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Modano Weekly Wrap-up: Tuesday, November 19

The highlight of Mike Modano’s week was obviously his 1,000th career point earned on an assist to Ulf Dahlen against Colorado on Friday, Nov.15.  But more than that, it was another big week for the Dallas Stars who went 4-0-0 to assume the NHL lead in points with 26 in 19 games.  In three of four games this week, Coach Dave Tippett returned to the season opening line of Dahlen-Modano-Bill Guerin, with Jere Lehtinen replacing Guerin in the game against Montreal on Nov. 12.

Tuesday, November 12 at Montreal (W, 4-2)

Stat line:
Plus/minus: +1
21:32 of ice time, 24 shifts
 5:53 power play
 1:49 shorthanded
11 of 29 faceoffs won (37%)
Two shots on goal

• Modano vs. Montreal, career: 24 games played, 4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points
• Modano was quiet in the Stars’ opening period burst to a 3-0 lead, but when Montreal closed to within one goal midway through the third period, he asserted himself even more and created numerous scoring opportunities.
• Sportsline.com ranks Modano No. 2 on its list of NHL centers stating, “Modano might be the best two-way player in the game, someone whose numbers would be a lot better if he were more selfish.  He is feisty, a great stickhandler and he sees the ice as well as anyone, making him a threat each time he is on the ice.”


“Bob Gainey and Ken Hitchcock made Modano a better defensive player.  (Current Stars head coach) Dave Tippett is eager to make him a better offensive player.  He’s the type of player that wants to learn and wants to be coached.”
 Stars color analyst Daryl Reaugh referencing the fact that Tippett was working with Modano before the game

Wednesday, November 13 at Washington (W, 6-1)

Stat line:
Two assists
Plus/minus: +1
17:40 of ice time, 22 shifts
 2:50 power play
 1:38 shorthanded
15 of 21 faceoffs won (71%)
One shot on goal

• Modano vs. Washington, career: 27 games, 11 goals, 26 assists, 37 points
• Modano’s first assist was a beauty coming on a one-touch pass across the ice to Bill Guerin who blasted the puck in the back of the net from 57-feet out.

Mike was a pre-game guest on Ch. 27 with Max Morgan.  Following is a transcript of the interview:

Max Morgan (Max): Mike, talk about the first month of the season and how you would size things up.

Mike Modano (Mo): All in all, we could not have asked for a better month.  With all of our changes, it has been really nice to see everything come together so well and so quick.  It’s a testament to every player and the coaches to hang in there together and work through the rough part of this transition.  Everybody has done their part to make it easier.

Max:  How has Dave Tippett’s first year as head coach and that change affected you?

Mo: It’s an exciting brand of hockey.  The whole league has been exciting and the rule changes have a lot to do with that.  Dave has been able to adapt to the changes and change our game with the rules.  The game has been a lot of up-and-down skating and a lot of flow, so it’s been exciting.  He’s a quiet guy, doesn’t say too much.  We all come and do our job, leave and go home.  We touch on a few things each day, but nothing overwhelming where you are thinking too much.  We just go out and play the game.

Max: Under the old regime, do you feel that your talents were bottled up?

Mo: They were bottled up to a point because that’s the way the game was being played.  A lot of clutching and grabbing and stopping and starting, so that’s the type of system we had to play as a team.  I had to buy into that and so did a lot of other guys and it won us a championship.  You really can’t complain about it.  It’s been a real big difference this year and you can see it in the types of games being played.  Chances at both ends, the power play is getting eight and nine chances a game which is a lot different than in the past.

Max: You talked at the first of the season about having a 100-point season.  I know you are a team player, but that’s something you seem to want.

Mo: It comes up every year.  I get that question a lot from our media.  It’s something I have never had, but have come close a couple of times.  It takes a lot of good games to do that.  You have to have a little bit of luck and a good power play.  If it happens, it happens.  If not, no big deal.  I’m used to not scoring 100 points.  I’ve been a 75-85 points guy, so if that’s the case, I’m happy with that.

Max: How does it make you feel when you hear Tom Hicks is trying to sell the team?  Do you just go out and play hockey?

Mo: Our job is to just go out and play.  I don’t think about who is going to be writing the checks, paying for things.  Those take care of themselves.  In this day and age in sports, team change owners or cities like the weather.  It’s something you get used to and let them handle it while we worry about what’s happening on the ice.

Max: Do you have an interest in maybe owning a part of the Stars when you are done playing?

Mo: I don’t know.  If the subject came up, I’m sure I’d love to listen and see what it’s about.  I love the organization and love the city so it would be something I’d be interested in being a part of when the day comes that I stop playing.

Friday, November 15 vs. Colorado (W, 4-2)

Stat line:
One assist (1,000th career point)
Plus/minus: +1
19:49 of ice time, 25 shifts
 1:19 power play
 2:42 shorthanded
17 of 21 faceoffs won (80%)
Four shots on goal

• Modano vs. Colorado, career: 43 games played, 19 goals, 25 assists, 44 points
• At the 10:50 mark of the first period, Modano’s 1,000th point became official after a feed to Ulf Dahlen resulted in a 2-1 Stars lead.  With 5:40 left in the first period, a video tribute was played in honor of the achievement as Modano acknowledged the crowd’s applause from the bench.
• For the first time, Modano was using one of the new Easton Synergy sticks.  He is one of the first NHL players to try the stick which features silicone injected into the blade to make it easier to handle the puck.
• Named No. 3 star by Dallas Morning News and No. 2 star by Ft. Worth Star-Telegram.
• In addition to becoming only the fifth American to reach 1,000 NHL career points, Modano became the first player in franchise history to reach the mark and the 26th (of 64) player to score all 1,000 with one team.
• Modano wore a different jersey in each period.  One will go to the Stars, one to a company that has a contract with the NHL and one Modano will keep.

“There are two points I’ll remember: the first one I scored and this one.  You think about the players you’ve played with from the start to now.  That moment, when I came back to the bench, those guys were in my thoughts.  It definitely hits home with you and you get a little emotional.  The fans in this town have meant a lot to my career and to me personally.  I think there was a blessing in disguise when the team moved down here.”
 Modano on his 1,000th point

“Sure, those guys are all great in their own way.  Mike has played 14 years and he’s not even close to being done yet.  He’s going to definitely emerge as the best.”
 Bill Guerin in reference to the four other U.S. players Mike joins with 1,000 career points

“What he’s done in the league for one organization is phenomenal, and you have to remember he has a long way to go, too.  He’s one of those players that people will come to see.  He’s that dynamic.”  -Stars head coach Dave Tippett
Sunday, November 17 vs. Columbus (W, 3-2, OT)

Stat line:
One assist
Plus/minus: +1
21:34 of ice time, 22 shifts
 4:23 power play
 0:35 shorthanded
11 of 17 faceoffs won (64%)
Three shots on goal

• Modano vs. Columbus, career: 10 games, 4 goals, 9 assists, 13 points
• Gorgeous assist to Bill Guerin at 13:06 of the third period to put Dallas on the board.  Split two Blue Jacket defenders, created space and sent a no-look backhander to Guerin on the opposite side of the ice.
• Robbed late in the third period from five feet in front of the net by Marc Denis and 1:58 into the overtime from the face-off dot in a save that elicited the patented “Larceny!” call from Stars color analyst, Daryl Reaugh.
• In the third period, Modano skated on a line with Jason Arnott at center and Guerin on the right wing.

“That’s what they said about baseball, and it came down to the last second.  I think that’s going to be our case, too.  The game right now is getting to the point where it’s exciting to watch and exciting to play for the players.  To have a stoppage – it would be real tough for a whole year stoppage.”
 Modano on the possibility of work stoppage in 2004-2005

The Week Ahead
Wednesday, November 20 at Phoenix (FSN, 8:00)
Friday, November 22 at Anaheim (Ch. 27, 9:30)
Saturday, November 23 at Los Angeles (Ch. 27, 9:30)
Monday, November 25 vs. Phoenix (FSN, 7:30)