The extremely moody yet equally talented goalie had some of his most memorable moments against those Avs, out-dueling Patrick Roy in two consecutive Western Conference Finals, including the one in 2000 where he dragged the rest of his teammates kicking and screaming back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
But I guess doing it against the Minnesota Wild is also somewhat fitting. Even though Belfour himself doesn't have any ties to the Wild, he was a critical part of the Dallas Stars establishing an identity separate from the defunct Minnesota North Stars.
At least it wasn't the San Jose Sharks, whose fans I still don't think have forgiven him for wanting out of what was a pretty mediocre team at the time. Though now that I think of that, he might have savored that too.
Belfour, famously enigmatic and always emotional, didn't appear to give anyone quotes before today's game. That shouldn't really be surprising as it took several hours to get in touch with this man after the was selected for the Hockey Hall of Fame.
So I'm going to reach into the archives and pull out one of my favorite Belfour columns of all time, which came out after he had the performance of his life in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils. Even just the lead is fantastic.
He is a difficult man to fathom and, a slave to his own need for control, Ed Belfour may not understand himself any more than the world does.
But my, oh my, how magnificently he played goal last night. How steadfast and resourceful he was as the Dallas Stars defeated the New Jersey Devils 1-0 in triple overtime
Like many of us around here, Belfour was a huge part of the Stars teams that made me fall in love with hockey. Someone please start an "Eddie's better" chant for me.
After the jump, more on today's game against the Wild, an NHL trade alert and the best Stanley Cup video in the history of videos. Not that I'm biased or anything.
- Ever since moving to Texas, the Stars have been extraordinarily spoiled with the quality of goalies, as detailed in this paywalled article. Think about it - they've had essentially three starters since 1998. Some teams would kill for that. [DallasNews.com]
- Mark Stepneski takes you through all the relevant numbers for tonight's game. [ESPN Dallas]
- Two and two halves of Stars make an appearance on this list of Top 50 players in the NHL, one of the halves being the kid who I think is better than many but only shows up in the on-the-bubble list. Though given this does use past production as a factor, I can understand it a little bit more. The other one, eh, I think there's another player on this team I would have put over him, personally. [Left Wing Lock]
- Here's a little more on the injury that is still bothering Stars captain Brenden Morrow. Necks and backs are touchy, touchy things, and his apparently still hates everything. That's science you can take to the bank. [DallasNews.com]
- It was a good month to be a Stars prospect playing NCAA hockey. [Hockey's Future]
- This was an interesting column on why Pierre Gauthier has had a pretty horrendous season as the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens. But I also thought this graf was extremely relevant to Stars' fans interests. "Any personnel decision driven by haste and desperation is a bad decision. Any trade motivated by a panicked sense of that the team has to be fixed INSTANTLY is going to bring a weak return; any firing driven by the impulse to scapegoat is almost by definition a pointless gesture. The problem with Pierre Gauthier is not so much the specific things he’s done as his certainty that he had to do something." [Backhand Shelf]
- If you've felt like the Stars aren't scoring as many goals this year, you're probably right. In fact, goal-scoring is down throughout the entire league. [CBC]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: NHL trade alert! The Minnesota Wild, who have been plagued by offensive difficulties lately, sent Casey Wellman to the New York Rangers for out-of-favor center Erik Christensen, who is expected to make his debut today on the third line. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: The Wild are trying to figure out which of their goalies is going to carry them, and at the moment, Niklas Backstrom is making a strong impression. [St. Paul Pioneer-Press]
- Around the Pacific Division: Jaroslav Halak out-dueled Jonathan Quick as the St. Louis Blues shut out the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 while Cam Fowler had a turnover in overtime that led to the Anaheim Ducks falling 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Los Angeles Times/Los Angeles Times]
- I'm not sure how there was a new issue of jersey fouls without our friend in the Nashville Predators Wayne Gretzky jersey from the Ducks game, but there are plenty of other Gretzky fouls included. [Puck Daddy]
- To get you in an Eddie Belfour type of mood, I present the entire Nothing Else Matters commemorative video. God I loved that team. Also featured: angry Derian Hatcher, crying Mike Modano, Sergei Zubov with all his hair, Mike Keane making Tim Cowlishaw look prophetic and Derek Plante just because. Warning: there is positive talk about Tom Hicks, but at least at the time, he deserved it.