Saturday, November 22, 2008
So, with all of the precision of a computerized airstrike, two bombs landed on the Stars within hours of each-other Friday – which wasn’t that far away from another kick in the shorts administered by the Blackhawks on Thursday:
1) – The talisman himself, Brenden Morrow, is gone for the year with the dreaded skate-in-a-rut ACL tear. On a team that appears to know its way around the injury game and are used to dealing with them, this one is about as bad an injury as could hit right here. If ever they needed a little inspiration in deed from their equivalent of William Wallace, it is now….because:
2) – The St Louis Blues beat the Ducks last night, 3-2, which you may think serves to give the Ducks plenty of reason to play well tonight in Dallas, but that wasn’t what I was looking at. This is what I am looking at , which shows plain as day that the Stars sit 15th in a 15-team Western Conference. And to add to your pain, a quick scan of the Eastern Conference reveals that the 15 points the Stars have accumulated at a snail’s pace this year only equals the Florida Panthers right now. That is right. Your Dallas Stars and my Dallas Stars sit DEAD LAST in the NHL.
And now, we add injury to insult.
Losing Morrow hurts a ton. His style of play is what this team needs when things get rough. He has had a start to the year that shows you how frustrated he is, and now it just got a whole lot worse. If there is one thing I know for certain, his obsession with being the best player possible will bring him back bigger and stronger for camp in 2009-10. The poor guy will celebrate his 30th birthday in January off the ice, and no one is taking this news worse than him.
But, what now? Do the Stars honestly run the risk of landing with an extremely high pick in the 2009 draft? And yes, save your email. The Stars do own their own pick in the 2009 draft. So, if you Mel Kiper – NHL Style types want to begin goggling and google-ing the potential young savior waiting at the podium in June 2009, knock yourselves out, but not me.
This thing has 64 games to go. This team is too bleeping talented to be this way. With Morrow, they are tied for 30th in the NHL and have allowed more goals than any other team in the sport. Without Morrow, they still have a roster with a ton of talent, much of which is not getting it done.
There are jobs on the line with this team, and players who need to give more. And now, they don’t have Brenden to wait on. He isn’t coming to save you like he did last spring. So, either we can all prepare the concession speeches around here with soothing stats like “Gee, isn’t it sad that the Stars only played 3 games in 08-09 with Zubov, Morrow, and Lehtinen in the lineup together?” and run the white flag up the pole, or we can ask some questions:
How can a team with the top 3 centers named Ribeiro, Richards, and Modano feel sorry for itself? What better time to realize what Brad Richards is fully capable than now? Ride your horse. He is a dynamic 2-way center according to most everyone that has ever seen the man play. If he is good enough for Team Canada, then let’s give him more and more responsibility. When this team has a big offensive shift, they look to Ribeiro. When they have a big defensive shift, they look to Modano. Where does Richards fit in this mix? If you want him to be a #1 Center, you have to make him your #1 Center.
How can a team with a 3-time all-star in goal feel sorry for itself? I have written plenty on the “Turco Topic”, and until Thursday, I was confident he was back. He better be.
Didn’t we hear that Sean Avery’s signing will bring the same style of hockey to town that Morrow and Ott provide? Well, Mr. Avery the floor is yours…
My point is that all of the debate over 4th liners and 3rd-pairing defensemen is fun, but this is about the big boys (contracts and paychecks) rising up and compensating for the loss of a guy who plays above his check. If everyone plays to their check, there is no way this team misses the playoffs.
Look, losing Morrow for 6 months (or 6 minutes) hurts more than any other player in my estimation, but this is the hand you have been dealt. Sometimes you kick (like when you score in the 4th Overtime to avoid a trip to San Jose for a Game 7) and sometimes you get kicked (like Friday, about 4pm).
We are going to have plenty revealed to us in the next 64 games. The optimist sees we are 5 points out of the playoffs. The pessimist sees 0 teams below us in the NHL.
What are the Dallas Stars made of now that William Wallace is being prepped for surgery?
So, will I describe the current state of affairs in Dallas Stars land with a poem or lyric? No. But let’s allow Coldplay a shot at it, since they are about the only thing that has gone right at the American Airlines Center in the last few weeks:
Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I would cross
Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get
What I deserved
No better and no worse
I just got lost
Every river that I tried to cross
Every door I ever tried was locked
Ohhh and I'm...
Just waiting 'til the shine wears off
Game 19 tonight with those Ducks…no pouting if you are wearing skates - you have work to do on the ice.
Posted by Sturminator at 5:55 AM