When I decided to start trying to give the Stars a little more coverage a week ago I wondered why they don't get more coverage. I don't know if anyone reads this, and I don't really assume that this is some landmark effort to cover the Stars on a wide scale, or that it is even worthy of a large readership. The idea for this relatively small coverage came out of the frustration of the Stars being ignored by the local, national, and hockey media. I attended tonight's game, and for the first time it's clear to me: the Stars have sorry fans now. Maybe I was a naive teenager, but I remember Reunion Arena jumping for Stars games. I remember yellow humidifier tubes running along the concourse to help the bad ice situation improve while people just ignored them. I remember times, most importantly, when Dallas had HOCKEY fans at the game. The boring game the Stars played before midway through this season, combined with the corporate sellout of the lower bowl, the alienation of season ticket holders that got moved from nice seats in Reunion to nosebleeds in the AAC, and the ridiculous gimmicks the Stars are employing to bring fans in just make for a piss pour hockey atmosphere. Do we need ice girls carrying a shovel, a dustpan, and a squeegy around the ice? Do we need a mediocre live band outside the arena? Kiss cam, really? It all makes for a bad hockey experience, and it lures people into the game that aren't hockey fans. I suppose this is the way sports are going, but the Stars take for granted that this area hasn't grown up with hockey. I understand the need to bring new fans in, but gimmicks aren't the way to do it. The product will sell itself if they would just let the product sell itself. A lot of the current fanbase is comprised of non-hockey fans. Tonight proved that. With 3 minutes left Jarome Iginla scored to put Calgary up 3-2, and probably 30% of the paid attendees left. Thats when the home team needs the crowd. The Stars may as well play 82 road games with as many sorry fans as that.
Player of the Game: Alex Tanguay. The dude was all over the place tonight, and really burned Mike Modano for the 2nd goal of the game. Scored 2.
Recap: There really isn't a whole lot to say about this game. Dave Tippett basically summed it up when he said not everybody was on board in the game. The top line was mediocre tonight, the passing wasn't crisp, and the Stars just seemed to lack that drive tonight. You can't win 'em all.
Jarome Iginla and Steve Ott led off the game with a small scrap which should've set the tone. Sadly it didn't which left the crowd in for a relatively passionless sloppy game. Two plays really decided the game. Early in the second period Dallas was within an inch of going up 2-1, when Cory Sarich saved a goal. The puck made its way up to Alex Tanguay who took Modano to hockey camp and just burned him at the blueline. He followed the move up with a wicked shot over Turco's blocker.
Play #2 came off the stick of Jarome Iginla with 3 minutes left in the game. For some reason Nik Grossman felt it would be wise to leave Iginla alone in the slot. When he tried to over compensate for this he screened Turco completely. Theres no way Turco ever saw the shot. Rookie mistakes like that are why I'd like the team to pick up a veteran defender at the deadline. Sloppy play up front is why I still think they could use another scorer. It's a shame the team couldn't put up a better effort. Maybe it would have kept more than 70% of the crowd in the game until the end.