Lud's Look: Time to "Steal" One in Our Building
By Craig Ludwig
Game Five -- what a game! It's just more of the same too. Both goalies were great. Morrow makes a big play in front of the net. Stars win in OT, and we're coming back to Dallas.
Obviously the pressure is still there for the Stars because if they lose, they are done. But from Vancouver's standpoint, they need to finish this series and they want to do it in Game Six.
A few things concern the Canucks right now:
First of all, Game Sevens -- you never know. You want to avoid Game Sevens at all costs. That game is usually up for grabs. Second of all, the Stars have played their best hockey in Vancouver. Add that together with just the fact that the fourth win is always the hardest to win in a series, then there's pressure on Vancouver to win in Dallas on Saturday night.
Obviously there is still pressure on the Stars to win, but Vancouver is feeling their share as well.
That puck that almost went in when Turco went to the bench on the delayed penalty was close and could prove to be a positive for the Stars (other than the obvious of no goal). Sometimes you look back at little things like that and say, "You know what, that was a turning point for us." The bounces haven't always gone their way in this series and in recent playoffs, and maybe now that gives your entire team a little more of a better feeling. Tip and the coaching staff have to build on every little thing, and that's just one of them.
I noticed Mike (Modano) more, I noticed Ribeiro more, and we certainly noticed Morrow (he's been great with his effort the entire series). Last night the Stars got it done. And it's the little things. I thought that Ribeiro made a great play on Morrow's goal. He kept the puck on the half-wall to regain control of it and get it back to Zubie for the point shot that Morrow tipped in. Ribeiro was a much better player -- he was creating things again, he was around it more. He drew players to him. I noticed a lot of things around the team that I saw during the regular season and that's a good thing.
But again, the Stars are at home for Game Six. You know that the fans are going to be pumped up (and they should be). The Dallas fans really need to help make it a tough environment for Vancouver (which I thought they did a good job of in Game Four). They can play a big role. If you're a fan, look for the positives in the game on Saturday night. It should be another tight game but be patient and keep making noise. Ultimately this is why you want home ice -- so your fans can give you the atmosphere. This is the last go-round for these fans in this round, so make it count.
This has been a hell of a series. Dallas has been more physical in the last few games and I think that stuff goes a long way.
Find a way to score two goals. That seems to be the important number. But if Van gets zero again, then one is OK. But two goals or more would be big for Dallas. Marty Turco was awesome again last night, as was Luongo. Both goalies are in a zone and I don't see that changing.
There's been a lot of talk about Mike Modano not producing but maybe the shift of that talk should go towards the Sedins. They haven't made an impact since Game One. I think Dallas has defended them well and made a real effort to not let them get too many chances to score. That has to continue because they are too good.
Brenden is doing what every good leader is supposed to do. He's the kind of guy who leads by the way that he plays. Brenden spoke up the other day and followed it up with a great effort (again). He only knows how to play one way. He'' a good leader and I think he's the ultimate playoff player. He does what it takes.
Another guy who deserves some credit is Eric Lindros. I noticed him when he was out there. He used his big body a few times and he can be a big factor in Game Six as well.
Dallas needs to keep putting bodies in front of the net and screening Luongo, tipping shots, knocking the puck around the crease. That's how you score on these guys. He's too good to beat him with a shot he can see and the Stars need to continue the effort to get pucks in there on him with bodies in front.
The Stars have faced a lot of adversity and has shown that they are a tough team. There are many ups and downs in the playoffs and the Stars are trying to work their way through this. There is a lot of battle in Dallas' players and you saw it last night. We have to see it again on Saturday so we can be talking about Game Seven.