Tomorrow I'll take a look at the Stars roster to see who the most likely trade chips are.
Young players take time to develop in professional sports. 19 and 20 year olds rarely step right in take the world by storm. Steve Ott is a former 1st round pick, and this year he is beginning to show why. In the past two games Steve Ott has been throwing his body around with abandon. He's now up to 10 goals in 58 games which prorates out to 14 goals over an 82 game season. Since he's been with Modano he's been seperating himself from the pack of younger Stars checking forwards. Steve Ott goes out there to punsish the opposition which creates a lot of room for Modano and the other winger. If Jere Lehtinen is as healthy as he seemed tonight then Dallas may not need another scorer. Tonights top 3 lines looked good, and if I'm Tippett I roll with these 3 lines through the weekend to see if the offense finally has the necessary depth/chemistry to contend for a cup.
Dallas owns Edmonton in the regular season since moving from Minnesota
Player(s) of the game
1. Jere Lehtinen
2. Jussi Jokinen
3. Steve Ott
I couldn't pick one tonight. Jere Lehtinen had 2 goals, and Jussi Jokinen had 2 assists. Lehtinen looked like he is starting to feel it again, but I felt the need to recognize Jokinen. He made 2 very nice passes to set up goals. Steve Ott was a force out there, and I felt that he really took the young Oilers off of their game early.
Recap: Dallas began the game hitting every Edmonton Oiler aside from Dwayne Roloson. He was only safe because he was sitting on the bench. Steve Ott led the charge by taking Edmonton off of their game early. Ott hit Oilers left and right which obviously got in their heads. You could tell Steve Staios, Matt Greene, Zach Stortini and Ales Hemsky weren't right for various reasons after Ott started throwing his body around.
The 7:20 mark is when the action got nasty for a while. Steve Ott put a clean licking on Ales Hemsky. Matt Greene promptly jumped Ott, and got the first of many Edmonton penalties. 3 minutes later Sam Gagner went in to hit Ott, but got more than he could chew as Ott leaned back into him and threw him to the ground. Steve Staios promptly went after Ott. Shortly later Zach Stortini got a mysterious 10 minute major that never got any explanation. At the 16:40 mark Jussi Jokinen made a very smart pass to Loui Eriksson to go up 1-0.
2 minutes into the 2nd period Morrow rang a puck off the post. Brenden also had a solid, gritty game, but naming 4 players the player of the game seems like overkill. At 5:05 Steve Staios high sticked Nik Hagman while shorthanded to give Dallas a 5 on 3. As the first man exited the penalty box Jokinen sent a nice pass across the high slot to Morrow who redirected the pass back across the low slot to Lehtinen in the crease. Lehtinen burried a redirection through Mathieu Garon's 5 hole for a 2-0 lead. Morrow would go on to score at the 17:10 mark on the penalty kill. He abused Jarret Stoll like a rented mule and put the puck into an empty net while falling away.
In the Calgary game Dallas didn't show the necessary emotion to put the game away. Tonight that had to be one of the goals, and early in the 3rd Dallas got some more insurance for the lead. Matt Greene made a stupid play on the penalty kill and passed it right to Lehtinen instead of going up the board for a safe kill. 4-0. Dallas lapsed a little in the middle of the 3rd as Dustin Penner scored a PPG right in Hagman's face. Turco had a hiccup at the 14:50 mark by giving up a soft goal to Curtis Glencross. Dallas would go on to score an empty netter to put the game away 5-2. Steve Ott and the Stars now get to look forward to Nashville tomorrow night.