Tonight could mark the end of a fantastic season for the Dallas STARS. The fans in Dallas, including myself, and a few others around the world have been more than compensated for our time, money, and energy spent. It has been an awesome run filled with many memorable moments and a great sense of optimism for the future, and specifically the next few years. By no means am I conceding the series tonight ... I will be in attendance and rooting on my Dallas STARS! Even if the handshakes do happen tonight, I will be there until the end ... supporting my Dallas STARS, thanking them for an incredible season and erasing playoff woes of years' past ... and tipping my hat to (what appears to be) the unstoppable force that is the Detroit Red Wings.
No doubt about it, the Red Wings are an all-world, highly-talented group of players. The STARS have yet to find a way to shut down Zetterberg and Daytsuk and unless they come up with a solution rapidly, those two will finish off the STARS all by themselves. I would suggest they give their old buddy Derian Hatcher a call, but I think he is busy in Philly! Someone on this team, be it Morrow or Ott or Lundqvist or Robidas ... someone has to hit to hurt tonight. Every single STAR must finish their checks ... they have to make them pay if they are going to play pretty! I'm sick of seeing Zubov and Norstrom pull up ... in fact, I cannot stand watching it ... especially when Drake is leaving a red wing imprinted on everything he hits. We may lose this game tonight, and thus the series ... but there will be no exuse if Dallas does not bring the physical game they brought in game 6 against San Jose. THEY MUST HIT TO HURT TONIGHT! In fact, if Dallas loses tonight and Steve Ott is not suspended for the first 10 games of next season, then I will be sorely disappointed. They cannot continue to allow them to skate right through us. If the refs are going to call iffy penalties, then at least make them count!
The STARS also have to find the net tonight. No more high and wide and posts and crossbars ... PUT THE PUCK IN THE NET! No disrespect to Chris Osgood, but they have made him look like the best goalie in history. Give him a chance to prove it ... see if he can really stop 30-40 high quality shots. Skate the puck, stop being afraid, and shoot to score. Dallas cannot seem to do anything on the power play ... so why not just start shooting at the net. Fire away and quit spending time chasing down the puck. At some point, the goals will come. No doubt, missing Lehtinen and Barnes are huge factors ... but the remaining STARS have to find a way.
Dallas can certainly win tonight, and they can still win this series ... but they have to start playing like the team that beat Anaheim and San Jose. Detroit is better and I'm happy to give them credit for that. But they have yet to win 4 games and until that happens, the STARS still have a chance.