Well, we’re 30 games into this record setting season so its probably high time to regurgitate some of the “good stuff” that I epiphanized but never found a window to squeeze into our busy broadcasts. (What a joke!)
So please peruse and enjoy:
The Stars and Avalanche won 16 division titles from 1995-2006…The most recent Avs title was that shocker in 2013-14…The last time the Stars won the division was the first year out of the Lockout when they rode their PP and the Shootout to the 2005-06 Pacific banner.
The Highest Rookie Point Total in NHL history was Selanne (132pts, 76 of them goals) in 1992-93…Ten years ago Ovechkin (106) and Crosby (102) broke in with panache…McDavid and Eichel arrived with a lot of buzz but won’t be touching any of those numbers.
Jonathan Toews quote: “Not thinking, having no thoughts. If you do that, then there’s less room for negative thought.”…(Our TV truck front row prescribes to this way of never thinking)
The Stars last shutout vs the Lightning was in 1997 (Belfour)
Quick, name the NHL All-Rookie Team from last season? Can’t do it can you.
Goal – Jake Allen (STL)
Defense – John Klingberg (DAL), Aaron Ekblad (FLA)
Forward – Filip Forsberg (NSH), Johnny Gaudreau (CGY), Mark Stone (OTT)
Beard Fact: Stroking ones beard increases concentration and cognitive activity.
Jim “Copperfield” Nill
-The universally respected Stars GM turned three 2nd round draft picks, two 3rd round picks, a 4th round pick, and Joe Morrow into Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza - two former 2nd overall pick centermen.
(Ta-friggin-da!! He’s so slick he’d follow you into a revolving door and come out first.)
Jamie Benn won the Art Ross as NHL Top Scorer last season but his total of 87 points didn’t even crack the Stars franchise single-season scoring top 10…Modano is 10th with 93 points…Bobby Smith owns the record for his 115 point 1982 total with the N Stars.
The Ducks entered the season with only $4.3 million wrapped up in goaltending (Anderssen, Gibson, and Khudobin)…so of course their issue is scoring…By contrast the Stars have $10M invested in their dueling Finns in net.
-NHL…Maple Leafs (48yrs)
Scoring?...There hasn’t been a team average 4 or more goals scored per game since 1981-82.
Elastic Collision…2 hockey helmets crashing into each other
Inelastic Collision…2 marshmallows slamming into one another
(The helmet protects hockey players marshmallows)
“Ursine” means bear-like…As in, “Tyler tamed the ursine Bostonians with a neat Trick.”
The longest tenured Dallas Stars are…Jamie Benn and Kari Lehtonen (7yrs)
The Red Wings have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past 24 seasons of play. Can they extend the streak AB (After Babcock)?
The Buffalo Sabres have the 2nd most decorated goaltending history in the league… 9 Vezinas (led by Dominic Hasek’s 6)…Only the Montreal Canadiens have won more (12)…Up until 1981-82 the Vezina was for lowest GA (now the Jennings), since then it’s awarded to the “Best Goaltender”…No, I never won it :) …Lindy Ruff reaped the benefits of Hasek’s mastery in his first four seasons behind the Sabres bench. The Dominator’s save% in those years: .932, .937, .919, .921
Irony: In 2015 there are almost as many circa 1999 Buffalo Sabres in today’s Stars Hockey Dept. fold (Lindy Ruff, coach. James Patrick, defenseman) as there are Stars Hockey Dept. personnel who were with the club in 1999 (Jim Lites, Les Jackson, JJ McQueen)
‘Spank The Metro’
-The Stars have won 14 in a row (19-3-1 overall) vs the Metropolitan Division.
Maybe the Coach’s Challenge for offside is offside
-There were 6,549 goals scored in the NHL last season
-Hockey Opps said 17 of those were actually “offside” and should not have counted
The defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings were the only team that held a playoff spot at Thanksgiving last season and missed the playoffs.
Blocking Shots used to be this valorous, selfless, heroic endeavor that was only really prevalent during penalty killing and in final seconds of a game. Not now. Now it is pretty much the number one defensive tactic…Just mull this over for evidence; Last season goaltenders made about 67,000 saves while the lightly protected players in front of them were credited with blocking 35,000 shots. It’s a prerequisite, not a sacrifice.
Jamie Benn and John Klingberg were both 5th round draft choices…”There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly”
According to Canuck play by play man, John Shorthouse, before the Stars rallied in the 3rd from down 2-1 to win in OT in the “Nickelback Comeback” at AAC, the Canucks were 97-0-5 when leading after two periods. So…97-0-6?...
Only two teams boasted 2 goalies with at least 20 wins last season (STL and NYR)…Thirty games into this season, and with the Stars on a 60 win pace, the Finn tandem of Niemi and Lehtonen could conceivably become the franchises first ever double 20 game winners.
Staying with Antti Niemi, he’s had some phantasmagoric statistical oddities at AAC this season…In his debut he became the first goalie in NHL history to register 2 assists and a shutout in a game, and versus the Hurricanes he notched a victory without ever making a save…What’s next, a game winning goal?!
The 2001 Draft was a trip when looking back at it…The top five picks were like a Russian nesting doll of ‘Where are they now’…Kovalchuk went 1st overall (He’s now in the KHL after years in the NHL as a ‘jack of one trade’), Jason Spezza went #2 (The current Star spent a decade starring in Ottawa and is the only guy still in the league), Svitov went 3rd (KHL), Weiss was the 4th pick (Decent years in FLA but injuries have forced him out of hockey now), and then Chistov was the 3rd Russian taken in top 5 (KHL).
-The Stars currently have four players who were taken in that draft (Spezza, Hemsky 13th, Sharp 95th, Oduya 221st)
The Central Division is a Cage Match
-After the loss to Colorado in the second game of the season the Stars had won just 8 of the last 30 games against teams in their Central division…They are 3-1 since.
-I think this is worth noting: 7 of the Stars 11 “2nd game” of back to back sets last season were vs Central division teams…This year it’s 5 of 9. (Just playing .500 in those would be an accomplishment)
I always feel lighter after a knowledge dump…
Should I light a match?