Now the real question is, how long is it going to last?
The Stars are going to be facing the Anaheim Ducks in the first round, as I’m sure everyone knows by now, because I’ve been woefully absent from the blogosphere for a week or so. I’m actually of the opinion that, despite the way the Stars sort of limped into the postseason, this is a decent matchup. The Stars lead the season series 5-2-1. There are only a couple of things.
Number One: The distinct lack of Russian. With Russian out for about four weeks (according to some radio interview Razor did or something, I don’t remember), that leaves him out for the first round. However, according to Heika, Dave Tippett won’t rule Zubov out for the first round. I’m just hoping that doesn’t mean that No Lip Tipp and Co. will allow Russian to come back too soon and aggravate that sports hernia even further. The Stars have called up Nolan Baumgartner, so they’ll be rotating eight defensemen for the playoffs.
Number Two: The Big Question: Will Marty Turco choke? I say nay. Last year he turned in a pretty fan-fucking-tastic performance in the series against Vancouver, despite losing said series. I think that Marty will do fantastic once again, and the Stars have recalled Tobias Stephan as well, so they’ll have three goalies to lean on. Obviously Marty will do the heavy lifting unless something happens, which, God forbid.
Number Three: The rookies on the blueline. They’ve recalled Nolan Baumgartner, like I mentioned before, but he’s not exactly a playoff veteran, with only three playoff games under his belt. Then, of course, we have Nicklas Grossman, Mark Fistric, and Matt Niskanen. What kind of effect will this have? Who knows. I think as long as the defensemen can still produce offensively (Philippe Boucher, Mattias Norstrom, Trevor Daley, Stèphane Robidas, and Niskanen have all scored a goal in the past five games), things will be okay.
Number Four: The offense in general. Last season, the major problem, at least in my view, was that the offense couldn’t always step it up when needed. My major memory is Brenden Morrow’s OT goal in game five or six, whichever one it was where he jumped around and looked extraordinarily happy. If the Stars can play to win, rather than playing not to lose, I’ll be happy, regardless of whether or not the team wins the series.
I’ll be on the I’m Not A Puckbunny podcast with Finny and some other girls from HLOG tomorrow night, discussing playoff picks and having an awesome Squee-Off. I haven’t decided who to pick from the Stars to be their Squee representative. I’ll be looking at numbers and pictures later to decide.