Some Stars fans I know are panicking. I think it’s a little early for that. They’re all hitting the panic button, and it’s only 3 games in. We all want a good start to the season – get that momentum up and all that – but sometimes it’s just not going to happen. It doesn’t mean the Stars are a horrible team. Obviously, it doesn’t mean they’re a great team, but it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be the WORST TEAM EVER ZOMG.
Calm DOWN, people. Concern is the word we need, not panic.
Why is Miettinen on the same line as Morrow and Modano? For that matter, what happened to all the talk of the Morrow-Ribeiro-Eriksson line and how awesome it would be? I like Mittens – it’s no secret that I like Mittens and want to see him do really well. Too many people blame him for everything, and certainly he has his bad moments, but he’s done some really great things, too. Just because most of his shots don’t make it doesn’t mean he’s not trying.
Why is Modano skating like it doesn’t even matter? Just because you’re freshly married and make millions and millions of dollars doesn’t mean you can just not care, Mo. To me, it looks like he’s not even trying. Morrow is doing his best to pick up the slack, and he’s doing a great job, but Mo needs to just break that record and get it over with and start playing well again, please.
It’s not just Modano, either. The whole team just isn’t playing with the same intensity that I’ve seen before. The Nashville game on Saturday night was painful to watch. It’s like a repeat of last season, only lazier. It’s mostly the older, veteran players, too. Maybe it’s because they didn’t play much (if at all) in the preseason, maybe it’s because they’re getting up there in age, but they need to step up their game.
I try not to hit the panic button, but it’s hard not to worry at least a little with a start like this, seeing what we’ve seen. There are good things that I’ve seen, though: our defense. Robidas and Norstrom are great together, and seeing Boucher and Zubov on the same line makes me really, really happy.
Speaking of defense, I’m going to talk for a bit about goaltenders. If you don’t know yet, I have a soft spot in my heart for goalies – and by “soft spot”, I mean “they’re automatically my favorite players”. I can’t entirely explain it, other than the weak explanation that I played goalie a little when I was a kid. Anyway, let’s talk a little about Turco and Smith, and a little about offense as well.
Marty Turco is an amazing goaltender. I would rather have him not save as many in the preseason than save everything but get burnt out or injured in the preseason. He was astounding in the game against Boston. Colorado, not so wonderful, but it’s all right because I’ve seen him be consistent in saving many, many shots before. I really like the setup the Stars have, with a solid, (mostly) reliable backup goalie that can relieve Turco when he’s getting exhausted or whatever.
Now, Mike Smith. It is absolutely no secret to anyone in the world that I like Mike Smith, all right? My professional, unbiased opinion is that the loss against Nashville? Is NOT his fault. Even Tippett said that the team couldn’t execute that night, and that you can’t really blame Smitty. Smith seems to feel a little differently – have a couple of quotes:
I got outplayed and didn’t make the big saves I needed to make at key times. We were on the short end of the stick tonight. There were no surprises out there and no excuses either. I needed to make more saves.
You’ve got to make big saves at the right times in the game and I didn’t do it. The goalie has to be the backbone of the team. This game showed that the goalie can win or lose hockey games for you.
I seriously want to just give him a hug. It could be argued that it’s true – the goalie CAN win or lose hockey games for you. However, when your offense won’t capitalize? The Stars were 0 for 8 on the power play. COME ON, DUDES.
Here’s hoping the Stars fare better in Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Jonathan Bernier in net. The first Stars game I ever went to (courtesy of Jenlo) was against the Kings, so it should bring back some fond memories.