Monday, April 21, 2008

Duck Season over: Stars advance to Round 2

The Stars are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2003, and oh, does it feel so good! While losing game five hurt, being able to close out the series on home ice became a rewarding bonus for the team and its fans.

courtesy of

A few thoughts on the game:

+ Interesting stat the Dallas Morning News had: this is the first time the Stars closed out a series on home ice since beating the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals at Reunion Arena. This was the first ever series clinched by the Stars at the AAC (which opened in 2001, *cough* *cough*).

+ Stephane Robidas = good. Stephane Robidas + broken nose = great. Has anyone else almost forgotten about Zubov and Boucher? Okay, okay, not forgotten, but the way the defensemen have been playing, the future of the franchise looks brighter with each game. If Zubov and Boucher - or perhaps even if just one of them - can make it back for any part of this postseason, the emotional boost and the talent boost could prove a deadly combination for any Stars opponent.

+ Marty Turco : clutch. Dallas trailed 1-0 until finally getting on the board in the third period. Turco not only limited the Ducks offense to one goal one several quality scoring chances early in the game, but when the Stars snatched two quick goals on the other end, Turco dug in and held the one-goal lead when it mattered most. Turco out-dueled JS Giguere in this series - which is not something many goalies can say. If he keeps this up, the Stars have potential to continue advancing.

+ In playoff hockey, the best team doesn't always win; the hottest team does (see Anaheim then-Mighty Ducks, 2003). The Stars are hot.

+ Third period scoring for Dallas has been amazing this series. The Stars scored 12 3rd-period goals this series compared to only four from the Ducks. In fact, the Stars 3rd-period goals was nearly as many goals the Ducks had for the entire series (13).

+ Dallas averaged 3.33 goals/game this series, scoring three or more goals in all but two games. Early this season, there were concerns this team couldn't score enough to compete. If you average more than three goals per game, and if Turco continues to play how he has so far in the playoffs, we could be in for more than just two more weeks of hockey.

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