Monday, May 01, 2006

Why the STARS lost

Well, it's May 1, 2006, and the STARS are not playing
any more hockey this year; there will be no Stanley Cup
for our beloved Dallas hockey club this season...

Even before the final goal in OT in Game 5, the analysis
along the lines of "what happened??" had already begun.
Clearly, the team that showed up for the Quarterfinals against
Colorado was NOT the team that had finished a record
year with 112 points, second in the West, and a number of
other significant statistics. It was NOT the team that
we STARS fans have been pumped up about since the
middle of October last year. It was not even the team
that the players themselves knew they were...

Even in the last 12 hours, with post-game interviews,
analyses by sports writers, and features on the evening
news, a mound of "breakin' it down" has already grown.
I've watched and read just about all of it, and while it
is all sadly interesting, it all comes down to just one thing:


Coach Tippett was very succinct: "We just didn't get
the job done." While "Desire" doesn't, of course,
guarantee a Win, you cannot win without it. Being an
amateur hockey player myself, I can say first-hand that
when a team comes out on the ice and plays with DESIRE,
you can SEE it: Forwards forecheck hard; players race
to the loose pucks; the physical guys lay hits on the other
team and your skaters find open ice; your grinders dig
it out in the corners and your Defensemen push people
off the puck and keep the slot clear; your shooters find
the open net and your goalie comes up with those
amazing saves... In short, DESIRE causes each player
on the team to play with reckless abandon...

Indeed, Hockey is a TEAM sport, and just like an engine,
the TEAM is supposed to operate in harmony; when any
one part does not do its job, the whole system is thrown
out of whack.

There are (among others) 2 important "sayings" in
hockey: 1) The harder we work, the luckier we get;
and 2) Our best players have to be our best players.
Who's to "blame" for the puzzling flop that the end of
this year turned out to be for Dallas? The whole team.

When a hockey club comes out from the first puck drop
and plays with DESIRE, it's obvious; it's equally obvious
when they do not. While Colorado did enough things right
to win the series, they certainly did NOT go up against
the very best that the Dallas STARS have to offer, at
least, not until it was too late.

So have a great Summer, boys. We'll see you in the Fall.
Thanks for a GREAT year; we will always love our STARS.

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