Stars fight back

January 9, 2006

It was almost as if, when they went down 3-0, the Dallas Stars made a collective decision.  They’d had their tails kicked by the schoolyard bully for so long that it didn’t make any sense for them not to fight back any longer.

Well, they fought back and you can kiss all those nifty streaks and trends goodbye.

Dave Tippett told the Dallas Morning News that he was strongly considering starting Johan Hedberg, due to Turco’s inconsistency against the Wings.  In the end, he started his 22 Million Dollar Man.  Bad Move, but not a deadly one.

Mike Babcock went against his publicly-described practice of riding the hot goalie and started Chris Osgood because of his success against Dallas.  Bad move?  Only in hindsight. 

Babcock’s gut must have told him one thing (stick with the hot guy) and his head; another (Osgood’s trends against Dallas).  Looks like he went with his head and maybe the result of that mistake is a decision regarding the numer 1 goalie.

On to the notes:

There is just no way to look at the first period and a half and guess the result of this game correctly.  The Wings owned every facet early.  Dallas didn’t have a shot on goal until there were 7 minutes left in the first.  Wings outshot them 10-3 and went to the intermission with a 1-0 lead, Zetterberg’s 19th on a 5-3.

Zetterberg, for the second consecutive game, nearly scored with less than 5 seconds remaining in the first.  Turco tried to clear up the middle.  Hank snared it, made a move and fed Williams in front, but Turco stoned him.

Shanahan, Lang and Datsyuk started the second and immediately pushed the puck quickly to the Dallas end. It took 25 seconds for Datsyuk to find Schneider at the point.  Mathieu could have tossed a frisbee at Turco faster than that wrist shot, but in it went and Turco’s night was almost over.

Just over a minute later and Marty headed to the bench following a Jason Williams PP goal, his 12th.

3-0 Wings and the Joe was all smiles.  Hagman at 2:21 made it 3-1 and the Joe was still happy-so-happy owning the Stars again, a joyous Sunday afternoon in Hockeytown…woops, Lehtinen at 11:21 makes it 3-2.  “Hey,” the fat guy says to his wife in between bites of an eleven dollar Joe dog, “that’s ok.  I like the close ones.” 

Good, because Boucher just scored to make it 3-3 and what the Hell happened?

From the Detroit News…

“We lost our composure and turned pucks over and we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing,” Babcock said.

Oh. 

“Thank God it’s over. We had everything go our way. We controlled everything. Then we gave up one on a turnover and we never got it settled down. They took the game over.”

I see.

Back to the game and whew..let’s just end that dirty old second period anyway.  Definitely not a keeper.  Outshot 15-8, tied after two. 

Tie game until 6:17 of the third when Lehtinen got his second and the wheels were officially off.  Two more goals in less than three minutes and it’s 6-3 Dallas.  Ozzie’s on the bench leaning over looking like he’s trying to exorcise the entire game. He gave up 6 goals on 23 shots.

“It was a rough game,” Osgood said. “I don’t think we were that bad. We got a lot of bad bounces, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Yep. That’s the way it goes sometimes Chris. 

On November 26th, Osgood let in 6 against San Jose.  Mike Babcock was not thrilled and Jimmy Howard started the next game.

This six-goal groaner may provide Babcock the motivation he needs to do what is necessary.

If Manny Legace is healthy, make him the starter.  Don’t give us the line that if he wants it, he has to earn it.  He has, and it’s getting late. 

I think we’d all like to see Chris Osgood do well.  We all remember the ’98 Cup, his shutout over these Stars to win the West that year, after the disaster from center ice to send it to a game 6.

But, Legace’s better.  He’s playing better. And, more importantly, the Wings play better in front of him.

Back to the game and one final quote from Babcock that I liked a lot.

“In life, sometimes you need reminders and I sure got one tonight,” Babcock said. “We’re real fortunate here, our fans, our players, and myself, we enjoy a lot of winning. Sometimes when you get spanked, it’s good to remember that.”

He’s right.  We’re fortunate and we should all step back and remember that.  We often take for granted what we have, I admit.

I’m pausing to reflect.

I’m done pausing and reflecting.

Start Legace and get ready for Carolina on Tuesday because Nashville’s only 4 back.

TSN Box

On the Wings recap

Detroit News:  Stars bury Wings

Detroit News: Babcock Puzzled

Detroit Free Press: Star Struck

MLive: Babcock Bewildered

Dallas Morning News: Stars rally to rout Wings

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16 Responses to “Stars fight back”

  1. Olongapo Joe Says:

    I have no problem with Babcock starting Osgood, both for the reason you mentioned (Ozzie’s career stats against the Stars) and the fact that the Wings were playing their third game in four nights (with Legace having played the back-to-backs against the Blues and Preds).

    My beef with Babcock is that he waited too long before pulling Oz. It’s a tough decision to pull a guy after PP goals against, but those of us who were around during Ozzie’s first stint with Detroit know full well that when the Ozzie-biting gremlins invade JLA, there is no use waiting to see if he can turn them away. He’s done for the night.

    Hedberg relieving Turco got things in sync for Dallas. Babcock should’ve followed suit and gone with Manny after goal #4. Perhaps the situation would’ve still been salvageable.

  2. iwocpo Says:

    I have no problem with Babcock starting Ozzie either. In fact, I really don’t have a beef with him leaving him in for all six. I just hope that this was enough to convince him to stick with Legace. We’re halfway through. If both stay healthy, Ozzie should see no more than ten starts the rest of the way.

  3. Olongapo Joe Says:

    Yep, Legace should be the clear number one. The team certainly seems to play better in front of him than they do Osgood. And when the skaters start to flounder (as is bound to happen from time-to-time), Legace seems better able to keep his wits about him, staying sharp and giving the team a lift up in turning the momentum around. Osgood often follows up poor team play with poor play of his own.

    The only thing I’m worried about is Leagce’s durability. Oz takes some time to get going if he hasn’t played in a while. If Manny goes down again, even missing just a handful of starts, a stone cold Osgood could cost the Wings the Central, given Nashville’s shadow-like presence in the division.

    But then again, playing Osgood more than just once in a while, as is the norm in a clear-cut starter/back-up situation, could also cost us the Central, so what are you going to do?

    Tough call…


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