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Yes, he really is our hero!

Yes, he really is our hero!

Our favorite underappreciated warrior of the blueline is getting some love from the new regime! Stephane Robidas has been signed to a contract extension that will have him as a Star through 2013-2014, a deal worth $13.2 million.

Here’s the official story

Good for you, Robi!

 

Sarah

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Robi won the 2nd annual “No Guts, No Glory” award from TSN. I’m sure most people haven’t even heard of the award, and it’s not a league-given award or anything, but it’s great to see Robi getting some recognition for everything he does here in Dallas.

You can see the video here.

And I don’t care about the playoffs. None of my teams are winning 😦

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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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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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 was talking hockey with my parents tonight, and I realized that the Stars are short one alternate captain with Stu retiring. Immediately I thought that Robi would be the perfect player to get the “A” Stu had last year.

I haven’t heard any announcement yet about who will be wearing it this year, but no one on the team deserves it more than Robi. He’s on the ice for a lot of time each game, so he’s always visible and able to talk to the refs and he is a great, hard-working player who deserves the honor of being an alternate captain. I also don’t think that anyone else on the team would appreciate wearing one of the “A”s more than Robi would. We all know how selfless and grateful he is, and I know he would be so happy and honored to get it.

So there’s my pitch, Dave Tippett. Give Robi the “A”!!!

Amy

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It was a great run Stars…. too bad it couldn’t go longer.

You were amazing this season, and at the end, I am truly proud to call you my team. I won’t lie, there were moments during the regular season when I really wondered if this team would even make the playoffs, much less make it to the Conference Finals.

Last year when the Stars lost to Vancouver, I went through all the members of the team and said what I thought about each of them. Right now, I don’t feel like doing this because there are three players that I think deserve all my attention. One of them is without a doubt the MVP of this team off the ice and on the ice in the regular season and the playoffs. The other was an unspoken hero who became pretty well known for the sacrifices he made during the playoffs. The last player is someone I ragged on all season, and I can’t explain how much I regret that right now.

Brenden Morrow. Ever since I saw him lay an awesome hit on Jeremy Roenick in 2003, he became my favorite player. His rookie year I told people he would one day be captain of this team. And what a captain he has become. I have never seen anyone skate with more passion in every possible situation, and he skates no matter what is wrong with him. Tippett said in his press conference after the game that besides the bruises on his face, Brenden has a tear in his shoulder and he’s been skating on one leg since the last game of the San Jose series. Brenden said that the only thing that would keep him out of the game was “getting hit by a train on its way home” and he meant it. This truly is his team, and I don’t want anyone else to be wearing that “C” for a very long time. Just don’t ignore my signs anymore, k?

Stephane Robidas. You truly are the little hero that could. If someone asked me what a hockey player should be like, you would be one of the first people I would talk about. Your sacrifices to the game have been incredible, and most of these sacrifices have not come when you’ve been the star player of your team. The never give up attitide you have is always motivating. Tippett didn’t have to reveal anything about your injuries because you wore them with pride on your face. I find myself smiling a little when I see the little guy with the cage skate by, but here’s to next season with no cage.

Mattias Norstrom. I don’t know the number of times during the regular season that I called you worthless or some other not-so-nice synonym. I take that all back now. You were completely different in the playoffs, and I finally saw how much you wanted to play and how well you wanted to do. You managed to do all of this while battling a sports hernia, which keeps almost all players out of the game. I don’t know if you’ll be with us next season, but it’d be nice to have you back.

Amy

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