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The Stars and Round Two: Reunited and it feels so good

• On the same day that Danica Patrick got the victory monkey off her hot little back, the Stars made it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

In that time, Chris Pronger came and went from the Edmonton Oilers. The NHL instituted a salary cap and left ESPN because of a horrific lockout. The Stanley Cup champions now include a team from Florida, California and frickin' North Carolina. Also, Britney Spears went absolutely, 100% batshit crazy. My oh my how times have changed…

Stu Barnes happened to score his 10th playoff GWG. Now, I’m not going to say that makes him better than Joe Thornton.

But hot damn if #14 isn’t the closest thing the Stars have to Chris Drury.

• The Stars managed to do this without Sergei Zubov. This is something that they’re going to have to get used to, especially if Zubov ages worse than Elizabeth Taylor (by the way, I heard a rumor that he smokes about a pack of cigarettes during each intermission. If this is true, prepare to award Zubov 1,000 cool points).

• The Stars absolutely earned this series win, Marty Turco might just be regaining his University of Michigan-era crunch time swagger and Brad Richards justified his existence. You cannot ask for much more than that.

• Rudy Kelly wonders why the Stars are so successful and there are many reasons why. But if pressed for one thing that stands out about the Stars it’s that they have a collective competence that few teams can match. There aren’t many players who make me cringe when they have the puck. On the other end, the gap between Selanne's line and the Ducks' second best option is Zdeno Chara big.

Naturally, certain players excel at different things, but there really aren’t many "take away from the table" type guys on the Stars. Stu Barnes and Steve Ott are checking forwards who are beginning to demand some serious D attention; Brad Richards, Mike Modano and Mike Ribeiro provide the Stars with crucial creativity; Mattias Norstrom, Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas sneak up on you with their unexpectedly impressive D skills.

And then opposing teams have to deal with the ball breaking effectiveness of Marty Turco’s puck handling skills.

Perhaps the BoC needs a "get to know the Stars" special. Because these guys are good.

  • I think I've stumbled on a solid nickname for Brad Richards: the $5 shake. As you may remember from "Pulp Fiction," Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) orders the questionably priced shake and John Travolta is understandably skeptical. Although no shake could be worth $5, Travolta ultimately admitted that it was a "damn good shake." But not worth $5.
Richards clearly is the $5 shake. I think my work here is done...