A few days ago I mentioned the Puck Daddy “Summer of Disappointment” series they are running and how I thought they got pretty much everything on the list wrong, and that’s okay. Disagreements are the lifeblood of the internet. However, as a professional opinion giver I didn’t think it is fair to say that someone is wrong unless I’m able to show why. With that in mind, I would like to offer my opinions on the worst of the Dallas Stars. Today we take a look at the Most Disappointing Moment: 2000 Stanley Cup Final game six.
As we all know, Dallas won the Cup in 1999. The following season, they finished third in the Western Conference and sixth in the league. Mike Modano had another fantastic season, scoring 81 points in 77 games and was the center on the NHL second team all star roster. Ed Belfour led the league with a 0.919 save percentage and finished fourth in GAA with 2.10.
The Stars would breeze past the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs four games to one, then would waltz into the Western Conference Final by dispatching the San Jose Sharks, also by a four games to one score. The conference final featured a very good Colorado Avalanche team, and was one of the best series I remember watching. It was a back and forth affair, with the teams essentially trading wins and four games decided by one goal. It went the full seven games, with Dallas squeaking out a 3-2 win to go to the Stanley Cup Final with the chance to repeat as champions.
The opponent would be the New Jersey Devils, a team led by Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, and Calder Trophy winner Scott Gomez on offense. Their defense was suffocating, featuring the likes of Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski. The Devils had the home ice, and took advantage of it, skating out to a 7-3 game one win. The teams would trade 2-1 wins in games two (Dallas winning) and three, then New Jersey would grab a three games to one series lead with a 3-1 game four win.
The Devils had a chance to clinch the Cup on home ice in game five, but Belfour was determined not to allow that to happen. Belfour and Brodeur put on a remarkable showing with each registering at least 40 saves. The game would go through one overtime, then another and into a third extra session, before Modano would ultimately deflect a shot past Brodeur to force a game six in Dallas.
It is funny, 14 years later I still get upset thinking about that game. I’m not going to go into too much detail as my therapist is in Lake Winnipsaukee this week and I’m only supposed to call if there is an emergency. What I will say is that after 60 minutes both teams had scored once and for the second straight game, there was overtime with Lord Stanley on the line. Even though New Jersey had built a 3-1 series lead, many Stars fans never gave up hope. I remember believing that it would head back east for a game 7.
But it didn’t go that way. In the second overtime, Jason Arnott would get lost in coverage, Elias would thread the puck through two Stars, and then it was all over. Albeit from a Devils perspective, here is a really solid breakdown of the goal here.
For Dallas there would be no repeat, no second Cup, just summer. If that wasn’t bad enough, only two seasons later Arnott would join the Stars, leaving many with a bitter taste by having to cheer for the man that ended the Stars most recent chance at glory.
As always, I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading and go Stars!
Tags: Dallas Stars