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Sturm Blog: Two Items Of Intrigue

Tuesday, 03.16.2010 / 12:05 PM / Bob Sturm Blog
By Bob Sturm
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Sturm Blog: Two Items Of Intrigue

Bob Sturm
Items of great intrigue for a hockey fan like me on a morning like today....

-- Kari Lehtonen to get another shot at starting tonight against the Sharks. -  There is a case to be made that Joe Nieuwendyk had made up his mind when he authorized the trade with Atlanta a month ago, but assuming that there is still some uncertainty about whether Lehtonen is the man for the 2010-11 season as the Stars #1 goaltender, this is a big night for the big Fin.

Tough assignment, though, as his first two start for the Stars are against the Pittsburgh Penguins and now the Sharks.  Tonight's game could certainly be one that has a high number of pucks coming his way, but now is the time to see if he is more than just a big body.  Realizing it would not benefit Joe in the slightest to show us his hand, allow me to say it would be nice to know what he was thinking about Marty Turco's future, Lehtonen's role for next season, and any other tricks he has up his sleeve. 

But, we should not rule out the possibility that games like tonight may in fact help him put the picture in the frame over the summer.  I am not sure that is  great idea - let's say he gets shelled in his next 3 starts - then what are you going to do?  There are no returns on trades in the NHL.

So far, there have been talks about two things with Kari.  1) his size is impressive and 2) his conditioning is not where it needs to be.  So, let me be the first to say I would like to debate issue #3 soon, and that is whether he is the type of guy for the Stars to hitch their wagon to for the next several years as the man between the pipes.  I want to see a performance that makes me wonder how good he can be, rather than the current feeling that he is a reasonable backup.  The Stars need a #1, and hope Kari is that guy.

-- Versus and Directv have kissed and made up!!!  - I know as humans, we are generally conditioned to care far more about issues that directly affect us, so, allow me to say that this has been on my mind for 6 months that channel 603 on my Directv has merely been a message screen.  Now, you might be saying, Bob, just switch to a provider that has Versus if you want it so bad, but I can't since Directv is the only provider with the NFL Sunday Ticket, I am staying with them as I have since 1996.

Versus during the regular season is not that great, but in the playoffs, they become a vital piece in the hockey fan's life.  Think about it, by the conference finals they have exclusive coverage rights.  That means  that even if the Stars are in the finals, we would still need Versus to see it!  But, more realistically, a Penguins-Capitals Eastern Conference Finals would merely have been a rumor for me, so yes, I am very excited that the two big media companies made nice and now the fans can enjoy the fruits of the resurgence of hockey. 

While Stars fans may never remember this season for the victories and the glory of the Stars' accomplishments, I think we can all take some pleasure in knowing hockey is on its way back with the Olympics, and the popularity of Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.  This sport is making strides, so having it available for everyone to see is an obvious and key point.  Versus is still not NBC or ESPN, but they do show a remarkable commitment to the sport in the playoffs that would be a shame for anyone with interest to miss.

And now, I won't!  That made me happy yesterday. 

I hope Kari makes us happy tonight.  See you at the rink.


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1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33


T. Seguin 47 28 25 2 53
J. Benn 47 14 28 -2 42
J. Spezza 47 8 27 -4 35
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 47 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 47 11 11 -3 22
T. Daley 44 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 44 9 12 5 21
A. Hemsky 44 7 11 -6 18
J. Klingberg 33 6 12 8 18
K. Lehtonen 19 11 7 .903 2.99
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
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