Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Jussi Jokinen’ Category

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 ūüôā

Hope everyone is doing well! Go Stars!!!

Amy

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Today marks the one year anniversary of the firing of Doug(ass) Armstrong.

I won’t lie –¬†I was ecstatic on November 13, 2007 when I came into my room after class to see that Tom Hicks had fired Armstrong. I called EVERYONE I knew who had the smallest bit of knowledge about the Stars to rave about how happy I was that this idiot finally got kicked out of his position as GM. I was excited by the newness of the Hulljack tandem. After a year, I can’t say I’m happy with Hulljack either. But in my mind, having one of the NESN announcers as GM would be better than Armstrong.

I guess Armstrong was never going to get my love since the only other GM I knew for the Stars was Bob Gainey… and that’s a hard act to follow – it doesn’t matter who you are. Armstrong struck out permanently with my family when he traded Joe Nieuwendyk and Jamie Langenbrunner his first week in office. Langenbrunner I didn’t care too much about – I never saw what the big deal was about him. He always seemed to be just a step away from being great, but he could never get there.

The Devils didn’t even WANT Nieuwendyk. The purpose of the trade was Arnott for Langenbrunner because they really wanted Jamie. Doug(ass) threw Nieuwy in to sweeten the deal. I still remember where I was when I heard about the trade. It was spring break, and I was trying to take a nap in my room when I heard my mom cry out that the Stars had gotten rid of Nieuwy, her favorite player at the time. Needless to say, that nap didn’t end up taking place.

Then there was the Darryl Sydor debacle. Armstrong didn’t just let go of him once – he did it twice and even refused to tell Syd whether or not the Stars were interested in signing him again. You DON’T do that to a guy like Sydor, and you knew how he thought about it when he said he was disappointed in the organization. Me too, Syd.

This is what Armstrong was so willing to give up – a man who cared so much for the team that he CRAWLED to the front of the net with a broken¬†ankle because he couldn’t get off the ice.

Perhaps even worse than that was when Armstrong was ready and willing to let Mike Modano go to Chicago. Luckily Tom Hicks stepped in, and I like to imagine he said something along the lines of, “Hey stupid, this is our franchise player. Don’t be dumb enough to just let him leave. Ok? Thanks.”

Big moves aside, Armstrong was famous for trading first round draft picks for old and washed-up players who wouldn’t stay with the team for long. Norstrom’s play in the 2008 postseason was enough to almost completely make up for the previous year of over-paid, almost worthlessness.. but I would have liked the first round pick.

I will give Armstrong a little credit – he did manage to steal Ribeiro from Montreal and gave Brenden a huge contract extension.

But I’m not sure Hulljack have done a better job as GM.

The Stars seem to have a protocol for new GMs – be sure to trade my mom’s favorite hockey player as soon as possible. Hulljack’s first move was to send Jeffy, Smitty, and Jokinen to Tampa for Brad Richards. Now, I don’t think Richards is as much of an idiot as I did when we got him (“I only want to play for winning teams” = I don’t want to help work to make a team better), but I still think we gave up way too much in the trade. This would have been Smitty’s last season on his contract, and I think they should have let the 2 goalies split time this season, and then pick a starter at the end of the season. Then work on sending the other guy to a team he wouldn’t be totally against going to.

I’m not saying Smitty would have gotten the job with us. It just would have been nice to actually let them play it out instead of deciding without giving Smitty a chance. Then the Stars would know for sure that they picked the right goalie for the long-term – something I don’t think they can say today.

And just throwing this out there – it’d be really nice to have a good checking line center who can take faceoffs and absorb almost all the short-handed time. We lost that by getting rid of Jeffy and with Stu’s retirement. Basically, we went from 2 great checking-line centers to zero. And Mike Modano is NOT a checking line center. I don’t care if he’s “old” or “not the face of the team anymore”. He could still score a hell of a lot more goals if they would give him the opportunity to.

Then there was my favorite (heh) decision to tell Hagman that the Stars were “going in a different direction” and weren’t interested in signing him. I guess a mid-twenties, 27-goal scorer didn’t fit into their plans. Instead, we needed to sign Sean Avery. I’m still waiting for someone to explain that one to me.

While I’m on this topic, can someone explain to me why we need 4 players who serve the exact same purpose at different levels of effectiveness? Otter, Barch, Avery, and Crombeen are all the same type of player. We don’t need 4 of them – one, or maybe two, would suffice. Ott is best at the job, so keep him.

They have done good things. Getting the long extension for Ribeiro was good, and picking up Brunnstrom has the potential to be great. Sadly they promised him all NHL time when he could really benefit more from playing a lot of minutes in the AHL.

In my mind, Hulljack have built a team with way too many players serving the same purpose (and not that goal-scoring, game-winning purpose) and put all their faith in a goalie who may not have been the best decision for the job.

If I knew last year at this time that Jeffy, Haggy, Smitty, Mittens, and Jussi would be gone and replaced with Brad Richards and Sean Avery… well I probably wouldn’t have been so excited on the phone with everyone.

Amy

Read Full Post »

*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.

Amy

James Neal still not back in Dallas – boo Stars

Read Full Post »

*Do do de dum* It’s time for the weekly former Stars update *do do de dum*

The Stars are playing the Wild tomorrow night, and that will mark the first night this season that we play a team with a player we had last season. Antti Miettinen is leading the Wild with 6 goals so far this season. He and Mikko Koivu are still playing well together – Koivu is leading the league in assists a lot of them have come from Mittens’ goals. They beat Chicago 3-2 last night, and Mittens had a goal and a beautiful assist on another goal.

Nik Hagman has been playing well on a Toronto team that hasn’t been playing very well. He had an assist on Super Saturday in the Leafs game¬†against the Senators.

Smitty is STILL leading the league in save percentage, and he STILL only has one victory. The Lightning were shut out by the Sharks on Super Saturday. Smitty let in 3 goals on 45 shots (.933 save %) and still lost the game. They had a bag skate on Sunday morning, but Smitty and Kolzig were excused from practice because they’ve been the only two players to consistently show up for games.¬†I wish the Stars had a goalie with a .941 save % this season…

There isn’t much to say about Jussi since no one on the Lightning is scoring, but he did finish even after the San Jose game on Saturday.

Amy

Read Full Post »

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.

Amy

Read Full Post »

Niklas Hagman scored his first goal for the Leafs yesterday afternoon against St. Louis. The Leafs ended up losing 5-4 in a shootout, but Haggy got the goal to go ahead 4-3. I hope this is the first of MANY goals for him in Toronto this season. He doesn’t look so terrible in blue, but he looked better in a Stars jersey.

Mittens scored 2 goals in the Wild’s 4-2 victory over Atlanta tonight. I know a lot of people didn’t like him here in Dallas, but I was always fond of him… probably because he’s Finnish. Hopefully he will go well with the Wild last year. He’s a talented player who might have just needed a change of scenery.

As for our Tampa boys, Smitty has played REALLY well. He’s stopped 35-40 shots the two games he’s played, but he’s yet to get a victory. Tampa’s scoring threats of Stamkos, Vinnie, St. Louis, etc haven’t really pulled through. I don’t think they’ve gotten more than 20 shots in a game. Jussi was in the middle of a lot of trade rumors over the summer, but he’s played well enough this season to make Tampa want to keep him. Jeff Halpern has been skating for about an hour each day, and he should be back some time in December. Get well soon Jeffy!

The Stars play at home tomorrow night against Trashville, and hopefully they can get their first win of the season… I’ll actually get to watch the game, so maybe I can give them good luck!

Amy

Read Full Post »

It’s been one month since the trade. You guys know I was really against messing with the chemistry of this team to get a player who might make things better in the playoffs. When the trade happened, several people told me that I would come to love the trade, that the guys we gave up weren’t really necessary, that everything would be okay, etc.

It may not be fair to judge this trade as a failure one month into it, but if Richards had been the offensive machine everyone said he was, the verdict after one month would be that the trade was an excellent idea.

Since giving up Smitty, Jeffy, and Jussi we have won 3 games. Since getting Richards we have won 2.
The last time we scored a 3rd period goal was March 1st.
After Richards’ first game with 5 assists, he only has 4 points.

One month later, I am still upset. I still don’t completely understand why Brett and Les thought we needed Richards in the first place. The goal was to get a winger to play with Mike Modano, not get another center who seems incapable of playing wing with Modano. The line of Brenden-Modano-Richards played okay hockey together, but splitting up Morrow and Ribeiro is stupid with the way they’ve been playing all year long. Brett said Richards could “win the first round for us”, but now I’m worried as to whether or not we will actually make the playoffs. And Richards isn’t doing anything to help that effort.

(more…)

Read Full Post »