Andrew Raycroft entered the Dallas Stars game against the Colorado Avalanche with an 0-5-0 record, but some of the fault had to go to the team in front of him.
Outside of the 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings early in the season, the Stars hadn't played all that well in front of their backup netminder, often struggling in the second game of back-to-backs.
That all changed in Monday's 3-1 win at Colorado, the first game since starter Kari Lehtonen went down with a group injury. Sure, Raycroft played as well as he had all season, but the team in front of also stepped up to the occasion, cleaning up rebounds and keeping the Avalanche's dangerous first line mostly contained.
Michael Ryder, who was the offensive star of the night with the game-winner and an empty-net goal, admitted as such afterwards.
``It seemed like when he came in there we never played our best games. You need two goalies during the season to help you win. He's been there for us, supporting us even though he doesn't play as much as Kari. We need him now and we showed him that really want to play for him."
After the jump, more on the Stars win over the Avalanche, the genesis of hockey rumors and 80s hockey hair metal. Yes, you read that right.
- Much of the post-game focus was, understandably, on the play of Andrew Raycroft, who looked as good as he has all season. [ESPN Dallas]
- And this paywalled gamer talks about just how many nerves his performance soothed, at least for the short term. [DallasNews.com]
- The Avalanche hit the Josh Lile bat-signal while talking about despite the relatively high shot totals, they're not getting enough from the dangerous areas of the ice. [Denver Post]
- Our friends at Mile High Hockey offer their always fun and oft-commented take on the game. For a ton of fun with .gifs, check out the game thread as well. [Mile High Hockey]
- So you know how beat writers are supposed to provide an informed-but-objective perspective on the teams they cover? Adrian Dater tests that notion with this blog for the Denver Post. There is a difference in reasonably taking a team to task and whining about "not hard enough to play against." A lot of it is in the tone, and this comes off as fannish rather than informed. [All Things Avs]
- I assume this was a game-will-bust-deadline-filler story, and I also assume it will be going behind the DMN's paywall as soon as they realize they've left it free. But until then, you too can enjoy the call for the veterans to step up in the wake of the injuries that have hit every area of the team. [DallasNews.com]
- With all the call-ups to Dallas because of the recent rash of injuries, the Texas Stars are in a bit of a tough spot as well. To help fill some of the holes, they brought up goalie Jimmy Spratt and forward Michael Neal from Idaho. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Okay, here is how rumors get started. A "throw-$#%)-against-the-wall" columnist talks about how Jarome Iginla to the Stars might be a possibility given his ties to new owner Tom Gaglardi. Rest of hockey media throng turns it into this. [The Sporting News]
- Some prospect news for those of you who follow development closely. Lurch lookalike Jamie Oleksiak has been invited to Canada's World Juniors selection camp while Brett Ritchie, who is currently sidelined with a hip flexor injury, was not. [ESPN Dallas]
- Also, Stars prospect and former podcast guest Reilly Smith was named the CCHA player of the week. Does this mean we're good luck, and if so, can someone tell all the players so we can bring you more exclusive goodness? [MURedHawks.com]
- Around the Pacific Division, the games: The San Jose Sharks apparently took a mental vacation instead of playing a hockey game Monday in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Around the Pacific Division, the angst: There were two coaches fired in the NHL on Monday. Surprisingly, the Anaheim Ducks were not among them (for the record, it was the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes). But our friends at Anaheim Calling have a list of all the things that have sucked for the Ducks as of late. [Anaheim Calling]
- Um, I don't even know. It involves hair metal, headbands and bad lip-syncing from the Adirondak Phantoms. Just watch. And why can't this happen with NHL teams? [YouTube]
- A very sweaty Raycroft gives some quick quotes to the media after the game.