This one’s a little half-assed, as I’m watching one of FOUR Twins games I can actually watch for the remainder of the season, but I sort of managed to remember January and February.
January started out really sad, with three straight losses to Detroit and Minnesota. Late in December, the Stars blew Minnesota out, 8-3, and then Minnesota kicked ass, 6-3. I guess basically, game-wise, January was an average month, verging on bad, with a 5-7-1 record.
However, with January also comes the All-Star Game! I was sorely disappointed when an injury to Sergei Zubov allowed him to sit at home with his alligator and watch the game on TV, but we sent Mike Ribeiro as a replacement. Matt Niskanen was named to the YoungStars roster, and I concocted all sorts of party scenarios in my head. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Niskanen had come back pimp walking and wearing inappropriate hats with hoodies on over them. He didn’t, for the record. I’ll never forget reading about how Niskanen went to the Wyclef Jean concert with Ribeiro and his wife, and I laughed for a solid five minutes at the mental image of them at a Wyclef show. I remember having my friend Jessica over for the SuperSkills competition, and although she’s not really a huge hockey fan, we ordered Italian food and ate and laughed at hockey antics. She thinks that hockey fans are definitely the best kind of sports fans, and I agree.
It was also in January that the Stars lost the director of ticket operations, Matt McKee, at the age of 32. I didn’t know Matt McKee, I don’t know anyone who did, but it’s always sad to lose a member of your family. At a game against Columbus on January 19 (which I attended with Caitlin, Jen, and various other fans who ran fan MySpace pages), there was a moment of silence for Mr. McKee, and I was proud when it was ACTUALLY silent. 17,811 people completely silent.
Oh, February. The best month of my life, possibly. The Stars only lost two games (unfortunately, one of them was on Jen’s birthday – hopefully the red velvet Sprinkles cupcakes I brought and the excellent presents Caitlin and I got her made up for it a bit). Every game I watched, I watched in fear. As far as I’m concerned, a winning streak can only last so long, despite wanting it to last forever. When the Stars beat Detroit on February 17, I was astounded, amazed, joyful, insert positive adjective here.
However, Sergei Zubov got foot surgery. I was confused. I thought he was healing well, but apparently not so much, and losing Zubov was so uncool, because we couldn’t yell “RUSSIAN” at the TV, or watch his turtle-like skating, or anything. On the bright side, Boucher was activated from IR towards the end of the month.
Oh hey, you know what else happened at the end of the month? Trade deadline day. I mourned, yelled, and screamed that day, when the Stars traded Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen, and Jeff Halpern for Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist. I was pissed. I swore that I would never like Brad Richards, never! How dare you take away our Finnja, Jew, and Chia Pet goalie! And for what?! A bucktoothed forward from a basement-dwelling team and a goaltender I’d never even heard of?!
I ate my words on B-Rad’s debut. Five assists in one game. The bar has been set high, SEAN AVERY. Just so you know.