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
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Posted in 2008 Playoffs, Brenden Morrow, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Havoc Fanatics, Montreal Canadiens, Razor, Stephane Robidas, Things We Love About Hockey, Traditions on April 3, 2009|
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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…
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The Stars got Steve Begin in a trade yesterday for Doug Janik. Begin seems like a good guy – he’s a left-handed shot (because we don’t have enough of those) and he can play all forward positions. He’s listed as a center, but I imagine he’ll get switched to a wing once Richards and Petersen get back from broken bone land.
He automatically gets a few extra points from me because he doesn’t wear a visor. I know all players wear visors/shields before they get to the NHL, and with all the facial injuries, more players are opting to keep wearing them, but I like it when the guys don’t wear visors.
He’s been a scratch for the Habs for the past two weeks or so, but judging from fan reactions, it seems like he was a fan favorite. His past teams include the Flames and Canadiens, plus a few stints for their respective AHL teams. It looks like his best season was in 2005-06 for Montreal when he played 76 games, had 23 points, was +9, and had 113 penalty minutes.
He seems excited to be in Dallas (where he probably won’t be scratched every game);
Q: How does it feel to be in Dallas?
A: I’m pretty excited. I can’t wait to skate with the guys. I want to get to know the guys. I can’t say I was surprised, because I was expecting it, but it’s always a shocker when the coach tells you that you’ve been traded. I’m very, very excited and can’t wait to start.
Overall, he seems to be a nice guy, and hopefully we’ll get to see him in against Anaheim tomorrow afternoon. He says he plays a gritty do-or-die style, which fits in well with the Stars. He’ll also be running into his former team pretty quickly since we play the Canadiens next Sunday.
Best of luck to Janik. I’m not sure what he can to help Montreal, but they definitely need some stability in ANY position, so maybe he can provide some of that.
The only sad part of this news is that it means Jeffy will probably not be making his return to the Stars since we just picked up another center. We still miss you Jeffy!
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