Sunday, May 11, 2008
Chris Osgood only needed to make 17 saves, the defense of the Red Wings did the rest as the Red Wings are now up 2-0 in this Western Conference Finals. Osgood is now 8-0 in this year's playoffs...
All 3 goals in the game occurred in the 1st period, as Detroit's Darren Helm and Henrik Zetterberg got the only 2 goals for Detroit. Stephanie Robidas got the wrister past Osgood from the assists from Morrow and Rebeiro.
In the 2nd and 3rd periods, Stars outskated and got to the puck quicker than Detroit. But the shots could not get passed the swarming defensemen. Not only that, but 71 percent of the faceoffs were won by Detroit.
The play that everyone will be talking about was as the game ended, Mike Ribeiro came from behind the net and slashed Chris Osgood across the chest. Osgood immediately hit the ice and scuffles ensued. What many people don't realize is that Ribeiro did this out of retaliation. Chris Osgood used the butt-end of his stick to poke at Ribeiro.
"Ribeiro is actually letting up on the guy and Osgood just sticks his stick out and butt-ends him," head coach Dave Tippett said. "Ribeiro is not going to turn around and chop the goalie like that without having something happening."
I have looked at the replay countless times, and what Osgood did was definitely intentional. I think Ribeiro's slash was a little over the top, but Osgood is padded in his chest and will be fine. The NHL will be deciding if punishments will be handed out. If Rebeiro is punished, Osgood better get punished as well. Refs don't seem to be too fond of Dallas franchises, so we will see what happens.
ESPN analyst Barry Melrose, who predicted the Wings would lose to the Avalanche last round, said on "SportsCenter": “What Osgood did is much more dangerous than what Ribeiro did. If they suspend Ribeiro, they have to suspend Osgood, too.”
Game 3 will have a lot of emotion, but the Stars must use that to their advantage and use the home crowd to get back in this series. Dallas has to get more shots to the net, there were so many slap shots and wristers that were blocked by the defensemen.
"We're going home," Stars center Brad Richards said. "We should be better there." They will have to be, or else the Stars are history. The Stars have been telling the fans all postseason to believe, and that is what we must do. Game 3 is Monday at 7....
Saturday, May 10, 2008
The Mavericks have finally made this whole coaching thing official. Reports from all over the place have confirmed that Carlisle is the Mavs new coach, and the deal is 4 years. This is just the first of many off-season deals, let me tell you that right now. There is no telling what this team will look like next year, but my guess is that the results will be a lot better than this season's meltdown in New Orleans (or last season in Oakland, or the Finals in Miami). Just a few days ago I gave my thoughts on what is to come, and we will see what shapes up as the off-season has just begun.
The Rangers are....dare I say it....playing amazing! Even more shocking is the reason behind it is the pitching as of late. Looking back on the last 2 weeks we see a couple of things:
-3 SHUTOUTS in a row in the last 3 games! For all you Ranger fans that have forgotten what that was, that is when our pitchers don't let any of their batters get safely back to home plate. Not in 12 years has a Major League team had 4 shutouts in a row. Texas gets that chance tonight!
-Texas has won their last 10 of 14, and the last 4 series the Rangers have come out on top.
-The pitchers ERA on Texas through these last 14 games have been an astonishing 3.78!
-The Rangers have gone from last in the American League to just 5 games back in the AL Wild Card. Pennant Race here we come!
The most exciting game of the past 2 weeks by far has been against Seattle on Thursday night. After Kinsler and Laird were both intentionally pegged by Felix Hernandez, Richie Sexson of the M's came to the plate expecting to get hit from retaliation. Doesn't he know that he can't get a hit to save his life? If Gabbard was given advice to seek revenge, it wouldn't be against the hitless Sexson. The pitch was eye-level, but not even close to Sexson's head. The 6 foot 8 batter instantly charged the mound. I have to give credit to Gabbard, he threw his glove down and waited for the charging maniac. My award for "Biggest Pussy of the Week" goes to Sexson though, as he kept his batting helmet and flung it at Gabbard before wrestling him to the ground. Both benches cleared and after all the chaos, Sexson was ejected and is now suspended for 6 games.
Texas faces Oakland at home tonight, where Millwood will take the mound against Eveland. The first pitch is at 7:05.
Starting August 6th, HBO's reality series Hard Knocks will feature America's Team. Fans around here are excited, Jerry Jones is excited, the players however, are not. Many of the players are not wanting all of America to see them practice and get yelled at by the coaches. It should make for an interesting show. I can't wait to Tivo that bad boy!
The Stars got off to a dreadful start in the Western Conference Finals Thursday night, giving up 3 power-play goals. Turco is still winless at Joe Louis Arena, and he must break the curse tonight. Dallas needs to protect Turco's crease better, get more shots off, and avoid getting costly penalties. The puck drops for game 2 tonight at 6 pm. I will have the full story on the game tomorrow morning, so hopefully good news awaits. Preview of Game 2 is right here!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Does anyone else remember the joy of watching the 2005-2006 playoff run to the Finals? (Not the Finals, we at DallasDedicated do not discuss that series.) The game 7 win over the spurs (is that capitalized? Doesn't really matter, a spurs fan doesn't know the difference.) was the easily the best moment in franchise history. My fellow writer Nate actually threw up with 10 seconds left--out of excitement. It's moments like those we miss. Anyhow, looking back at how great of a season that was, I thought of no better way to cope with this season's disappointment than to revisit than 2005-2006 team...
Where are they now? Players who have left us
Was traded to Indiana, where he is still playing today. He finished this season playing in 74 games, starting only one and getting 20.9 minutes of action per. His statistics might now have developed into the eye popping numbers we had expected, but he is still eating well, as he made nearly $6 million last season.
--Keith Van Horn(y)
Luckiest man ever. Paid millions just to move to New Jersey.
Left for his native Chicago after the season. Played there until mid-season when he was traded to the Seattle, er, Oklahoma City, Sonics. Only played 6 minutes per game there.
Believe it or not, Darrell, who turns 40 in June, is still playing the the NBA. Left with Marquis and Co. to Indiana, but now plays for Jay-Z's New Jersey Nets (It's the ROC!).
Previously a favorite at DallasDedicated, Josh is on the verge of earning "journeyman" status. He is now with his fourth team in three years. Also was in the Indy trade, playing 7 games before being shipped to Golden St., where he left in free agency and now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, where he started 25 games, saw action in 64, and set career highs in minutes, ppg, rebounds, assists, and everything else.
Things have been a little rough since being waved by the Mavs. He signed with Nellie's Golden St., then was subsequently waved. LA Lakers granted him a 10-day contract, liked what they saw, and signed him for the remainder of this season.
As a Mav, he was everyone's favorite D-League player. He finished the 2006-2007 season with the Pacers, and is currently playing in Serbia for KK Hemofarm, where, as I learned, his name is spelled "Roll" Marshall, is the only American on the roster (who is he going to listen to Jay-Z with?) (It's the ROC!), averages 14.6 ppg, and statistics are really hard to read in Slavic. Also, as weird as it may seem, they have a statistical category for "blocks received", like every time your shot gets blocked. I can't decide if that is an interesting stat to keep, or a dumb Euro idea.
After his 7 game stint with the Mavs, he didn't play until 2006-2007, when he had another 7 game stint, this time with the Clippers. He has been out of the league since, though technically is not "retired". We think it is his wife who is keeping him from playing.
After he left the Mavs in 2005-2006, he never played in the NBA again. Cuban's second attempt at developing a huge, foreign, white guy did not turn out as well as the first go around. In 2006-2007 he played in his native Russia for Khimki BC (teammates with former Duke standout Daniel Ewing). Currently, he is playing for Lokomotiv Novosybirsk, alongside former NBA player Lee Nailon.
So there you have it, I hope your thirst for ex-Maverick happenings is quenched. Anything to get your mind off of this season, i know. Next up in a couple of years: Trenton "not a" Hassell, Jamaal "not so" Maglor-ious, Gana "Diop it like it's hot" Diop and Malik "why do I have a Muslim name" Allen.
Also, just for old times sake...THE best video in Dallas Mavericks History--at the end of game 7 against the spurs.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Free agents for the off-season that are currently Mavericks: J.J. Barea (restricted), Malik Allen, Devean George, Eddie Jones, Juwan Howard, Tyronn Lue, Jamaal Magloire, and Antoine Wright.
Let's first start with the Little Latino (hey, I like that!). Barea is a restricted free agent, so any offer by another team can first be matched by Cuban. I can't see any teams going above and beyond to have a bidding war against the Mavs for this guy. The team needs a 3rd string point guard in case the first team bus explodes on the way to a game and they need the Little Latino to step up. So I will say for Barea: MAV
That brings us to the next point guard on the free agency list...Tyronn Lue. Lue played pretty consistently well off the bench for the Mavs, and it ended up being a smart pickup. There is just one problem...Dallas wants to pick up a backup point guard from somewhere around the league. If they do this, Lue is gone. If they don't, then either Lue stays or else it's Little Latino time. So until I hear otherwise....
NOT A MAV
You want to hear something pointless? Dallas says they need a backup center so they go snooping around for one. New Jersey drops Magloire and look at that...a center! Dallas picks him up and then doesn't use him! This might be because Bass played so well off the bench, Malik Allen was usually behind Bass, or just because Avery doesn't play centers. If he didn't play last year, why should he now? Especially with a new backup center on his way (foreshadow alert!). So for Jamaal, it's bye bye.
NOT A MAV
Supposed to be just a throw-in player in the Jason Kidd deal, Malik Allen showed Dallas fans that he has some qualities. A good jump shot, good hustle, and good rebounding. Unfortunately, there is another player on the Mavs that does all those things a lot better, is younger, and goes by the nickname "The Animal." There is just no room on this team for a homeless man's Bass....
NOT A MAV
Devean George, what can we say about you? Let's start with the positives. You shook my hand at the mall, You play great defense, you can hit the perimeter shot, you don't mind driving to the basket, and you seem happy to be a Maverick. Now the negatives: You refused to say hi to my fellow blogger Patrick, sometimes you cannot hit a perimeter shot to save your life, you boycott trades, and sometimes I really don't know what you are doing out there. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that those Early Bird rights are going to come in handy...
I am going to throw Eddie Jones and Juwan Howard together for this one. They both provide nothing to the team, and I really don't know why they were ever in the game. The Mavs traded Juwan Howard for DJ Mbenga. Oh how I wish we still had DJ! Eddie Jones was picked up in the free agency, and that's exactly where he belongs. They were both only good for one thing...they were both enthusiastic on the bench. Unfortunately for them, this isn't the YMCA.
NOT A MAV
This next guy is a tough call. Antoine Wright played pretty well when he was put into the game, but half of the season he wasn't even activated by Avery Johnson. It's hard to tell whether Cuban has seen enough out of the ex-Aggie to save him from the depths of free agent hell. I'm going to roll a dice on this one....ok, I'll flip a coin.
So if the Mavs have Barea, Wright, and George all re-signed...what about all those empty spots? Let the madness begin!
DeSagana Diop is a free agent and has just admitted that he has Mavs fever. Good news there, I would love to get the big man back. If he returns, then the Kidd trade looks a lot better...right? RIGHT?! Oh Devin, come back to us!!!
Another ex-Mav that Cuban has his eye on is none other than Eddie Najera. Not only was he a crowd favorite in Dallas, he can now shoot the perimeter shot! One more thing, when Shaq falls on him he doesn't even complain! For the first time ever, I think Dallas needs another Mexican!
Dallas has 5.4 million dollars to spend on some free agent acquisitions. Sources inside the Mavs headquarters have let two names slip out: Mickael Pietrus from the Warriors and C.J. Miles from Utah. Both are shooting guards which the Mavs want, and C.J. is a Dallas native. I can really see Cuban convincing C.J. to come back to Texas, where the weather is better and there is no Mormon infestation. Either one of those players could be a starter and put Jet right back into 6th man territory.
All those things are possible without pulling the trigger on a trade involving Jet or Howard. While Howard had a dreadful series against the Hornets and made some dumb confessions, he is still the Mav's second best player and is a key to this franchise's success. Terry is probably the most positive person in the NBA. He not only only has a great attitude, he can get the crowd into a game and is loved by everyone within the organization.
These Mavericks will be just fine...all that is needed are a couple sparks off the bench and a new coaching strategy that gets this team back on track. Go do work Rick Carlisle, go do work!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Game 6 between the Stars and Sharks was anything but ordinary. The goaltenders looked like videogame characters, the players kept pushing and kept being physical even after 6 periods! It is difficult to fathom just how tired they must have been in this all important game. For the Sharks, it was do or die...and for the Stars, it was win at home or lose all momentum and head to the Shark Tank and avoid the embarrassment of letting a team come back down 3-0 in a series. Just taking a look at the stats shows you how ridiculous of a game this was:
-117 total shots, yet only 3 total goals. The average shots in a normal NHL game is 34, with around 5.3 goals per game.
-Turco had 61 saves, with a save percentage of .894%
- Mike Ribeiro alone was on the ice for over 52 minutes. In a regular game a NHL player averages around 23 minutes of on-ice time.
-In just his fifth game back after suffering an injury in Januay, Zubov played an incredible 53:50. I can't even stand up for that long!
The Stars are finally back in the Western Conference Finals, it just took the eighth longest game in NHL history to do it. They haven't been there since 2000, and they will now face the Red Wings, which is the worst matchup the Stars could have dreamed of. More about that in a second....
Is it possible to just retire Brenden Morrow's #10 jersey now? He has played at an unbelievable level as of late. This Dallas franchise over the years has had some players that could take over a game on the offensive end (Modano, Nieuwendyk, Hull)...but never has someone that has skated through this city ever been able to do it on both ends.
These playoffs have been the "Captain Morrow" show. In the Game 6 marathon alone Morrow had 18 hits, including one of the best checks I have ever seen to close regulation. As both teams headed to the locker room for the first of many overtime intermissions, Milan Michalek lay face down on the ice from Morrow's huge hit. No one else in the game even got to 10 checks, yet Morrow delivered 18! The game really felt like it would never end, but Morrow had different plans. He got the power play goal after a game that lasted 5 hours and 14 minutes.
"That was as fitting as anything I've ever seen in sports, that Brenden got the game-winner," head coach Dave Tippett. "It's been a long time since I've seen someone have a series like that. That's him taking the team on his back and carrying us. Turco was great too."
Marty Turco was not just great, he was....epic. Between the first and second overtime, Turco told his teammates that he would not let anything by him. He did just that, stopping shot after shot. His counter-part on the opposite end of the ice wasn't bad either. In fact, the save of the night went to Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov. The Khazakhstanian (do you think he is a fan of Borat?) made an improbable save in the first overtime on Brad Richards. He dove from the opposite side of the crease, did the splits, and reached out with his glove. The play was reviewed, but the momentum of the puck did not carry Nabokov's glove completely across the goal line.
Next up for the Stars are the hated Detroit Red Wings. For some reason Detroit has had the Stars number. In fact, Turco has not won a game at Joe Louis Arena since he was a young man playing for the Michigan Wolverines. It is going to be a tough series, "Gaudruple OT kinda tough..." good thing the Stars have experienced something like that.
Game 1 is Thursday at 6:30, you can read ESPN's preview of that game right here.
Some things I wrote down during the Sharks/Stars marathon:
-After the game came the traditional handshake. Since it could have been Jeremy Roenick's last game of his career, all eyes were on him. Roenick and Modano shook hands, and then hugged. It gets my award for "Most Awkard Man Hug I Have Ever Seen." It seemed like it lasted for over 10 minutes.
- Jonathan Cheechoo has by far the coolest last name ever. That's the name that would be given to a mafia member that sneezes a lot.
- How has FSN color commentator Daryl Reaugh not been offered more national televised jobs? He never ceases to amaze me with his phrases. He has a phrase for every single second of action, and he never repeats them. The game went so long Sunday night that at one point after another amazing save he screamed, "I'm running out of superlatives for these goalies!" It was classic...
-In the third overtime Turco stopped a wrister by Ryan Clowe that at first looked as if it had gone to the back of net. After the replay showed that Turco had fell on it and clutched it under his backside, Reaugh analyzed the play as follows:
"Look at that, Marty stopped it after all. He put it right under his butt...or what body part is that exactly? Right where the crack forms. The nubble! He stopped it with his nubble!"
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
1) Unlike many coaches, Carlisle has the rare blend of offensive and defensive coaching skills, unlike the other candidates, who are seemingly either offensive geniuses ( Mike D'Antoni) or defensive geniuses ( Jeff Van Gundy). Neither appears competent on the other side of the ball, while Carlisle has proficiency in both areas.
2) Two out of his last five seasons as a coach, Carlisle's teams twice held teams to under 90 points per game, and averaged an opponent score of 91 points. This is great, especially when four of these years were with the Pacers--a team not of on the Mavericks level. Comparitively, Under Avery Johnson (the man who put the "D" in Dallas), the Mavs allowed an average of 94 points per game, peaking at 95.9 ppg allowed this season.
3) Similar to Avery (and yes, this is still a positive), Carlisle is a great motivator.
4) As well, we can finally depart from watching the isolation offense and shift to the more enjoyable (and hopefully successful) motion offense run by Rick.
1) His coaching style is too similar to Avery's. We thought the new coach would be a departure from a hands on, call-every-play style, but that is exactly Rick Carlisle's approach. Will the players still want to put up with all the structure?
2) In both of his coaching stints, Rick has never improved upon his record of the first season. In Detroit he went 50-32 in year one and again in year two before his removal. In 2003, his first season with Indiana, he won an astounding 61 games. The following year this number scarily dwindled to 44, then to 41, and finally to 35, sealing his firing.
3) Can such a control freak co-exist with fellow control whore Mark Cuban? We thought Avery could, until we heard all about his spat with Cuban...and the cool "Avery's Team" shirt. That isn't sarcastic, i tried to buy it on eBay.
In other news, we might not be able to beat the Hornets, but at least we've mastered routine mascot tricks.
Last night, the Stars scored the first 2 goals and it looked like we were heading to Detroit. Then came 2 unanswered goals and a goal by Joe Pavelski just 65 seconds in overtime to put San Jose right back in the fight. It was the first shot by either team in the extra period. Now the Stars have lost all confidence and only lead 3-2 approaching the HUGE Game 6 here in Dallas tomorrow night.
"We said, 'Let's go out and throw out everything we have in the third period,'" Roenick said. "'Let's just empty the tanks and put out every effort we possibly have. If we do that, we'll have a shot." The Shark tank has been emptied, and some Stars are getting bitten.
All these critics have been saying how Modano "owns those Sharks." Do they realize that presently Modano has the worst +/- on the team at -4? Has Dave Tippett told rusty Zubov that he needs to watch the turnovers? Because of Zubov's shakiness on the power play, the Sharks had 2 shorthanded goals in 2 nights. One of those ended up being the game-winner.
Just yesterday DallasDedicated discussed how dominant Marty has been behind the net. Last night some very questionable goals got by him. Looking at the overtime goal, Turco had no screens in front of him. It was just Pavelski skating to Turco's left and getting the unassisted backhand wrister over Turco's shoulder.
It took 2 goals in a row to be waved off by the refs for the Sharks to continue battling. Morrow had two apparent goals that were waved off by the officials, one for kicking the puck into the net and another for batting it with his hand.
"Our team battles through adversity, but those were two critical points of the game," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. "I still haven't seen a distinct kicking motion, but I suppose somebody else did. The other one, I agree with the call ... but if Brenden Morrow isn't cross-checked in the back, he would have put the puck down and in the back of the net. Those are two critical plays in the game, and you have to find a way to overcome that."Game 6 should look a lot different. In every single game this series, the team to score first has lost. Dallas has the reputation of playing not to lose instead of continuing to pound. The 3rd period was very good to the Stars in the first round against Anaheim because they got out of the "playing not to lose" mentality. They will have to go back to that mindset to finish off the Sharks at home, before this series gets really scary.
Here's a preview of Game 6, the puck drops at 8pm tomorrow night.
In other news....
The Rangers did something last night they have not done all season....they went on a 3 game winning streak! While it may be a little premature to get excited, Texas is still a long way out from first in the division, these divisional games are very important and a great way to catch up. The Rangers called up minor-leagur A.J. Murray (who?) to face the A's tonight. First pitch is at 9:05. Here is the gameday preview of that.
DallasDedicated is loving us some Atlanta Hawks basketball. They pulled off the Game 6 upset over the Celtics last night to force a Game 7 in Boston. If Atlanta completes the upset, all of a sudden the Maverick's first round upset by the Warriors is forgotten....right? RIGHT?! -ND
Also, the Bucks of Milwaukee are VERY interested in Josh Howard. Michael Redd anyone?
COMING LATER: Stars lose again and all of a sudden Game 6 becomes HUGE...Rangers on a 3 game winning streak?!....Patrick (my co-blogger) comes out of the closet (ok, just back from Austin) and gives you his ideas on the Mavs coaching needs
Friday, May 2, 2008
Here is a preview of tonight's Game 5 between The Stars and San Jose Sharks
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Until then, here's a quick video of Cuban sitting front row at the Cubs game talking about Avery's departure
This is the blog where we focus on Dallas Sports. The Mavs, Cowboys, Stars, and Rangers will be written about here. The two creators of this blog are Patrick Dunne and Nate Dwelle.
We are DallasDedicated, dedicated to Dallas sports no matter what the situation. We are here through thick and thin, to give you our biased opinions about all things Dallas. No matter what the scenario, we will be here...
Posts will come on a random basis, but pretty regular. More to come soon!