I'll admit, being born and raised in the northeast, I usually ho-hum these ice storm warnings down here. But tonight it's just awful out there. I officially spent more time defrosting and scraping off my windows than I did driving home. You could hear the ice hitting the ground when you came out of the arena. Awful, awful stuff. So for all you who have to brave the morning commute, be very careful.
Anyway, onto the game. The Stars needed one like this, a game where they dictated basically from start to finish. Atlanta had more opportunities at the end, but what's a team down 2-0 supposed to do in the third period? Marty Turco saved his best for the final 20 minutes, stopping all 13 he faced. Good stuff from him, and he said he felt great entering this one.
"I haven’t played for a few days, so I was fresh. But you look for signs that things are back or better, and right from (Monday) and this morning and (pregame) warmup, I felt solid, felt fresher."
The Thrashers, meanwhile, looked like they were still on break. Their penalty kill fared pretty well, and Kari Lehtonen was great. Seriously, without him, the Thrashers lose this one 4-0 or 5-0.
Jere Lehtinen's goal was just too fun. Off the chest, off the stick (?) and in? I'm still not sure if it actually hit his stick. He probably reverted back to his soccer days on that one. But a goal's a goal. As Dave Tippett said, "you take them any way you can get them these days."
Now that power play needs to convert something. I've been over the 5 on 3, but as the game wore on the Stars' opportunities dwindled. But otherwise, the Stars didn't make a lot of mistakes in this one. Don't know how much Atlanta was opportunistic tonight, anyway, but best not to wake the sleeping dog.
Good stuff from Mike Ribeiro's line all around. Ribeiro looked good, Steve Ott looked good, Lehtinen always looks good. Here's a quick one from Ott, who finished with his goal and assist:
"Any time you play with a magician like (Ribeiro) and a three-time Selke winner (Lehtinen), good things are going to happen."
OK, kids, I'm going to thaw... as I said, be careful if you have to drive in the a.m. We'll get back to you tomorrow afternoon.