I have been implored by the masses (OK, a couple of e-mails) to explain myself on a few subject-matters.
First, what was I thinking leaving Loui Eriksson out of the Three Stars of the Game in Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild?
Well, I blame the system for that one. The way these Three Stars of the Game deals work is that you have to pick them with five minutes remaining in regulation (because they want to announce them as soon as the game is over). So, with the score tied 2-2, I felt Steve Ott was the best player on the ice (yes, his two goals were gimmees, but he did much more than just score two goals) and Andrew Brunette was the best Wild player (maybe I'm just awed by his body of work against the Stars). I liked Loui Eriksson, I liked Pierre-Marc Bouchard, I liked Stephane Robidas, I liked both goalies.
So, you can either go with the Stars win/Stars lose scenario and make two lists, but you have no idea who is going to come up with the big play in overtime or the shootout, so giving the first star to the game-winning goal can backfire. Or, you can just name three Stars and live with it.
I split the difference. I went with 1. Steve Ott, 2. Andrew Brunette and 3. Winning goalie.
That, of course, left Loui Eriksson off the list with three assists. I rectified that in my Three Stars for the paper, but the official three stars of the game remain.
Given the same situation (five minutes left in a 2-2 game) who would you have picked?
Second point is that I have not criticized Dave Tippett and the Stars enough for continually letting off the gas when they get a lead. I actually have criticized them on the blog before, but you have to sort through the thousands of entries to find said criticism. Now, why have I not been more aggressive in pointing out this flaw? Because, generally speaking, everyone does it and it pretty much works. Almost every coach and every team backs off when it gets a lead, and yet the winning percentage for teams that have a lead is incredible.
The Stars are 20-6-3 when scoring first, 17-2-1 when leading after one and 25-1-3 when leading after two. So, the reason for being a little cautious is because they generally find a way to protect the lead when they are cautious. Could they be even better if they were more aggressive? Maybe, but they could be worse, too.
Third, what the heck am I thinking declaring Martin Brodeur the greatest goalie ever? How can you compare eras? Patrick Roy has more playoff wins. Terry Sawchuk had to play in a tougher time. Yeah, you're probably right. But in this world of blogs and lists, you have to have an opinion. Mine is that Brodeur is the goalie I would want in one game and the goalie I would want for an entire career.
But that's just me...I usually get the three stars of the game wrong.