Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
While the memories of what was accomplished during his six seasons with the Lightning remain, little else is left of the organization he knew for so long. Ownership has changed, the coaching staff is gone, management is new and the roster looks nothing like the one he left last season. And only two players remain on the roster in which Richards won a Stanley Cup with - Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis.
Richards said playing against the Lightning won’t feel as strange as squaring off against Lecavalier for the first time in his life. Lecavalier and Richards have been playing together since their early years in high school, playing for Notre Dame Academy in Saskatchewan. Both played for Rimouski in junior hockey and were drafted by the Lightning.
“It’s definitely going to be bizarre,” Lecavalier said. “But I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to seeing him again. It will be fun to see him play again.”
from Jean Jacques-Taylor of the Dallas Morning News,
You can’t win in professional sports when your highest-paid players don’t play to their contracts.
No exceptions. No excuses.
You want to know why the Stars have struggled all season, just follow the money.
Brad Richards earns $7.8 million. Marty Turco earns $5.7 million. Mike Ribeiro earns $5 million.
None of them has played to his immense ability this season.
Look at the numbers. They don’t lie.
from Dave Gross of Camwest News Service via the National Post,
Dallas Stars forward Mike Modano believes the Sean Avery saga could have been handled differently.
Speaking with the media on Wednesday afternoon, Modano said the entire headache - that became the talk of the National Hockey League for the better part of December and early parts of January - could have been avoided with a bit of advance research by the Stars.
“I think we would have analyzed (the signing) a little bit more over the summer before you go into the free-agent market. Do a little more homework and detailed analysis (and get the opinions) of players who have played with him, or how guys feel about it,” said Wednesday the 19-year veteran during a conference call.
from Andrew’s Dallas Stars Page,
There’s a change on the horizon for how our local newspapers will be covering the Dallas Stars. Under an agreement between the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Morning News will now be providing basic coverage of the Stars for both newspapers….
I haven’t talked to Mike Heika of the Morning News or Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram since the official announcement, but this wasn’t a big surprise. The two papers had been discussing the content sharing idea for some time. The bottom line is it will mean less coverage of the Stars because it will mean the same stuff will be in both papers most times.
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
The Dallas Stars’ loss in Detroit was embarrassing and ugly. That’s frustrating enough to coach Dave Tippett; but worse was how some of the Stars’ top stars played. That, for him, was unacceptable….
“The difference between Detroit’s top players and our top players wasn’t even close,” Tippett said on Friday, which the Stars spent meeting about Thursday’s debacle.
Tippett compared the Stars centers’ outings to that of Detroit centers Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who each finished with a goal and an assist.
“Datsyuk and Zetterberg, what they did in the game and what Ribeiro and Richards did, it’s just a ways to go,” he said. “It’s very disturbing. The people you rely on to make a difference just don’t.”
from Razor With An Edge,
In light of last night’s spanking in Motown I thought we’d revisit my premature blog posting prior to the first meeting in Dallas. The Stars followed my 10 step program much more closely in the latest shellacking at the Joe. Note: Additional editorials from last night’s outcome are in parenthesis….
• Win as few face-offs as possible as a way to set up your “checking game”. (37% on the dots, mission accomplished)
• Pay no attention to overrated forwards Datsyuk and Zetterberg - they’re so one-dimensional. Same goes for that free agent flop Marian Hossa. Instead, focus a lot of your effort toward ensuring Valtteri Filppula doesn’t “beat you by himself”. (All three scored, all three helped set up another goal, and all three dominated. Filppula was held scoreless and 0 for 4 in the faceoff circle)
from Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated,
The hockey world is a generally forgiving place. It is willing to embrace Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet despite his 2007 conviction for conspiracy to promote gambling, and it continues to employ hulking Calgary forward Todd Bertuzzi, even though he pleaded guilty to an on-ice criminal assault of Steve Moore, an ‘04 attack that fractured the Colorado forward’s neck and ended his career. Live and let live, eh? The quality of mercy is not strained, except in the relationship between Dallas Stars forward Sean Avery and the league that now considers him a pariah. Avery did not place a bet, drive drunk, injure anyone or wield a weapon other than a sharp tongue. If scabrous speech were a felony, NHL teams would be forced to skate three-on-three.
So why can’t hockey forgive him?
from Rangers Report,
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut back on senseless Sean Avery rumormongering—what, that wasn’t one of yours?—but I couldn’t help but notice this Page Six item about Avery being spotted recently at a club in New York.
While that part was about as surprising as Tom Renney being seen watching opposing team video, what was noteworthy was that Avery was reported “hanging with former teammates…
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Stars Blog at the Dallas Morning News,
“This should have been a game you jump into with both feet and scratch and claw with everything you have,” Tippett said of a battle against the slumping Oilers. “But in the first 10 minutes, we played on the fringes, we gave up two bad goals, we made mistakes in our own end, and that’s not the way to start a game like this.”
“The most disheartening thing is this was pretty much a playoff game, and we didn’t play like it was,” said forward Steve Ott. “They came out like it was a playoff game, and we didn’t. We have to realize that these are four point games, and we’re not the ones getting the four points.”
from Tracey Myers of the Star-Telegram,
Why they’ll make it
Sweet parity. The Stars are just four points out of eighth place in the Western Conference. How? Because outside of the Sharks and Red Wings, the West is a jumble of teams that just aren’t separating themselves much. There’s only seven points’ difference between No. 5 Vancouver and the No. 14 Stars.
Why they won’t
The hole’s too deep. The Stars have put themselves in a tough position. Now there’s no room for error, no room for a losing streak of any length from here on out. That kind of pressure can affect even the most resilient team, and the Stars could crack under the weight of that before they can make up enough ground to make the postseason.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org