Stars are down, but still not out
April 15, 2004
By J. Douglas Foster
We're not sure if Bill Guerin is a fan of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," but he certainly has one of the scenes down.
You know the one. ...An elderly man being carried towards "The Dead Collector" and his cart, while the collector calls all to "Bring Out Yer Dead!"
Colorado, with its 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Quarterfinal series, is pushing that cart right now. The Stars are playing the part of the old man, insisting there is still life.
Put your nine pence away.
"We're not dead yet," Guerin said, almost exactly duplicating the movie line. "Don't count us out."
OK, enough with all the silly British humor. The bottom line right now for the Stars is that they are obviously in a hole. Backs against the wall. Hanging on by a thread. Use whatever down-and-out cliché you want, and they are there.
But their season is not yet over. Win Game Five Saturday in Colorado, and they are back within striking distance of the Avalanche.
"We're certainly frustrated to be in the position we are in," Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong said. "But it's first one to four, not three."
What's more frustrating for the Stars in their current 3-1 series deficit is that they clearly had a great opportunity to win Game Four and draw the series even 2-2.
But despite their 41-23 edge in shots-on-goal, it was the Avalanche getting the victory as Marek Svatos scored in double overtime.
"We played a good game," Stars left wing Brenden Morrow said. "But not good enough to win."
One of the positives for the Stars is the fact there are players on this team who have been part of a comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
Pierre Turgeon, while playing for St. Louis, did it against Phoenix. Guerin and the Edmonton Oilers came back from 3-1 to beat Colorado back in 1998.
They know it can be done.
"I've thought a lot about that," Guerin said. "Ever sine we were down 2-0. You have to have those positives to go back on. It's something you can hopefully feed off of."
Knowing you can, Stars head coach Dave Tippett said, is half the battle.
"You certainly have to have the belief you can get it done," Tippett said. "Our guys feel we can get it done, but Game Five is crucial. We have to come out and find a way to win."
Or else, they'll go back on that cart.