The most interesting part of the Stars 4-2 win over Anaheim may have been Brett Hull's 1st period interview with Daryl Reaugh. Brett had four interesting points that hint at what his tenure as co-gm will be like. Off of the topic of actual hockey games, Brett praised the work of Jeff Cogen who owner Tom Hicks brought over from the Texas Rangers to be the President of the Stars. Cogen is initiating ticket price slashing in an effort to bring back fans which Brett hopes will bring back the "grass roots" fans. I hope so too. Look out next year for massive ticket packages that highlight the bigger games and cheaper packages for lesser games to get fans in the seats. Cogen used this strategy with the Rangers last year and brought their attendance up significantly despite the poor product the Rangers had on the field.
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Brett had two statements relating to roster moves which are very encouraging for the near and distant future of the franchise. Brett said the organization is looking to get faster and tougher players on the roster, but they aren't looking to move the farm or gut the roster. This would seem to imply that they want either a UFA on the cheap, a bad contract, or a player that is younger/locked in/ will be here for a while. Olli Jokinen is still the player I'd bet on.
On to the game:
Marty Turco wins career game 200
Mike Ribeiro sets a career high in points
Stephane Robidas sets a career high for goals in 1 game and points in a season
1. Morrow/Ribiero/Miettinen 2.Hagman/Jokinen/Lehtinen
3.Ott/Modano/Halpern 4. Barch/Barnes/Eriksson
Interesting note about the lines: Late in the game Tippett was replacing Jokinen with Barnes for defensive reasons. The team is still based on defensive responsibility, so if Tippett can't trust Jussi in his own end, what kind of future does he have with the team?
Mark Fistric has some heart. That's the type of gritty player teams try to add at the deadline.
Player of the Game: Stephane Robidas 2g 1a, always solid defensive play
Recap: Midway through the 1st period Anaheim seemed to have the upper-hand. Dallas was playing some sloppy hockey, passing badly, and getting pounded physically by Anaheims bottom 2 lines. They took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Chris Kunitz when Matt Niskanen fell head over heels to leave Kunitz wide open in front of the net. About a minute later Kunitz got an instigator in a fight with Ott which set up the main story line of the game: Special Teams. With 4 minutes left in the 1st Anaheim took back to back penalties to give Dallas a 2 man advantage. Ribeiro tied it up from the right face off circle.
The 2nd period was more of the same. Anaheim continued to try to dominate Dallas physically which caused several penalties. Anaheim is a strange team. The top 2 lines are built for offense, but the bottom 2 lines are pure checking and defense. There doesn't seem to be much cohesion; a unified team game/philosophy. Razor put it best when he said it looked like they have too many guys that do the same things. The powerplay was evidence of this. It was highly uncreative and unmotivated.
The 3rd period was highly uneventful until 8:42 left when Kunitz got a lucky bounce off of Grossman's skate. The Ducks put on a surge, but never really gave the impression that they wanted it more than Dallas. The game boiled down to special teams plain and simple. Dallas scored 3 powerplay goals and shut the Anaheim powerplay down. Thats playoff hockey, and Anaheim doesn't look like a good bet to defend their crown unless they tweak something.
Dallas is 5-1 vs Anaheim this year. Unless they change that roster up a little theres little chance they will overtake Dallas.
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