Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's over

Mike Modano's future figures to be one of the big stories of the off-season.

Well, that was decisive. The Red Wings left no doubt about which team deserved to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals tonight, with a brutal 4-1 win over the Stars. If I had to point to one person in this series, it has to be Henrik Zetterberg.

With all the publicity Ovechkin and Crosby get, Zetterberg tends to slip under the radar for casual NHL fans. But he's absolutely one of the best forwards in the NHL. Plus he looks a lot like Jared Leto.

A hearty tip of the cap goes to Stars fans, many of whom sat through what must have been a tough game to watch in order to bid the Stars a fitting adieu. Dallas fans get a lot of guff for being front runners (sometimes deservedly so, although you could say that about any fans, really). And hockey in Dallas is often treated as a joke.

But tonight Stars fans showed a lot of character by sticking around to give Morrow & Co. a salute. Sometimes, fans match the team. Both showed plenty of heart this year.

Sure, it must hurt to get this far and not go all the way, especially for older guys like Modano and Zubov. And Marty Turco plays with the daring of a young man, but he's a lot older than he seems.

But it's hard not to be positive about this team's future. Ribeiro and Morrow developed into one of the best lines in the Western Conference. Stephane Robidas scored the last goal of the Stars season and raised his game substantially. The team's young defense looks like it will ease the inevitable loss of Zubov. And maybe most importantly, from an annoying storline standpoint, Turco shook a ton of supposed monkeys off his back.

Morrow proved the worthiness of his captaincy with Thor-like power.

There's plenty of questions going into the 2008-2009 season. Will Modano retire? Can Ribeiro stay focused and remain in the second or third tier of scoring forwards? Is Phillipe Boucher still alive? And can the Stars manage to sign a finisher for Mr. $5 dollar shake, Brad Richards?

I'll be around to offer puns and observations along the way. Who knows, maybe next season I'll be butchering the English language as part of The Battle of the Pacific? We'll see.

Also, I threw my name in the hat at the Live Blog at the FanHouse today. That Liveblog thing is the cat's pajamas, really. (Sure, I mostly talked about Ray Emery eating bugs and hockey video games, but give me a break the game was over by the 1st period!)

So, this isn't really goodbye. Just see you later...


Gravypan said...

Very fun run to watch as a Stars fan to be sure. Hopefully the experience their youngsters gain from this will prove to be invaluable for the upcoming seasons.

Still, if I have one minor gripe about this game, it would be why the hell they couldn't have started the game playing the way they played in the third.

Detroit threw down the gauntlet at the beginning of the game and Dallas, for whatever reason, just didn't seem to be able to match the Red Wings intensity until it was too late.

Congrats to Detroit, BTW. They looked adversity straight in the eye and handled it the way championship teams do.

Should be a hell of a Stanley Cup Finals series.

PJ Swenson said...

Battle of California had back-to-back appearances on AOL's liveblog, I was on there for DET-DAL game 5.

Detroit is still trying to pull their foot out of Dallas almost a day later.

Earl Sleek said...

I would play a bigger role in the AOL liveblogs, but I can't get out of work in time to watch games live.

Tragic life of an employed west-coaster, I know.

Bryan said...

As far as Zetterberg, he's a great forward, but I'd still take Datsyuk over him in a second.

As far as the Stars, considering I didn't pick them to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season and then didn't expect them to beat the Ducks in the first round, I was impressed. Turco remains the best goalie in the Pacific. Never expected this kind of a season from a guy like Ribeiro. It's too bad because I think the series against Pitt will show once again that whoever comes out of the West will blow away the east.

RudyKelly said...

As far as Zetterberg, he's a great forward, but I'd still take Datsyuk over him in a second.

Me too. Both of them are underrated, but Datsyuk is more underrated than Zetterberg. Maybe it's because Henrik looks like a god and Pavel looks like the elephant man.

Bryan said...

Praying mantis has always been my favorite, though I did enjoy the candy corn thing a month or so back. Either way, we can all agree Datsyuk is freakishly good and freakish looking.

jamestobrien said...

I wouldn't have been able to liveblog if I hadn't gone to work early that day from an absolutely awful migraine headache. It actually made me understand Terrell Davis's pain a little bit.

When I saw a Stars-Red Wings game sometime in '07, Datsyuk was injured and Zetterberg dominated, so I'm not sure I could ever compare the two objectively. Zetterberg will always be my fave of the too because of that game...

Kirsten said...

I would be able to hate the Stars less if Modano the asshole were to retire.