I needed to break out the liquor after the second period of this one.
Russian and Boucher are still sidelined with injuries, and Marty Turco didn’t make the one-game trip up to Minnesota, because of that fucker Cooke pushing Halpern into his head. Turco was recovering from a stiff neck and back. I know lots of people were panicking – “OMGZ HOW WE GUNNA WIN GAEM WITHOUT TURKO?!” I wasn’t one of them – I have plenty of faith in Mike Smith, and he deserves every bit of it.
Sure, Smitty has the odd game here or there when he doesn’t play so well (see: Phoenix, November 2), but he’s a solid backup for Marty Turco, and will make a really great starting goalie someday, for realz. He really delivered for the team on a night when the goaltending was definitely the thing that was needed. That’s not to say that Backstrom wasn’t also great. It was another one of those “this is a game on the goalie’s shoulders” kind of games.
Late in the second period, Marian Gaborik got a breakaway, and Smitty made a brilliantly awesome poke-check to get it away, which was a way awesomer save than the one Backstrom made on Nicklas Grossman’s breakaway in the first period. Another talked-about save was one that Smith made on Gaborik in the beginning of the third period. It was a super-fast pad save that required him to drop into the splits. Ah, flexible goalie. I love you.
Aaron Voros made a very, very uncool hit on my Happy Meals in the first period. I was not pleased, and screamed at my television a bit, as I have a tendency to do when someone hits one of my guys. Barchie stepped up to the plate, though, not looking like a pussy when he fought Voros later. Barchie got the expected 5 minutes for fighting, but Voros picked up an extra 10-minute misconduct for instigating. That’s what happens when you’re a dick.
My only complaint is that the Stars just cannot seem to score on the power play. They had a 5-on-3 for a minute and a half, and didn’t manage to score on it. Come on, guys. Work on that. I know that a lot of it, though, is because Russian and Boucher are out. Once they’re both back, I’m sure things will improve…Right?