Let's think back to about a month ago shall we? Maybe even beyond that... if the Ducks score that late goal on the Stars then, the Stars are hanging their heads, their body language is abysmal and they're likely out of here with a loss. My opinion, obviously, but I think Saturday night was an indication for how far this Stars team has come the past few weeks. No more Sean Avery, healthy bodies are back in the lineup, chemistry among the lines...
OK some tidbits and quotes:
I will continue to be a James Neal cheerleader if the kid keeps playing like this. Great work from him again tonight, and he's a great fit with Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen (you'll remember Neal had chemistry with Modano early this season, when B.J. Crombeen was on the right side. Those two haven't lost it. And Jere, well, is Jere).
Brad Richards is putting up the points we expected him to. Five games, 10 points, including a goal in each of his last four. He and Eriksson you never worry about, really, and Toby Petersen is fitting in just fine with that group. Thought he was strong on Saturday, and that pass that led to Richards' goal was a beauty. So was the placement of Richards' goal. Eriksson may have ended up without a point, but he drew that penalty in overtime to put the Stars on their fifth power play.
Mike Modano is ageless. I should have that sentence on a save/get key on my computer. It bears repeating. In 72 career games against the Ducks he now has 77 points, more than anyone else against that team.
OK, some quotes:
Dave Tippett: "I didn't like the game from a coach's point of view. It was sloppy and messy and looked like a lot of turkey was involved in it. But we'll take the points."
Brad Richards: "Winning is addictive and losing is addictive, and right now we’re winning. It gets the good feeling going. That's just the way sports are. You have to turn it your way and we have the last few weeks with hard work. It wasn’t pretty at times but I think we deserved to win this one. Overall, we had some good opportunities and played, with the exception of maybe 5-6 minutes in the second period, pretty solid."
Mike Ribeiro was amusing about his missed one-on-ones against Jean-Sebastien Giguere: "He knows me. Those French goalies, they know I’m not going to shoot right away. He was just standing there. Usually he goes down in the butterfly. (I took) too much time, I think."
James Neal on his play lately: "I’m playing with (Mike) Modano and (Jere) Lehtinen, and they do such good things with the puck. It helps me out so much. You’ve seen over the years how good they are, and they help me out."
OK, kids, I'm ready to call it a night. That's four consecutive victories at home, all four have gone to overtime or shootout. Ah, at least they're keeping them interesting.