Despite being rather sick, I could muster enough energy to check the scores up north in OKC where the semi-finals moved to after two games here.
I wasn’t terribly surprised by the outcome nor was I thrilled. I figured the Barons had a chance to win the series because they were very aggressive offensively during the opening games. The last time the Stars were eliminated, they went down in OT against the Admirals. I was glad my team left nothing on the bench. Not the case with the Barons, the Stars were spanked every night.
What a crappy ending to a promising season since they took the South Division but I sensed there was trouble on the horizon.
- Jeremy always dismisses my complaint about the Stars’ bad habit of letting the opposition score first. It’s not a stat thing, it’s a psych-out thing. Hockey is a low-scoring sport and making the initial goal is like drawing first blood in boxing.
- The losses near the end. Again, I was told don’t sweat it, they need to have the important players rest up, give the lesser dudes some ice time. Agreed but not every first-stringer got the evening off and to me it spelled trouble if injuries happened and/or key scorers got snakebit; Jamie Benn came to the rescue in 2010 on this issue. Limping across the finish line while maintaining first is a sign of vulnerability to the lower-ranked opponents to exploit. Admittedly, the Barons focused on speed all season while the Stars’ new coach Desjardins stated he was bigger on defense.
- Jeremy explained to me why Dallas couldn’t send some of the talent back; there’s a limit on how many transfers can be exercised and the NHL trade deadline stranded others. It doesn’t help that Big D is rebuilding under its new owner (and now a new GM). The Floridian move to keep Eakin and Dillon in Dallas when there was little hope those Stars were going to be doing anything after mid-April. NHL ice time is great, winning a title is better. Eakin’s goals could’ve leveled the playing field against the Barons somewhat.
And so, to kick off the fifth season, we do get to raise our second banner in four years. I would’ve preferred three (divisional, conference and the title). It’ll be bittersweet too, many of the vets who helped will likely be gone. The less-experienced guys are equally iffy since I agree with some, they’re trade bait for Dallas.
Hockey is semi-officially over for me as I wash my jerseys and put them away until late September.
Who am I cheering for with the Calder Cup? Not the Barons obviously, the Oilers’ owner is an extortionist and Oklahoma’s government is competing with the rest of the Deep South and Great Plains for the National Embarrassment. I can only name two immediate things from Oklahoma: James Garner and Will Rogers. Since the Marlies will likely go down, it’s the Griffins.
With the NHL, whoever eliminates the Blackhawks and Penguins. It’ll be in vain since I’m confident Bettman will try to rig the Cup to be between them to make NBC happy. They had good seasons, abbreviated seasons mind you, I doubt they’d be in such great shape if they had to go 82 games. We’ll see. I just remember what poor sports Chicagoans are, especially when they lose. I do applaud one thing, I don’t recall Chicagoans burning down their city like Canadians.