach Avery Johnson said.

Thursday's outcome was essentially a three-game swing. A Mavs victory would have meant a virtual four-game lead over the ninth-place Nuggets by virtue of owning the season-series tiebreaker.

Now Denver trails the Mavs by just one game. And it's the Nuggets who own the crucial tiebreaker if the clubs end the regular season tied for the final playoff spot.

"It is what it is," said Jerry Stackhouse, who had 18 points, 16 in the big first half. "We just have to keep plugging on and worry about the next game. We can't do nothing but look at ourselves. We had opportunities, not only tonight, but in the game at home where we didn't have energy, and they came in and took the game from us.
"We can't do anything but look in the mirror. That's all we can do from here on out."
Plenty of drama is still to unfold. The Warriors, in eighth place and playing a late game Thursday, play at ninth-place Denver on Saturday, then fly back to Oakland where the Mavs will have been waiting for two days for Sunday night's showdown.

"You want it to be competitive and I got everything I wanted, it's nothing but competitive every night and we're fighting for our lives just like everybody else is," said Jason Kidd, who amassed the majority of his 19 points and 15 assists in the first half. "We'll regroup, we had great effort, we just gave up some offensive rebounds, gave those guys second looks. That's something we've got to work on, especially against a team like Golden State."

Rangers Talk:

Erik Bedard is ready to open against the Rangers on Monday. A quick review of his 2007 against the Rangers will indicate that he should not lack in confidence against the Texas Rangers:

2 Starts, 2-0, 16 ip, 7h, 2er, 0bb, 26k, 1.13era – Rangers hit .132/.132/.170

The DMN Listed the line-up:

Here's the Rangers' planned opening day lineup:

Pos. Player '07 avg.
2B Ian Kinsler .263
SS Michael Young .315
CF Josh Hamilton .292
3B Hank Blalock .293
DH Milton Bradley .306
LF David Murphy .340
RF Marlon Byrd .307
C Gerald Laird .224
1B Ben Broussard .275

Charley Rosen’s view of college basketball

I've never made a secret of my lack of interest in collegiate basketball. Here are my reasons:

• Relative to the NBA, the talent level is decidedly low-grade.

• The game is much too sloppy, with too many unforced errors and boneheaded decision-making.

• By and large, college teams are over-coached. Offenses are mostly ineffective. Defenses are primitive. Substitutions are frequently gratuitous and have little connection with matchups. And the sideline antics of too many coaches are over-the-

• Dick Vitale and his cohorts are shrill shills.

• The college refs are part-time employees and their work reveals their incomplete understanding of the game.

• The relative paucity of college telecasts, along with the seemingly infinite number of college teams, renders even the most devout fans unfamiliar with the dramatis persona.

• The only allure during the tournament is the constant threat of dramatic upsets. But except for bettors and alumni, who really cares?

Meanwhile, the skill level of NBA players continues to astound me. The NBA coaches and refs (ugh!) are far superior to their college equivalents. Pro offenses actually create spaces and angles that lead directly to shots. Pro defenses actually squeeze spaces and shut down angles that lead directly to misses.

Also, because of the continuity (and length) of NBA seasons (and players' careers), the strategies are infinitely more subtle. And the college kids certainly don't play with any more passion that NBA playoff teams do.

Indeed, the college game and the pro game are like soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs — made of the same basic substance but profoundly different in form.

But, hey, let the boys have their fun. And let the once-a-year bettors sweat over their tournament picks.

Once the ripples in the wading pool subsides, there'll be time enough for discerning fans to watch the big boys ride the big waves.

And this for my fellow HD snobs!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


65 HD Games Slated on FSN Southwest
KDFI, KDFW to Broadcast HD Games for First Time Ever

Texas Rangers local television rightsholder FSN Southwest will produce a record 86 games in high-definition in 2008 that will be shown on a combination of FSN Southwest and Dallas-Fort Worth broadcast stations KDFI-My 27 and KDFW Fox 4 starting with the March 31 season opener against the Seattle Mariners on FSNSW.
FSN Southwest will carry 65 HD telecasts, nearly four times as many as the 17 HD Rangers games it offered in 2007. For the first time ever, Rangers games will be broadcast in high-definition on KDFI My 27 (20 games) and KDFW FOX 4 (one game). Seventy-two of the 81 home games will be produced in high-definition, while 14 road games will be in HD.

Support Bowling for Soup’s new movie!

Today, Halen 88 is now a hardcore Arkansas fan…tune in tomorrow to see who he is hardcore for!

Favre Tribute that I endorse


Tony said...

Last night may be an exception to the rule, but if J.Howard is going to score 12 points in the first quarter and 8-10 for the final 3 quarters, when is it time to bench him in the 2nd, 3rd & 4th quarters for someone who doesn't get mindless technical fouls, someone who will take his man to the hole, or someone that generally looks to be enjoying himself on the court.

BACM said...

Mavs: No comment
Stars: No comment

Can someone please tell me what in the hell WKU mascot is? Red Grimace?

Let the DFW sports meltdown continue.

Jay said...

Strugggling. I guess Norm thinks we should maybe just trade teams, but short of that I think fire Avery and move Jho for a post player.

We still have Dirk and Kidd ppl. This whole thing isn't over yet. Always next year.

Bitterwhiteguy said...

...and as long as Dirk is your main player, it's always going to be "next year".

Poncenomics said...

Mavericks Recipe for Spring 2008:

1. Miss the playoffs, intentionally if you must.

2. Use the lottery-insured pick to get the best player you can.

3. Fire Avery. J-Ho still has potential, but the incessant beat-down by Avery J has stunted his growth. Heck, it's stunted JKidd, even in the twilight of his career.

4. See if you can make some trades or free-agency moves in the off-season.

5. Fire Avery again.

This was essentially the same team that made the Finals a mere 2 seasons ago. They had 2 famous mental meltdowns since June 2006. Mental issues for a team come down to one person - the coach.

Growth in a player - or lack of it - typically comes down to the coaching staff. See "Howard, Josh" and "Harris, Devin."

6. Fire Avery.

I find the inclusion of Charley Rosen's take on college basketball to be amusing. "College teams are over-coached...the sideline antics of too many coaches are over-the-top." See "Johnson, Avery."

7. Fire Avery. He'll fit right in at the collegiate level.

My hope is that The Musers will create a new character, "The Overcoacher," who will sound suspiciously like Avery Johnson. Then The Overcoacher can get together with The Overcusser.

Jay Beerley said...

Stars and Mavs are beyond frustrating words...

Looking the Rangers, when is the last time the Rangers fielded an opening day 1st baseman hitting ninth?

MarkCiz said...

I would be excited about the Rangers being in HD, but 1) It's still the "you could use some pitching" Rangers and 2) FSN's HD broadcasts look like standard definition shot in the 16:9 aspect ratio...not true HD.