Modano Weekly Wrap-Up: Tuesday, December 10
It was a rare “light” week
for the Stars with only two games on the schedule, both at American Airlines
Center. Mike Modano had points in each game to maintain his position among
the top five scorers in the NHL with 32. Against Montreal, he scored the
fifth goal in a 5-1 victory on a feed from Bill Guerin and returned the favor to
Guerin with an assist on the Stars first goal in a 3-3 tie with
Wednesday, December 4 vs. Montreal (W, 5-1)
13:38 of ice time, 16
• 0:00 power play
• 2:49 shorthanded
Eight of 20
faceoffs won (40%)
Three shots on goal
• Modano vs.
Montreal, career: 25 games, five goals, 13 assists, 18 points
13:38 of ice time and 0:00 on the power play were his lowest of the
season. Previously, he had only 13:48 of ice time in a 4-2 win at
Interesting perspective on Modano from Stars head
equipment manager, Dave Smith, who has known Mike since he was an 18-year-old
rookie. The following comes from an interview with The Hockey
THN: What’s it like having Modano in your dressing room?
He’s extremely low-maintenance. Once he’s settled in for the year, there’s
virtually no problems. The only thing that’s different with Mike is he’s
using an Eaton model glove that they’ve discontinued. We bought up a
number of pairs and he always jokes that when he’s out of gloves he’s out of the
THN: What about the gloves? How often does he change
DS: He uses one pair for practice and one for games and the practice
ones he’ll break in and use for games next year.
THN: And skates?
One pair will get him through an entire year. We’ll change the blades four
or five times, but that’s it. The boots are fine.
THN: What about
sharpening his skates? Anything special?
DS: He uses a very shallow
hollow, unlike a lot of guys. He has only one inch which across the league
is extremely hollow. He’s right on top of the ice. He glides.
He’s tremendously smooth.
THN: How often do you sharpen his
DS: For every game and as needed. On practice days, we’ll leave
them if they’re fine. If not, we’ll give it a quick go. We have to
make sure they’re in good shape, especially with the rate of speed these guys
go. To lose your footing and go sailing into the boards or net, you’re
flirting with danger and injuries.
THN: Lots of guys give their skate
boots a banging. What about Modano?
DS: He’s really good on them.
He doesn’t beat them up. He manages to get by and still play the game at a
tremendously high level, but with one pair of boots all year.
DS: He wears an extension (pad) off the back of his pants, where a
guy is cross-checked a lot. He just wants a little extra protection. Other
than that, he uses the regular stuff.
Stars center Mike Modano made an
appearance on The Ticket with Bob Sturm and Dan McDowell last Tuesday. Here are
some of the highlights of his interview:
On how how Ken Hitchcock and Dave
Tippett handled poor performances by the team
"Some times Hitch would
like to air it out right then and there. Get it out and over with. Talk about it
right after the game. 'Hey what is the deal? What is the problem?' Figure what
went wrong here, move on, so we can correct it, sleep well and get it out of our
minds. We can put this game behind us. Tip is a little different. He just comes
in and says 'everybody on the bus at ten.' So we have a quick “everyone does his
thing and get out of here.” They both have their little quirks about dealing
On comparisons between the current Stars and the 1999 team that won
the Stanley Cup
"They're very similar. Yet, in some ways, they are very
different. I think our team in '99, in our zone there was no one who could play
in our zone. We would shut down guys. No second or third opportunities. We were
just so stingy in our own zone. We didn't give anything away in the neutral
zone. We were great positionally. This year, we are to a point. But there have
been games where we have allowed a lot of second and third chances and Marty
[Turco] has had to make big saves. Guys had to make key blocks on shots. For
firepower this is a far better offensive team than we had in '99. There are
three solid lines that you can roll. Our D is joining the rush. There are some
different tendencies. We are a much stronger team in the offensive zone this
year than we were in '99. Opposite on the other end. We were stronger in '99
than we are [now]."
On the Stars mentality heading into each
"There's really an air of confidence among the guys saying every time we
go out there should be chances to score and opportunities to control the pace of
the game. When it doesn't happen, we have a little bit of frustration that
creeps into the game. That's because some teams are realizing that they have to
play patient (against us). Plus, lately we've had great first periods. Teams
just want to get out of the first period tied or down just one goal. We've been
coming out of the gates hard. Teams that have frustrated us are the teams that
played a good 40 minutes. Game is tied going into the third and we start
thinking that we should be up by two or three goals. It's not happening. We take
the odd penalty here and there. We find ourselves coming from behind.
rules changes in the NHL this season
"There is so much more room in the
neutral zone. The neutral zone is great. It's wide open. You can come through
there at 100 mph and you don't get touched. But there have been games where it
[obstruction] has come back into the game a little bit. They try to resurrect it
and try to get back where it was in October. There is a lot more room to be
creative and let some speed come and a lot of the games have been up and down
and the pace has been great."
On the consistency of the calls by refs this
That's the problem. I think every ref has their own little
personality they want to take to the game. They call certain penalties and that
is the thing that frustrates us -- players and coaches. Every ref is different.
That's their judgment call. They see what they want to call. Some nights you get
it and some nights you don't. That is the part that creeps in our game. We get
frustrated. Those are probably games that we probably lost."
that his musical tastes differ from the majority of hockey players
tends to differ a little bit. I can't handle the head banging stuff every night.
[What he has in his CD Player] I've got Stones, Styx, like old Van
Eagles. Old Van Halen. Occasionally [disco] will be in there. Some of
the guitar-head, banging stuff wears you out after while.
[Can you get
fired up hearing the same warm-up music every night?] Not really.
Pantera song that was popular during the '99 championship season] That's a whip.
That was good in '99. They've got to do a new version."
On whether Dave
Tippett, being a former NHL player, has a different perspective than Ken
"I think that too is a big difference from Hitch. Hitch was very
X's and O's and diagramming plays. Tip understands the game. Nothing ever drawn
up on the board happens on the ice. We go through plays. We talk about stuff.
X's and O's. Where to be. What to do. And you go out there and it never happens
that way. That's the difference between football or basketball. You have set
plays. If it doesn't work, the play is over, it's whistled and you start over.
Hockey you can go three or four minutes, five minutes without a
On whether they have set plays
"It's a read and react game.
There's not a set play like football, where you've got a guy who goes to the
sidelines for an out or a deep pass or handoff. You find the open ice, try to
find the open ice. Billy [Guerin] tries to find an open area and I try to get
the puck to him or Ulf [Dahlen]. Defensively there is a little more diagram to
it. It's one on one, it's zone, penalty killing, power play a little bit.
Five-on-five it's tough to draw it up on the board."
On whether he's a faster
skater than Bill Guerin, who won the fastest skater competition at the All-Star
"Once he gets going Billy is really fast. Maybe not blue line to blue
line, but once he has time to get his speed up and he get's going [he's very
fast]. Mine is a little more short. It takes me a little time to get going but I
am kind of more short area. But once Bill gets going he's got great speed, big
long strides. Once he made that second turn in that fastest skater thing it was
over. He was blowing it out."
Friday, December 6 vs. Detroit (T,
25:00 of ice time, 28 shifts
• 8:10 power
• 0:43 shorthanded
13 of 29 faceoffs won (44%)
Three shots on
• Modano vs. Detroit, career: 68 games, 25 goals, 33
assists, 58 points
• In two meetings this year, NHL powers Dallas and
Detroit have decided nothing – two 3-3 ties, one on each team’s home ice.
They face each other two more times this month and won’t play each other again
unless they meet in the playoffs.
Mike took time to answer
a few questions with Daryl Reaugh during warm-ups prior to the
Reaugh: With the Red Wings in town tonight, is this a welcome
challenge for you guys?
Modano: I think so. It’s been awhile.
The last one we were really excited about was Colorado (on Nov. 15). That
was really fun and the fans were into it. Right now, we really don’t care
who we are playing. We just want to keep the momentum going, especially at
home. It should be a good test for us tonight.
yourself and the Red Wings have had an awful time with the officiating in the
first part of the season. Special teams have been so important, do you see
that as a key here tonight as well?
Modano: Yeah, we’re going to try and
keep it five-on-five as much as possible. There are going to be some
calls, obviously, every game there’s at least two or three against each
team. We’re going to try and keep our legs going, skate the game.
There a great shooting team, so we are going to have to be in position and not
allow them to get in front of us too much.
Reaugh: In the game in Detroit,
your left winger Ulf Dahlen was fantastic. Does your unit feel an extra
pressure to perform in a game like this?
Modano: A little bit. The
eyes are on you a little bit more when you have competition like this.
Hopefully, we can come out and have a great first period. Our line has
played real well the first 20 minutes. If we can do that and get Ulf and
Billy (Guerin) crashing the net and making plays, that’s their strength and I’ll
just try and get them the puck.
Wednesday, December 11 vs. Los Angeles (FSN,
Friday, December 13 vs. Atlanta (FSN, 7:30)
Sunday, December 15 at
Chicago (Ch. 27, 7:00)