This is why hockey sucks: Take away the names and numbers from the sweaters -- sweaters, yeah, that’s another reason -- and Mike Modano looks like a non-impact scrub against the Vancouver Canucks. Offsides. Tiny goals. Dump and chase. The sport’s rules and rhythm make it impossible to tell the star from the Stars. Even in generic white T-shirts, we’d be able to figure out pretty quickly that Peyton Manning could throw, Dirk Nowitzki could shoot and Ian Kinsler could hit.
We hope he's at least scoring with the future Mrs. Modano, Willa Ford, because Mo’ has no goals and exactly one shot in the last two games -- both losses that have put the Stars in a desperate 3-1 series hole. Any questions as to why the Stars are one game from yet another disappointing, frustrating first-round exit?
I know Modano is 37, but he’s also the all-time leading American-born goal-scorer and the leader of this franchise. The Stars are 0-8 the last eight times he’s failed to tally a point in a playoff game, 2-19 in their last 21.
I’m not going to pretend to be a puck-head, but watching this series I haven’t seen trademark Modano weaving and speeding through center ice, shirt-tail whipping in his wake. Too many times -- like, every time -- the Stars get the puck in their defensive end, flip it into Vancouver’s zone toward no one in particular and then furiously skate toward it hoping for a Canuck error or a wacky bounce off the boards. It ain’t working.
In almost two and a half hours on the ice in consecutive games at the American Airlines Center, the Stars scored a whopping two goals. Dallas is having to rely too much on its power play, which last night, as in Game 1, couldn’t score with a 5-on-3 advantage. Which, to fans who’ve seen this movie too many times already, was an immediate and eternal punch to the pancreas. Right now the Stars are as harmless as a defensive, conservative NFL team with its field-goal kicker in a horrible slump.
It’s time to shift the blame. With his team unable to score more than once, goalie Marty Turco’s margin for error has deteriorated to zero. It’s up to Modano to change that.
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