Day at a Glance: Boys will be boys
For Stars, goalie hits suddenly secondary to Mo's wrist
Posted: Friday June 11, 1999 08:14 PM
By Denise Maloof, CNN/SI
to the land of hot wings we go, with a newly-fiery series and retribution
promises. In a 24-hour span, Mike Modano's left wrist replaced goalie
battering as the hot topic, and Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock wouldn't say
Friday whether his brightest Star suffered a fracture, or will play
Saturday in Buffalo. Hint: Other than game absences, don't look for a
definitive answer until series' end.
| In the Crease
Illustrated contributor Pierre McGuire , a former coach of the
Hartford Whalers, dissects strategy for CNNSI.com throughout the Stanley
Cup finals. |
Everything was going the Buffalo Sabres' way in Game
Two. They controlled the tempo, engaged the Dallas Stars at the point of
attack as well as any team has all year, and they held the Stars to only 12
shots over 40 minutes. Then, BOOM!, the game changed, as the Stars showed
their fans what desperation is all about.
The Stars started to open up the attack in period three, and this enabled
them to put pressure on the Sabres and their fine goalie, Dominik Hasek. The Stars
opened up the attack by jumping their defensemen into the rush and into the
offensive cycle. Sergei
Zubov and Darryl Sydor
were active, as was Derian
Hatcher. The Stars' defensemen need to carry that aggressive style into
Game 3 in Buffalo.
It should also be noted that the Stars really dominated the third-period
face-offs, thus getting puck control and playing the tempo they desired.
The big question is, what will the Stars do if Mike Modano is unable to play?
Modano was injured in the third period after a legal hit by Sabres
defenseman Jay McGee. Modano will be missed on the penalty kill -- Stars
coach Ken Hitchcock only has used two sets of forward penalty killers: Mike Keane and Guy Carbonneau, along with
Modano and Jere Lehtinen.
The scary thing is that the Sabres have had a great deal of success on the
There is no need for the Sabres to panic. They were more disciplined in
Game 2, and they love to play in front of their home crowd. They need to
put more consistent pressure on Stars goalie Ed Belfour, and make sure
that the Stars don't physically batter Hasek. Clearly a point of emphasis
for the Stars is to try and create as much crease and non-crease conflict
with Hasek as they can. Buffalo needs to clear the crease area a little bit
better, and make sure that the defensemen communicate with Hasek when he
leaves the net area to handle the puck.
Game 3 won't be a chess match, as the hatred level in this series has
escalated, but it will be important to score the first goal.
DALLAS (CNN/SI) -- The Stars' Game 2 vigor around the Buffalo crease
elicited penalties, post-game yapping and plenty of vaudeville from Dominik
Hasek, who can blame equal parts good shot and heavy traffic for Thursday's
game-winner by Brett Hull.
After dropping an 1-for-10 power play bomb in Game 1, the Stars vowed to
rock the Dominator's world. They did, rifling 37 shots to Buffalo's 21
against Ed Belfour, and precipitating a war of words and fists.
First, Brian Skrudland
bonked Hasek at 12:25 of the first period, incurring a charging penalty.
Several scrums followed at play stoppages, and Mike Modano ignited a minor
ruckus at period's end by tripping Hasek. Three players from each opened
the second period in the box; penalty damage for both teams was nine
"There was a hit on Eddie Belfour in Game 1," said Joe Nieuwendyk, who took a
five-minute fighting major for a bout with Brian Holzinger. "So, I
mean, that is just the way the game is going right now. Both teams are
playing pretty intense."
Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff and Hasek both registered their verbal
displeasure after Thursday's game, along with several other Sabres.
"It was definitely a cheap shot by Modano," Ruff said of the first-period
trip. "He went through the crease and slew-footed Hasek. It is just a cheap
shot. So you know, there are ways to combat it."
Ruff declined to elaborate, but the Stars say they don't care; that Hasek
invites the contact by wandering -- despite NHL rules provision that
protect the goalie outside the crease -- and that perhaps the Dominator
should install rear-view mirrors on his mask.
"Patrick Roy was the same way," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We scored
three goals in that series (Western Conference finals) because we treated
him as a defenseman. Sometimes when the goaltender is out there, you back
up off and try to go where he is going to pass the puck, but we just feel
like if we continually go after him, maybe we can get a turnover."
"We're not going to go out and run him," Mike Keane said, as in flatten
him. "Their power play is too good for that."
Storylines We're Following |
| Mo, or not |
Will the Stars fall
without Modano if his wrist injury forces him out of the lineup? Or are
they deep enough to succeed without him?
Home sweet home
The Sabres have a 7-0 record in
Midland Marine Arena. Games 3 and 4 will be the ultimate test of that.
Look for helmets, gloves and sticks to fly
over the don't-touch-my-goalie issue.
Three Stars |
| Each day throughout the Stanley Cup finals, we'll
take a look at three key individuals. |
1. Brett Hull . Thursday's game-winner was the reason the Stars
shelled out offseason millions.
2. Craig Ludwig .
Stars' defenseman scored his first playoff goal in a decade Thursday.
3. Alex Zhitnik . Buffalo defenseman followed Game 1's 12-hit
performance with a goal, eight penalty minutes and six hits in Game 2. Only
rub; he was minus-three.
|| || If they were fair
game, we’d avoid all their ungainly, puck-playing mistakes and the
annual debate. |
|| || Does he ever screw up?
| On-ice officials. || || Other than the usual
missed-it complaints, they’ve been invisible. |
Sabres’ just-have-fun-baby attitude. ||
|| They don’t care about
their less-lauded pedigree. |
| Stars’ power play.
|| || It’s an 0-for-15 streak
heading into Game 3. |