Good Gracious. Oh My Goodness. And several other phrases that cannot get by the censors went through the collective heads of the Dallas hockey audience when Mike Ribeiro did it again.
That is to say that although you saw something when he opened the Stars scoring in Calgary last night that was one of the craziest goals you will ever see, it would be foolish to suggest that we have not been treated to this for the last several years from this on ice genius.
I say that because I wonder if at times we look at a player's negatives more than we focus on his positives. Ribeiro will never win the Selke Award, and he will also never win the most faceoffs in the league, but his creativity and willingness to try anything at any point may be enough to wow a crowd and make his coach crazy all at the same time, but I want to once again say that I am in the group that loves 63. There are enough guys in this league that take the safe way out of every scenario. In fact, 95% of them are a result of having the creativity or pond hockey coached out of them through the ranks. To those that never completely concede their free will to their coaches, the game is still about accomplishing the objectives of hockey through any means - and sometimes that is not always the safest play.
I could write for hours about this concept, but I will leave it that - 63 is one of my favorites because of moments like last night where he did something that will be a youtube sensation - and helped win a Stars game that was so crucial to the playoff push that I may be tempted to rank it THE win of the season so far.
To go get 2 points and give 0 away to Calgary last night in the midst of the Olympic break and the trade chaos is a true testament to this team. I hope it signals that they are not ready to pack it in. The efffort in Chicago and then in Calgary have me wondering if this team is regaining some level of road confidence and is ready to start getting results on a routine basis again. That would get the Stars in the playoffs, and it had to happen.
What is most interesting is that it appears to now have confidence in 'ol 35 again. Marty Turco is making the saves and keeping the Stars in games. He kept that puck from going over the line with 30 seconds to play last night that could have made a 3 point swing in the Standings. If that puck goes in, and Calgary wins in a shootout or overtime, the Stars actually lose ground to the Flames, rather than gaining 2. A huge moment indeed.
I loved the effort. I loved Morrow rebounding from his moment of great regret. I love Benn looking up to it, and most of all I love 63 back in the saddle.
1 more game to the break. 2 points would make the next 2 weeks so wonderful.
Get some in Phoenix Saturday night..
Email Bob at Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan
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