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Archive for the ‘Columbus Blue Jackets’ Category

Hope you enjoy the pun in the title 🙂 Pics of the not-so-new Jamie Benn jersey will be coming eventually, probably from the next game I go to.

Begin stream of consciousness from the last month or so…

School has completely taken over my life (and I imagine vet school has taken over Sarah’s), so my limited free time has been spent actually watching hockey or spending time with friends. Proud to report that I have a new hockey convert. I took one of my friends to the Baby Stars vs. Rampage game a few weeks ago, and he had a great time. The $1 beers probably didn’t hurt his impressions. I’ll be taking him and another friend (also a hockey virgin) to the Baby Stars vs. Rampage game this weekend. They are both looking forward to it 🙂

I’ve been kind of disappointed with the Stars so far this season. I know they’re doing relatively well with points, but I just don’t see the effort or talent that I expect to see from the Stars. The effort hasn’t been happening every night with the top guys, the effort and talent are lacking throughout the defense corps (with the exception of our top pair and Skrastins), and Marty is either lacking effort or talent. I would say effort, but now I’m starting to think that his play has taken a permanent downturn. I think Crawford is a better coach than Tippett because I actually see his mouth moving during the game as he talks to players. I’m sure this was surprising to players who have played all or most of their career under Tippett. Tippett seems to be doing pretty well in Phoenix, but I think Phoenix is a team that can really benefit from having a coach who is good with plays, teaching the game, etc. The Stars needed someone to kick them into gear, and Tippett failed miserably at that.

I hated seeing Niklas Hagman in a Toronto jersey at the end of October in Dallas. I actually teared up a couple times they showed him skating around. I’m sure it will be equally as bad to see Smitty and Jeffy at the Nov. 28th game. I’m glad these guys went to the East where we don’t see them as often.

Ken Hitchcock coached his 1000th game last night against Detroit, and the Red Wings dominated 9-1. It’s sad that his 1st and 1000th games were bad losses to Detroit, but good that he’s had so many good wins in the middle. I still miss him in Dallas, and always look forward to seeing the Blue Jackets come to town. It’s good to see Hitch again, and seeing Rick Nash is something every hockey fan should experience.

The Stars play San Jose late tonight (9:30 pm start), and I’m looking forward to watching the game since I’ve been going all week for school. The Stars should try starting their games at 9:30 – maybe more fans would show up before the 2nd period. I know that’s been a long-standing problem in Dallas, but it’s pretty pathetic that the Stars attendance in the first period looks incredibly similar to the arenas of Phoenix and Colorado (averaging <10,000 a night).

We have a lot of Stars games planned in the next 2 months. The Nov. 21st game is on my boyfriend’s birthday, so we will be going to hopefully see the Stars kick some Devil butt. Then the whole gang is going for the Nov. 28th game against Tampa. Look for new signs and the split-up Sign Girls at the pregame skate. Next will be Columbus on Dec. 23rd. Sarah and I have an amazing hockey vacation planned in late December, and we’ll be going to the Dec. 29th, 31st, and Jan 2nd games. Talk about a nice break from school! I’m going to get spoiled by all of this hockey!

Stream of consciousness ends here… (meaning I have to actually do some work)

Amy

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The regular season is over, and the playoffs are starting Wednesday. Even though the Stars aren’t in the playoffs this year, there are still PLENTY of good series to watch this spring. NHL.com has a nice and funny article about how the playoffs are different from the regular season. The playoffs are by far my favorite part of the year, most because everyone stands and cheers at the games. I can’t stand the people who just sit in their seats and never do anything exciting.

I decided a few weeks ago that I’d be rooting for the Blue Jackets, Red Wings, Habs, and Capitals, so I will be highlighting most of their games… probably with a few other series thrown in as well. Sadly, the Wings and Jackets are playing each other in the first round, so my group will be down to 3 (at the most) at the end of the first round.

The Habs barely squeaked into the playoffs with their midseason collapse, and they’ll be playing the Bruins. Montreal played Boston in the 1st round last year, but the Habs were the 1st seed while the Bruins finished 8th. It was a pretty good 7 game series. Montreal has owned Boston in the playoffs for well.. forever.

The Jackets gave up the 6th spot to St. Louis so they ended up with the Red Wings as a 1st round opponent. The season series was 3-3, so the Jackets were at least able to play them competitively in the first 82 games. The Wings are the defending Cup champs, and defending champions haven’t been able to get anywhere near close to repeating since the lockout. I don’t know who I want to win this series.

There are a few other interesting series, the most notable in my mind being the matchup of “teams that lost to the Stars last year in the playoffs”. I can’t really say I want either Anaheim or San Jose to win. Maybe the ice will melt and they’ll call it a draw.

That’s it for now. I have to go do a bunch of that homework stuff. Ew

Amy

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I hope to see a lot of this in the playoffs from him!

I hope to see a lot of this in the playoffs from him!

They clinched a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history. Congrats, Blue Jackets!

This means that the Blue-WingedHabCaps might actually happen in the playoffs!

Amy

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Even though the Stars haven’t been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, everyone knows that it’s going to take more than a miracle to get in. If we were to even make the playoffs, I don’t think they can survive without the likes of Morrow, Richards, Zubov, and Robidas.

I plan on watching the playoffs, and have decided to cheer for Columbus and Detroit (and Montreal and Washington in the East), but I know it won’t be the same without my Stars in the playoffs.

The only times I haven’t seen the Stars make the playoffs were in 2001-02 and 2004-05 (but there was NO NHL hockey that year so it doesn’t really count), so this is a sad time for me. I know this is the first time we haven’t made the playoffs for a lot of Stars bloggers… believe me, long offseasons suck. But right now, that really seems to be the best solution for this team. Well, that and some roster moves, but expect a large blog about that once the season is actually over.

Since this is a sad time that leaves me feeling very confused and a little depressed, I’ve been watching archived games over at the BEST hockey-watching website ever (www.hockeystreams.com) from last season’s playoffs. Maybe I’ll watch all the way through in the coming months, but tonight I’m watching Game 1 vs. the Ducks. Watching the game brings back a flood of feelings and activities that I will be sad to miss this spring… even though, in hindsight, they may not have been overly productive to my life outside of watching hockey and talking about hockey (which, if I had my way, would not include much).

So, here’s the list of things I’ll miss this spring:

  • Wearing a Stars shirt for every gameday. This was made better by the fact that I wore a shirt over and over until the Stars lost a game. Since the games were usually every other day, I had a few people in my MWF classes who wondered if I had lost all my other clothes.
  • Washing said “lucky” shirt after each playoff win. I wore my Helsinki South shirt for Game 6 of the Anaheim series and the first 3 games of the San Jose series, so after each game, I’d make a mad rush to my dorm’s laundry room to get the shirt washed before I needed to wear it again.
  • Watching Versus from 6 pm – well past midnight when the last game was finally over. I did this every night to get see how all the other teams were doing and pick out future matches for the Stars.
  • The random thunderstorms in San Antonio that cut off my cable seconds after Brenden Morrow scored an overtime winning goal. I still remember the phone call to my mom: “MOM!!!! WE WON!! BRENDEN SCORED AND THEN MY CABLE DIED!”
  • Eating duck, shark, and wings for each round of the playoffs.
  • Staring down the girl at Trinity who wears a Red Wings jersey.
  • Checking every hockey website at least every hour to see if there is any news of injuries or other important events.
  • The sacrifice that Robi made on every shift.
  • Funny Brenden/Marty postgame conferences about chickens.
  • Brenden’s hits. Brenden’s goals (even the ones disallowed). Brenden’s “I want to win or else” attitude that he kept throughout the entire playoffs. Brenden standing on the bench screaming at Tippett that he wanted to play. THE goal in Game 6. I could write a whole entry on how much better Brenden makes the playoffs.
  • Being in the emergency room for Game 2 of the first round, and being more concerned about how the Stars were doing than how I was doing.
  • Going to playoff games and getting to stand the whole time without complaints from “fans”.
  • How exhausted you feel the morning after a 4 OT loss compared to how elated you feel the morning after a 4 OT win.
  • Arranging my schedule around the playoffs schedule. “No, I can’t come to the meeting tonight. I have another meeting I can’t get out of.”
  • Starting a small riot with our “Believe” sign after Game 4 of the Conference Finals.
  • Sitting in the Fanatics section and starting all the chants that went through the arena.
  • Razor’s playoff blogs, especially the songs he writes for players. “B. Morrow” and “Turcolicious” should be hits!
  • Sitting in class wondering if Tippett will shuffle the lines, if Marty will show up to play, how many people Ott will piss off, what else Brenden will be able to do… Well maybe this will benefit my grades this spring!
  • The knowledge that EVERY shift of EVERY game is important.
  • Even though it’s hard when they lose, it’s so much better when they win. I will miss living and dying with all of their wins and losses. Nothing beats the feelings of having a team in the playoffs.

This ended up being pretty long, and I could still write more. But I have hockey to watch…

Amy

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The playoff race in the Western Conference is in a scary place right now. Just last week, the Stars were in 5th all by themselves, and now we’re in a mess with 3 other teams for the 7-10th spots with the losses to Chicago and San Jose over the weekend.

Sarah and I were at the game Saturday against Chicago, and even though we had a great time at the game, the Stars still couldn’t come up with a win. Here’s to hoping to not finish 5th in the conference because a meeting with the Blackhawks would not be pleasurable. Plus, Brenden is NOT ALLOWED to play games against Chicago anymore since both of his big injuries came against the Hawks.

Just a few comments on some things that have been running through my head the past week or so:

I think Fistric is going to get traded at the deadline. I think it’s a weird coincidence that he didn’t get called up until 2 weeks before the deadline. There were definitely occasions before then that we could have used another (big) defenseman.

How nice would it be to get Jeff Halpern back? It’d be great to have a checking line center who could win some faceoffs. I don’t see us needing to get a big-name center to replace Richards since he will be back for the playoffs, and even though we have the cap space, there is a lot of money that’s not counting for the cap that Hicks still has to pay.

My biggest worry? Smitty going to Detroit. It started out as a rumor in the most recent Hockey News, but it’s a very scary thought. Babcock said last year that if the Wings play their style correctly then their goaltender only needs to be average. How scary would they be with a GREAT goalie? I know Smitty is currently out in Tampa for his post-concussion (read: his head hurts from playing for a team with no intelligent defensemen) syndrome, but I have no doubt that he’d play tomorrow for Detroit if he got traded.

Hagman is playing well in Toronto, no surprise there. He got the OT winning goal against the Rangers over the weekend and is on pace to score at least 20 this season. I want to be done complaining about Avery, but how nice would it have been to have resigned Hagman instead of the person (?) who’s sitting in Hartford eating up Tom Hicks’ wallet.

Speaking of Avery, I don’t know if he’ll be going to the Rangers with Tortorella taking over as coach. He’s not going to take crap from anyone, especially a tool like Avery. I read that the Sharks were scouting Avery – I’d love to transfer the poison to another Pacific division team.

Can Patrick Kane STOP CHEWING ON HIS MOUTHGUARD? He looks like a baby out there with a pacifier.

I want Columbus to make the playoffs. I am still a huge Hitchcock fan, and I’d love to see him get in again. And Rick Nash is the most talented player in the NHL with the exception of Ovechkin. Maybe they could do us a favor and knock San Jose or Detroit out of the playoffs?

I feel bad for Montreal – has there ever been a more epic collapse for a team with such high hopes?

For a closer, here is a picture of Sarah and me at the game Saturday. We’ve added a few more pieces to the outfits – I LOVE the Fanatics Scarves! They also make great rally towels 🙂

Hope everyone is doing well! Go Stars!!!

Amy

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Sorry for the complete lack of updates for the past month or so. I always think that I’ll write more when I go home for breaks, but I end up spending virtually no time on the computer so updating doesn’t get done.

The truth is, I haven’t been in much of a Stars-blogging mood for the past 6 weeks or so (mostly since Nov 21). It’s frustrating that this team doesn’t play well consistently because they’re not put together well enough to make a team that plays well together. I’m still sad about Brenden getting hurt, and I didn’t think everyone wanted to read blogs about how much I want Brenden to come back, how much I miss him, and how the team doesn’t seem the same without him. But enough about that. I vow to get on here more often and update semi-regularly… hopefully.

It’s going to be weird to see the Lightning tonight. I’ll admit – I still miss Smitty a lot too (Jeez, can I just move on already?). I think the team would be so much better off if they had kept both goalies and let them fight for the starting spot this season. If we paired our offense with Smitty’s numbers then I think we could be fighting San Jose/Detroit/Boston for the NHL lead.

I think I’ll end this entry with a few pics from Stars over the break.


Richie getting ready to fly in the shootout against Columbus


Celebrating after beating Columbus in the shootout


I got really excited every time Rick Nash skated by us. I really think he’s the most talented player in the NHL. It was great to finally see him in person. Plus, he scored, which was okay with me. The other Columbus guys just weren’t allowed to score though.

Sarah and me before the Ducks game. I didn’t bring my camera to this one, and I don’t think Sarah got any pictures from the actual game.

Stars skating off the ice after beating Detroit 1/12

I have to thank one of the parents at the school my boyfriend teaches at for the amazing seats for the Columbus and Detroit games. I don’t think he reads this, but just in case.. Thank you so much Brent!

Amy

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