Tag Archive for Edmonton Oilers

Playoffs?! Yeah, I’m Talkin ’bout Playoffs!

by Sami Hage
Todd Marchant upsets Andy Moog and the Dallas Stars in the 1997 Stanley cup playoffs

Since we won’t be seeing anymore hockey this month or next, let’s reminisce (again) about some of our favorite post season times here in Dallas while we trust our fearless leaders to take us into the playoffs next year. It was hard to find pre-1999 clips so this is what I can show you in words and pictures. Here are just three of my more memorable moments (besides the given game six in Buffalo in 1999), let’s hear some of yours too!

-Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals in 1999. The Stars swept the Edmonton Oilers that night in one of the longest games this franchise has ever seen (longest at that time for both teams). Despite Dallas winning all four games in this series, I remember it being a tough, grueling one. This overtime winner deflected off of Joe Niewendyk to get past Tommy Salo. 56 shots….56. Insane. Here’s the post game from that night which includes an analysis by the young Ralph and Razor duo.

-The next year, the Stars made a huge run to the finals and faced the red hot New Jersey Devils. The series was not ideal for Dallas from the beginning. With New Jersey up 3-1, the Stars were facing elimination in New Jersey. Mike Modano stepped up and ended it to extend the series to a game six (lost in overtime) as we endured another late night of cut-throat hockey. Here’s a recap.

-This last one brings us back to our last taste of playoff hockey in recent memory. I think you might know where I am going with this one. Facing and defeating division opponent San Jose in the Western Conference Semi-Finals was not expected of the fifth seed Stars in 2008, but with an early series lead, the Stars had a few opportunities to close out the Sharks. It was yet another very long night for many of us. Many things stand out in this game. The goal tending was elite, the excitement was end to end, even in overtime. We saw our former captain in Brendan Morrow at his best. His mammoth hit on Michalek at the end of regulation set the tone for the overtime periods, and not to mention his clutch game winning goal in the fourth overtime. I would just show that goal, but the clinic put on by Turco and Nabokov needs to be done justice as well. The energy was surreal in the AAC. See it for yourself below.

Goosebumps.

What playoff moments stand out for you in the past 20 years of Stars’ hockey?

The 1998 Playoffs – Conference Semi-finals

by Matt Day
This is Part 2 of a three part series about the 1998 Playoffs and “The Best Game I Ever Missed”. See below for Part 1 and watch for Part 3 to come on April 12th, 2013.

2013-04-04 22.53.59-1

The Edmonton Oilers shocked the Stars in seven games in 1997. This would be my chance to finally shake off those feelings from that series. A 3-1 victory was just what I needed to calm my nerves just a bit, but I knew this series was far from over.

Game two brought an act of defiance on my part for I was going to prove superstition wrong. Confident in my Stars I defiantly refused to paint my face. Those who follow superstition enslave themselves to coincidence. I was determined not to let this be my fate. I rolled the dice and lost as my team could not even get one, past Curtis Joseph in a 2-0 loss. After that game I was made to promise that I would not go another playoff game without my war paint.

We returned the favor in-game 3 in a 1-0 shutout in Edmonton. Game four brought another hockey experience that added another dimension to the game. The Stars announced that at the Stars Center in Euless there would be a game watching party. There we would be able to cheer on our Stars when they were on the road. This was a pivotal game and we could use the support of fellow fans like us.

The experience of a crowded room full of strangers, feeling the same intense emotions as me was intoxicating. I couldn’t get enough. The score and momentum went back and forth all game long. We went through every imaginable emotion during that game. When the game ended in a 3-2 Stars victory the room had gone from crowded to cozy and there wasn’t a stranger in the room. You meet your hockey friends at games or online, but at watching parties your Stars friends become Stars family. That is where you truly get to know each other and that was the lesson I was beginning to learn. The next game was just as close as the rest and just as intense as the Stars closed out the Oilers at home. I was finally able to see a series won in person and to be on the happy side of the handshaking ceremony. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best. Up next the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

The First Stars Loss That Really Stung [April 29, 1997]

by Devin Pike

Even in the age of satellite TV and “87 channels and nothing on,” it was still possible in 1997 to have what traditionalists (or old fogeys) call “a pure sports experience” with nothing but a radio and an empty room. Well, empty save the radio, several lightboards, and me.

I was working second shift at a prepress company in Arlington, which meant I couldn’t go to many Stars games during the week. Which meant that the relatively-new broadcast duo of Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh were my companions while I tried to suss out people’s font issues, screwed-up layouts, and kerning problems.

The 1996-97 Stars were really starting to click. Andy Moog was a solid backstop, Mike Modano was showing flashes of greatness, and Derian Hatcher was everything you wanted a team Captain to be. We had just added Sergei Zubov and Darryl Sydor, both defensive beasts. The team had racked up a great season, and won their first division title in over ten years. No reason to think we wouldn’t have a long playoff run… until we drew Edmonton in the first round.

What followed were seven games of playoff hockey that were as thrilling as anything I had seen as a fan. The last playoff series I remember being that vested in was when I was living in St. Louis, cheering for the Blues against the Maple Leafs in the 1994 Western Conference Semis. That was a goaliefest as well, with Curtis Joseph and Felix Potvin in opposing pipes.

With the Stars / Oilers, I would be rooting against CuJo this time. And I knew what the man was capable of: standing on his head with the best of ’em.

By the time the two teams had forced a Game 7 in the Western Conference Quarters, we had two overtime games already, with Game 5 at Reunion going to double OT. That’s why Game 7 winding up with a 3-3 tie didn’t surprise me one bit, and you could hear Ralphie almost giggle as the horn blew, and he went to break with “Well, folks, here we go again.”

In the end, that first overtime was enough. Grant Ledyard tripped on a bad patch of Reunion ice (not an uncommon occurrence, especially in late April) which allowed Todd Marchant (hard to not type “That Bastard Todd Marchant” – oh, I guess I just did) to break open and sneak one past Moog. I sat there, stunned.

I think it jolted the fans in the barn as well. Stunned silence doesn’t always come across on a radio broadcast, but there was almost no sound behind Ralph and Razor for a few moments as they gamely broke down the defensive breakdown.

Obviously, there would be better days as a Stars fan coming. You’ll see a lot of those in this column, I’d wager. But that loss, in some weird way, is the most memorable game for me. That was when I realized I was on the bandwagon to stay. A Fanatic. It’s easy to be a fan and wear the sweater when you have a load of Stanley Cups under your belt. The bigger measure is when you start to sniff success and have it whisked away from you.

That should be when you want it more.

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