Stars 5, Ducks 3
For New Year’s Eve this year Loui Eriksson put on a show for the Dallas Stars fans last night. Loui got great passing from line-mates and one lucky goal that got through to get his second career hat-trick. Loui helped lead Dallas to their first consecutive wins since Nov 21st & 23rd, something Dallas needs to start doing to climb up in the standings and start being considered a playoff caliber team. Dallas won three key stats in the game: shots, takeaways and faceoffs. Normally if you can do better then your opponents in keys areas like those you have a good chance at winning. Dallas may have put up 5 goals, but they had 42 shots and plenty more chances to score. And besides the second Anaheim Ducks goal, Marty Turco played good. The game did have some rough-housing like most Stars vs Ducks games, but in this one their was less of that and more rushes and controlled rushes by Dallas. Dallas looked quick, young but talented, and fired up. Anaheim fought back as they normally do by playing physical and that turned into penalties and chances against for most of the night. And again some familiar names for Dallas chipped in on offense: Richards, Eriksson, Robidas scored and had an assist, and it was nice to see Lehtinen get 2 assists. Dallas may be getting hot at the right time, as we near the half-way point of the season.
Neither Getzlaf or Selanne played for Anaheim, who has 2 more games on the road up next. Dallas next has Vancouver coming in Saturday to play a early afternoon game at 1PM at the AAC. Dallas will enter the game 18-11-11 with 47 points in 40 games, the Canucks 24-16-1 with 49 points in 41 games. Should be another good game, we will see if the early start slows the teams early on. This one could turn into a low scoring affair if both goalies show up.
Now onto the Team USA roster: Today after Boston’s 2-1 OT win in the Winter Classic (which was a fun game to watch overall), Team USA announced the roster for the upcoming Olympics. Not on the roster are any Dallas Stars, noticeably Mike Modano. Team USA overall went with a young roster, filled with guys like Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Bobby Ryan, & Zach Parise leading the forwards. In their were a couple of older guys, most noticeably Chris Drury & former Star Jamie Langenbrunner, most the overall feel of the team is the youth and up & coming talent in American hockey. I like that they are taking the talent USA hockey is starting to get, but not taking Modano to me is a mistake. Mike can still skate, as he has shown this year, and although he isn’t a points machine like he once was, he still can chip in and can play in just about any situation. Modano could play on the second line PP unit, take faceoffs, and add grit, leadership and experience to combine with some of these guys. I really don’t like the pick of Drury over Mo. Drury’s stats are worse and since he went over to play in New York he has looked like crap. And Mike Modano is the face of American hockey for the last 15 years, and its not like he is done and retired already. He still plays hard and still is better then half the guys on the ice every night. Team USA, I actually hope someone gets injured before the Olympics so you can add Modano and he can show everyone he can still play and still wants to.