Saturday, 04.19.2008 / 4:53 PM CT / Feature
By Seamus O'Callahan - Hockey Historian
Sunday is a tremendous opportunity for the Stars. If you had been told before the Western Conference Quarter Finals vs. Anaheim that the Stars would be leading the series, 3 game to 2, heading into Game Six with a chance to close out the series on home ice – you’d take it in a heartbeat (and twice on Sunday, which Game Six falls on).
This game will be a fun one, maybe even better than Game Four on Thursday. This is what the Stanley Cup Playoffs are all about. The Stars have played very well in this series, and short of one bad period in Game Three, it might already be over. The Ducks have played very well too, and have improved their play in every game.
Game Six should be like the last two contests – two very good hockey teams going toe-to-toe. Thursday night, it was the Stars and goalie Marty Turco who shined and earned the victory. Friday is was the Ducks and net-minder J.S. Giguere who came out on top.
Razor said it best: special teams and goaltending will decide it. Can the Stars’ power play provide some offense? How about the Ducks’ with the extra man? Which goalie will be better than the other? Both have been fabulous in the last couple of games.
“I think playing desperate hockey is the key,” said Toby Petersen on the plane back from Anaheim on Saturday. “You saw them last night come out playing very well, with their backs against the wall, and we need to do that tomorrow night on our home ice. I know all the guys really want to make up for what happened last night and I think that bodes well for us heading into Game Six.”
Dallas’ home ice advantage will go a long way in helping the Stars win.
“We are very excited to get home and play in front of our fans,” said Mark Fistric. “They are very loud and are cheering us on, which is great motivation for us. Our whole team feeds off of that and it’s a great feeling to be up 3 games to 2 when you are coming home.”
Added Petersen, “We are now heading home for Game Six, where we definitely want to close them out on our home ice. We’re going to come out flying and we know we have the home crowd behind us, which will be huge.”
And that’s where you come in. Stars fans – be ready to get loud (don’t forget to wear black) and make a difference for your team on Sunday night at 8 PM. You can be a part of getting the Stars over the hump and getting their first playoff series win since 2003.
This streak of non-advancement in the playoffs for Dallas actually started with these Ducks in 2003. And it’s funny – this series (at least the results of each game) have gone just the opposite of what happened that year in Round Two.
The good news there – the home team in that series won Game Six to close it out.
Now that’s what I call some good karma.