What a freaking game. I'm still basking in it all.
The end result of a pressure-packed game 6 was an epic that the DFW metroplex and the hockey world will remember for years to come.
It was glory, honor, sport, passion, and excitement.
It was tension, suspense, stress, and worry.
It was more than a hockey game, and it deserves the press that it's getting.
Much ink has already been spilled, and I'll sort it all out for you.
First, the box score (with video replays!) and stats sheet.
You'll notice the obscene ice time logged by players like Zubov, Campbell, Ribero, Thornton, Morrow, and Marleau. You may also notice that the Stars rookie BJ crombeen logged about 2 minutes of ice time in the game, effectively shortnening the Stars bench from the outset.
Both teams took over 55 shots and had about another 30 blocked. Both teams had around 40 giveaway/takeaways. The faceoff percentage was near enough to even. Most distinctively though, both teams were physical, but Dallas logged 88 freaking hits in the game, while SJ had 37, and Brendan Morrow had the hit of the year at the end of the third, laying Michalek down and out with a the purest hockey hit you can make.
Next, we have media pontification.
the recap (for reference)
the Stars official happiness (for happiness)
the local hockey sports talk guy's post (worth the read, and the comments)
the local newspaper pontification (with links to even more articles)
the SJ paper (remarkably introspective and respectful)
There was a general consensus on a couple of things:
-Morrow and Turco owned this game. Morrow ran amok, Turco was amazing, and they were the stories of the game.
-Nabokov's save on Richards was one of the best saves ever. I couldn't see the save itself well from my vantage, but everyone in the building thought the game was over when Richards got the shot off, and the replays are clear evidence of excellence. The game ends there against almost every other goalie in the leage, and even against Nabby probably the majority of the time. That was a highlight reel save.
-Morrow's hit on Michalek changed the game. Watch the hit and judge for yourself.
-Both teams played with pride, determination and passion throughout.
Now for the stuff that you haven't heard yet:
- Its mentioned in the articles, but the crowd at the AAC last night was fantastic. Its being called the single greatest sports night of the AAC venue to date by a certain radio talk show host, and I'd tend to agree. Everyone showed up early, stayed up late, and lived and died with every scoring chance, and there were many. I recorded a game in the Ducks series, and I may post a little audio here in the future, but rest assured that it's freaking great. The Fanatics were loud and crazy all night and into the moring, and they paced the frenetic crowd throughout. Many props to them. I would love to go on about the atmosphere, but you really can't know unless you were there. 1 am on a Sunday night, and 90% of a capacity crowd was still there, shouting at the top of their collective lungs on every play. In my opinion basketball couldn't match that atmosphere if it tried.
- Toby Peterson had the game of his life. He's a minor-league callup with almost zero NHL experience, and he had several incredible shifts in regulation, and it will be all kinds of fun to watch him continue to progress.
- Ribero had a primo scoring chance in the third overtime. The puck came to him all alone in front of Nabokov, and he never got a great shot off. He was all alone.
- Turco made a few of the exact saves that he had been missing in the previous two games. I'm talking specifically about unmolested breakaways. Campbell had a chance in the third period where Turco made the exact save that he missed in game 5. Also, the 2nd overtime was littered with horrible Stars turnovers that Marty cleaned up. He was incredible throughout, but he was specifically making certain saves that he had been getting beaten on just a 48 hours before.
- The Sharks were flopping early and often in regulation. The two penalties awareded to them in the first period continued the rough stretch for the refs in this series. I'm not a homer when it comes to flops, and these were clear examples.
and now a few pics:
pregame they set all of the rally towels out on each seat
WCF matchup and breakdown upcoming. Breeng on teh weengs!