Just got back to the abode... and if it weren't for the building in front of me I'd be enjoying a heck of a fireworks display right now. Ah well, I take stock in what I do have, which is quite a lot... Anyway, onto the game.
And it was a beauty, eh? Some good in the first period, although they still finished it down a goal, but from then on out they just controlled in every aspect. This is the type of Stars game we're used to seeing. Great hitting, which took its toll on a New Jersey team that, if it was feeling a bit weary after Tuesday night's game in St. Louis was really tired after that physical contest. Great gritty stuff, and there was Steve Ott getting his nose right in the middle of it. I'll give the guy credit: He can't fight right now, but he'll take shots if necessary. As he put it, "maybe it's better for me if I don't fight." He was getting all the attention from the Devils, and that freed up the top scorers. Not so bad.
Other little tidbits before I get a, uh, beverage:
Loui Eriksson has been the most pleasant surprise of this team. Not that he couldn't do all this good stuff, but did any of us figure we'd see it this soon? He was funny after the game, too, saying he joked with Toby Petersen this morning about his New Year's resolution: "I told him my resolution was I'd have 20 goals by the end of the year." I know he was joking but still... Dec. 31 and here we are. Dave Tippett put it best:
"I don’t think too many thought he’d have 20 before the halfway mark, but it’s a testament to how hard he’s worked." Yes he has. Still is, even if he doesn't have the puck.
Brad Richards has three assists on the evening. He's looking like the player the Stars figured he'd be.
Brian Sutherby was moved up to the line with Richards and Eriksson. Looked good with them. Tippett said it was more for strategic purposes than a demotion for Toby Petersen:
"We were looking for more size on that line. Toby's played well there, but we knew it was going to be a four-line game." And Petersen and fellow fourth-liners Krys Barch and Landon Wilson looked just fine, too. Everybody did, really.
And could Mark Parrish have looked more relieved after he scored that goal? His first since Nov. 15. I asked him about that big exhale he took after he scored. "Was it that obvious?" he said. Nice guy, and maybe it sparks him. Tippett said he's been scoring and all around it in practice. "Maybe it's a sign of a guy being patient and hopefully he gets hot," Tippett said.
OK, kids, I've done my duty for the evening. No practice tomorrow, so I'm celebrating New Year's Day with some golf. And it's resolution time:
So what's everyone's big resolution this year?