Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pre-Season Game 2: Colorado 4, Dallas 2

The Stars dropped their pre-season home-opener versus the Colorado Avalanche tonight, 4-2. Once again, the game was not broadcast via television or radio - we’re getting closer to those soon though - so the opinions and thoughts being shared tonight are no more than analysis derived from pouring over the box score and reading notes from around the league.

I will say, though, that starting the year 0-2 is better in the pre-season than in the regular. So, it’s good that the Stars are getting it out of their season before the Games That Count start. The coaches will tell you that it really doesn’t matter (the wins and losses) in the preseason, because they’re there to analyze lines, observe how young players react to a game played at NHL speed, and get a feel for how the other bench coaches. And they’re right, of course. That doesn’t mean that Dave Tippett wouldn’t have liked to get that win on home ice, though.

Mike Ribeiro, Brendan Morrow and heralded European Fabian Brunnstrom all had two points in the match - Both Morrow and Ribeiro had a goal and an assist, and Brunnstrom pitched in two helpers. Great news, because Ribeiro and Morrow seem to be picking up right where they left off last season with their great play, and Brunnstrom is showing how he’ll fit in with the scoring talent that the Stars have.

For the Avs, perennial Star-killer Ryan Smyth had a goal and an assist. Without seeing the play, I can only picture it in my head, but I imagine he was the gritty, hard-nose player he’s always been, and will have the year he should have had last year when the Avs signed him as a free agent. The only question will remain - can he stay injury-free? He’s only played 73 games over the past two seasons, and he appears to be well-rested this year. I have a feeling he’s going to be the Avs toughest weapon as the season moves on.

In off-ice notes - the Stars announced that rookie prospects, defensemen Trevor Ludwig and Guillaume Monast, signed three-year entry-level contracts. Ludwig, son of former Stars defenseman Craig Ludwig, is expected to play for Idaho of the East Coast League and Monast will return to Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior League, the team he skated for last season.

The Stars take to the ice again on Saturday, when they play the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center at 7pm. Don’t forget - the Stars are having an Open House event Saturday morning, and everyone in attendance will get two free tickets to one of the remaining three home pre-season games. I’ll see you there!

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