Posted in Antti Miettinen, Buffalo Sabres, Darryl Sydor, Jeff Halpern, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Smith, Minnesota Wild, Niklas Hagman, Tampa Bay Lightning, Teppo Numminen, Toronto Maple Leafs, Trade Rumors on November 5, 2008|
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*do do de dum* It’s time for the weekly ex-Stars update *do do de dum*
Niklas Hagman has been on fire in Toronto. He has 2 goals and 2 assists in the last two games (both against Carolina). Sadly they lost the first game and lost the second game in overtime. The goalies in Leafs Land aren’t performing that well, but their defense rarely performs in front of them either. Yes, Hagman still does his super cute/awesome goal expressions and he has the best smile of any Finn I’ve ever seen.
Jeff Halpern skated with the Lightning for the first time today, and is scheduled to come back sometime in mid to late December. He’s been skating on his own for a little over a month, but he joined the team at practice for the first time today. He says he hopes to begin skating full-contact in 3 weeks. It’ll be great for him to get back on the ice. Tampa could use the defensive and scoring help.
Jason Arnott and Teppo Numminen are the only two ex-Stars to be on the All-Star ballot for this season’s game in Montreal. I don’t see either of them making the starting lineup, but it’s nice to see them on the ballot. It’s also great to see Numminen well enough to be playing again.
Mike Smith, however, is NOT on the All-Star ballot, so he will be my write-in candidate for the East. He is still in the Top 5 for save percentage and goals against, and is single-handedly supporting a Tampa team that has a lot of [questionable] talent but isn’t producing much. I predicted that he will be the first (?) goalie to win the Vezina and not make the playoffs. Hopefully that won’t happen, he deserves to make the playoffs.
Darryl Sydor has asked the Penguins for a trade since he’s been a healthy scratch for most of the year he’s been in Pittsburgh. Why you’d sit Darryl Sydor, I have no idea… I guess they’re all too infatuated with Cindy to notice the real “Syd”
I think that’s it for the important update. Mittens has calmed down since the Wild lost to Dallas, and Jussi scored a goal against the Sabres last week.
James Neal still not back in Dallas – boo Stars
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Tonight’s game will be an interesting one. Mittens and the undefeated (in the first 3 periods anyway) Wild are coming to town tonight. They have turned into Helsinki South with Mittens leading the way along with Koivu and Backstrom. Yay Finns! Just don’t play well tonight… please
Heika says that Stephan will be getting the start tonight. I think this is a good move, but I’m a bit surprised that Tippett would actually start Stephan before Marty. He seems too afraid to do anything besides look grouchy behind the bench and randomly change lines around. It’s vital that Stephan gets some experience playing behind these guys in case Marty gets hurt or keeps playing badly. Maybe it was Moog’s influence at practice that got Stephan the start?
Otter should be back tonight. At least I hope so because if he’s not, we won’t have enough forwards and defensemen to dress for a full lineup. He did skate on a normal line at practice yesterday, so that’s a good sign that he’ll be back tonight. I hope Otter gets back to feeling great soon because we could really use his energy/pep/irritainment out on the ice.
Does Brad Richards still play for us? He’s never mentioned in the pregame show, never seems to do a whole lot on the ice.. I just looked, and he has 6 points but I can’t remember where any of those came from. Must be assists from the night Brunnstrom got his hat trick. Anyway, Richards has been pretty quiet so far this season. It’d be great to see our $8 million dollar man get into the action tonight. That’s why he’s my pick to score tonight… I have to remind myself that he’s on the team.
Tippett has pulled one of his favorite coaching “moves” again. Brunnstrom is leading the team in goals, so he’s rewarded for that by being placed on the 4th line. Tippett did the same thing to Hagman at the beginning of last season, and I have yet to find a good reason for him doing something like that.
Let’s hope the Stars can pull out a victory tonight. Maybe they will be motivated to play a little better out in front of Stephan since they let him down terribly the last time he got the start in goal.
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I’m going to try to do one of these each week to keep everyone up to date on what’s going on with some of our former players.
First off, Smitty is playing wonderfully for Tampa. He only has one victory, but his GAA is 1.92 (4th in the league) and his save % is .943 (best in the league). He manages to do this with (in my opinion) the worst defense in the league and forwards who aren’t scoring. It’s hard for your stats to be that good, and your record to be as bad as Tampa’s is. I hope Smitty will continue this play throughout the regular season because he is my favorite goalie (sorry Marty lovers) and he deserves to be successful somewhere. On another note, he cut all his curly off and he looks completely different from the very bushy Smitty we used to know.
Antti Miettinen is off to a good start with Minnesota. He has 5 goals, and has been playing really well on the power play with Mikko Koivu. Baby Koivu is one of my favorite Finns, so I’m glad to see they are playing well together.
Nik Hagman has been playing well with Toronto, but Toronto needs more help than Haggy can give to them. He only has one goal, but he’s been playing on the power play and penalty kill so his numbers might go up as the season goes on. I still wish we had him back here in Dallas.
Jussi has been playing well for Tampa (although not scoring). He has 2 assists and I think he’s one of the few Lightning players who have more than one point. They are really struggling in Tampa. He’s one of the few defensively responsible forwards that Tampa has.
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