Archive for the ‘Dallas Stars Hockey’ Category

And the crowd goes wild…

April 11, 2008

I’m going to go out on a limb here and declare this the greatest day in DFW sports history.  There have been singular accomplishments of greater import, but the totality of this day’s successes is pretty much unparalleled in the history of our professional sports franchises.

The Mavericks won a nail biter on an unbelievable shot by Dirk Nowitski with 0.9 seconds left in regulation.  This win combined with a loss by the nearest team in the standings assured the Mavs of a playoff berth.  They had a huge late season slump that has only just shown signs of relenting as the team fights for a chance to compete in the post season.  Dirk, playing on one bad ankle with a bad knee and an elastic bandage the size of Rhode Island on one elbow, willed the team to a critical victory tonight.  The cardiac kids label has been passed to the Mavs for a while.  It should be an interesting ride.

After laying a complete omelet with poor pitching and worse hitting on opening day, the Rangers came back with excellent pitching and timely hitting to sweep a double header today.  The wins were important for this team as they try to craft a new identity as a group that will compete better with more consistent results than in years past.  The starting pitching has been excellent overall this year and the signs of life offensively could mark a turning point.  Baseball has the most demanding season by sheer dint of numbers and the extreme changes in playing conditions from day to day.  In other words, it’s far too early to read too much into what we’ve seen so far; but the results are much more encouraging this year than we’ve been accustomed to seeing of late.

Playoff hockey is generally characterized by strong physical play and tight defense.  The Stars saw half of that tonight in Anaheim.  The Ducks didn’t seem to be mentally ready for this contest and tried to make up for that by physical aggression.  The Stars made them pay for that by cashing in on four of their seven full power play opportunities.  Dallas hadn’t won the first game of a playoff series in a number of years, and by doing so tonight they have improved their chances of advancement quite a bit.  Now all that is required is that they win their home games and the second round is theirs.  They played to win tonight instead of playing not to lose.  I hope they bring that philosophy to the next game and continue that approach indefinitely.