Disclaimer: We don't know if these are Mike Modano's final two games in the National Hockey League. What we do know is this: We don't want them to be. But if they are, then we would be sorely remiss at the end of next week if we did not take the opportunity to mark them as such.
Tonight, things really start getting serious. It would have been nice to have game 82 at home, but 81 will suffice tonight as Stars patrons make their way to the AAC to solute the only face this franchise has ever known in Dallas, for what could be the final time.
Pair it with the Marty Turco departure and what you have tonight is a potentially emotional powder keg, and sports tears to be shed. (It's ok men, don't be shy.)
At this point, I am starting to have second thought's about all of this. At first I thought, "Yeah, we'll send him off, and 20 is a nice round number..." And now I wonder if it's too late for begging. Imagine how Mike feels. Part of him knows he can still play in this league, and part of him knows that coming back to this team in their current financial situation offers him little to gain outside of increasing his US born scoring marks and Stars records, all of which he already owns outright. (Though, Brad Richards could eclipse his single season point record tonight, and wouldn't that be ironic?)
Follow the jump for a look at Mike's career highlights vs Anaheim and some videos at the Ducks expense...
In spite of their long time Pacific division "rivalry", Modano and the Stars have only faced the Ducks twice in the playoffs. Once in 2003 when the Stars were bested by a single man, and once in 2008 when they upset the Ducks in the first round. Modano's role as third line center (strength down the middle was the talk of those playoffs) played a key role.
As for the rest of his career vs the Ducks:
- Mike appeared in his 1,400th game against the Ducks in 2009.
- Scored 6 points (2-4-6) against them on February 1st, 1995.
- Score 5 points (1-4-5) against the Mighty Ducks on 2/10/2002.
- Has appeared in 78 regular season games against them, scoring 26 goals and 54 assists (80 points).
For kicks and giggles, here's Mike's drafting in 1988:
And a goal against them this season: