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Archive for the ‘Fabian Brunnstrom’ Category

Video will hopefully be coming soon, as soon as they put it on the Stars site 🙂

Practice pictures from Friday to come soon too 🙂

Amy

Here’s the “unofficial video thanks to my spiffy flip video recorder and Amy’s mom 🙂

Sarah

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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

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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.

Amy

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First off, I know this road trip will still be considered a success if we can get 2 points against the Islanders tonight. That doesn’t change how terrible that loss was last night to New Jersey and how it showed this team has so many problems it may not be able to overcome this year. I’ll start from the goalie and move out (imagine Optimus Prime saying that part)

Marty showed flashes of playing well last night as his defense and offsense collapsed around him and offered no help. That being sad, he is still playing poorly this season. He goes into these slumps every season, but he has never had to play himself out of one before. Tippett always gave the starts to Hedberg, Tugger, or Smitty for a week or so while Marty would work out his problems in practice. He’d come back in 3 or 4 games and everything would roll along smoothly in net again. That’s not happening this year. I think Tippett expects Marty to play out of his slump, and I’m not sure how well it’s working out for him.

Our defense corps has problems. Of our three amazing rookies from last year, one of them is starting with what looks to be a bad sophomore slump. Niskanen has been out on front of Marty for a LOT of the goals scored against us. Tippett seems to have something against Fistric since he’s barely been playing him in games or scratching him so Janik can play. Grossman has been playing well compared to the others, but definitely not at the level we need him to be at. I really don’t think Trevor Daley is very good, and he’s definitely not the second coming of Darryl Sydor like so many people promised. He’s out there with Niskanen for almost all the goals. Boucher has been relatively invisible so far this season, but I give him a bit of a break because he did miss most of last season and training camp so it has to be harder for him to come back. I have nothing but good to say of Robi. Except for taking a few suspect penalties, he’s been our best guy on defense.

Our offense has been producing enough goals to win most games, so the biggest problem with our offense is their inability to play defense. I noticed last night how far away most of the forwards were from the defensemen when the Devils were skating the puck into our zone. Most of them forget that they have to actually play defense when they are out on the ice. Our 3 rookies look like they’re having a lot of trouble getting back to play the puck, and a large part of that is that they’re new to the league and will need some time to get used to the system. Brad Richards has been such a disappointment to this team. His defensive skills are severely lacking, and in my dad’s words he thinks “defense is what separates his yard from the neighbor’s”. Sean Avery spends most of his time skating in circles and never really doing anything worthwhile. He doesn’t look anything like a player getting paid $4 million a year.

The only forwards I actually skating after the puck into the defensive end are Brenden, Modano, Petersen, and Ott (when he is playing). So that gives us 3-4 forwards who consistently skate for the puck to help support the defensemen. Match that with our young defense corps that’s not playing up to its ability and we have a LOT of problems.

This team follows Brenden Morrow, and everyone can see that Morrow is really frustrated on the ice. He takes penalties simply because he’s angry and uses his force to break someone’s stick, knock them over, etc. I know these are stupid penalties, but I can’t help look at him like a silly puppy that does something bad so I have problems being mad at him. He needs to play better though because most members of this team will pick up their play if he picks up his.

One thing that has gone relatively unnoticed in this season so far is the resurgence of Mike Modano. The only 2 wins the Stars have come from games he scored at least 1 goal in. He has been flying all over the ice, and it’s so nice to see after watching him the past several seasons.

So Stars, the Sign Girls are calling you out. Play better!

Amy

One last thing: Congrats to Ralph and Razor for winning 2 more Lone Stars Emmys for their amazing job of covering Game 6 of the San Jose series in May.

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It’s hockey time again tonight!

The Stars are coming off a great victory last night, but you know they’re going to have to be pretty tired after flying into St. Louis after their 6-4 victory over Nashville yesterday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Marty get the start tonight since he didn’t play so well last night and back-to-back games are usually the best time to let the backup see some ice time.

St. Louis has started the season significantly better than last year. Their power play is right at 50%, so hopefully the Stars won’t take a lot of penalties. I think the Stars penalty kill is going to take some time to gel with the absences of Stu and Jeffy playing center on the PK and Hagman with all of his shorties last year. Hopefully the goon of the night yesterday (Brenden) can keep himself out of the box.

For all you Otter loving fans, as of this morning, his start is still questionable. Apparently he did make the trip to St. Louis though, so that ups his chances of playing tonight. I don’t know who they will take out if Ott does play tonight though. Brunnstrom certainly won’t be the healthy scratch. I can hope that it’ll be Avery, but it’s probably more likely to be Barch.

My pick to score last night didn’t work out, but tonight I’m trying again and going with Mike Ribeiro. He hasn’t looked so great this season, and I think a goal tonight would really help him out.

And I don’t think Brunnstrom will be getting another hat trick tonight. I just hope he consistently gets points for us. As long as he’s a consistent producer, he’ll live up to his hype for me 🙂

Amy

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I have never been a fan of Trashville…especially not after what Tootoo did to Robi and how the fans reacted to Mikey setting the scoring record. Every game we play against them I cringe just a little bit more than usual when someone scores against us. Needless to say, there was lots of cringing.

I’d like to say tonight was a heck of a success, but I’m sourly disappointed in a few people, namely Trevor Daley, Marty Turco, and Sean Avery. Yes, Daley has scored 2 goals this season so far, but he has also been directly responsible for at least 2 goals in front of Marty: the one tonight off his foot and in game one off the same dang foot! Marty, Marty, Marty….what are we going to do with you? It seems to me that Marty’s been off in la-la land lately. I just don’t get it; he’s late on so many stops! I don’t think we should be worried yet, obviously, but it’s not comforting that Marty’s been playing like this and that 0.79 save percentage is not making me feel any better. And the GREAT Sean Avery. I don’t deny he’s been okay, but being okay is not why he’s here. He’s suppose to be our “missing link” and fill out this team well. I’d rather have Hagman scoring shorties for us than someone who can’t even do his agitator job as well as Otter.

Fabian Brunnstrom!! Boy wonder #2 scores numbers 1, 2, and 3 of his NHL career! All three goals were quite beautiful, don’t you think? I am very glad this kiddo chose Dallas; not only is he going to be a great addition to the team, but he’s also such a sweetheart to watch being interviewed! He’s certainly more intelligent sounding than poor little Loui! (So far anyway.) Robi of course was Robi and played his heart out tonight. If I’m not mistaken, I believe he is the current point leader for the team. Mike Modano, you, sir, look like you’re still in your 20’s! I was very happy to see how light and fast Mo’s play was tonight. Very, very nice!

My three stars:

3. Robi – Just another night at the office for the man with the squished nose!

2. Mikey Mo – My goodness! He’s found the hockey fountain of youth!

1. Fabian Brunnstrom! Need I explain this one?

 

Sarah

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I’m usually not a big fan of highly touted players (Sidney Crybaby, please trip over a rock and hurt your ankle again), but I am really excited about getting Brunnstrom.

I didn’t want to say anything about it until they had officially reached an agreement, but they have today. They didn’t specify how much it’s for, but I imagine pretty high since they were talking about giving him top draft pick money. I think he could play well with Richards… we’ll have to see.

I just hope this doesn’t hurt our chances of Hagman coming back next season. If the Stars don’t sign him, Brett Hull is going to get a very mean message at his house from me!

Amy

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