11.2.15 Stars vs Leafs Game Recap (Dungeons and MapleDragons)

The setting: your party wakes up in a brightly lit room. You’ve got skates on your feet, pads on your pointy bits, a helmet on your head. Your agility, intelligence, perception, etc modifiers are on the cards in tucked in your lockers. A man in black and white stripes comes in and asks you to follow him.

Do you? You do.

The next room has a sheet of ice and what looks like thousands of people all staring at you expectantly. There’s another group of people wearing similar outfits to yours, but blue instead of white and green. Your special skills and power items are are on your character sheets at the bench.

The man in the black and white stripes tells you to roll initiative.

First period

Playing the role of Dungeon Master tonight is whoever the two refs and the two linesmen were. I don’t pay attention to their names. Yes, there are four of them. They control the fates of the universe, so it certainly can’t be me, non player character that I am.Read More »

Book Review: Room For You

You know how sometimes you sign up for a free month of Kindle Unlimited and you just type “hockey romance” in the search box and you just, you know, take a chance on anything that pops up? Well. Sometimes that goes really poorly for you.

Room For You by Beth Ehemann

Kacie Jensen has one main priority in her life: raising her twin daughters, Lucy and Piper. Ever since her ex—the girls’ father—vanished four years ago, Kacie’s sworn to keep her head in her studies and her heart out of trouble. Moving back home to her mother’s bed-and-breakfast had seemed like the best way to start over.

But when hockey star Brody Murphy washes up on the front steps of the Cranberry Inn during a raging storm, he awakens a hunger in Kacie that she’s long forgotten…and he opens her eyes to a life she never thought was possible. With so much more to lose this time around, can Kacie trust her heart to make the right decision?

Room for You is the sweet, tantalizing first novel in bestselling author Beth Ehemann’s heartwarming Cranberry Inn series.

Things I liked:Read More »

Book Review: Breakaway by Catherine Gayle

We’re trying a new thing on the blog: book reviews of hockey themed books! This one’s a romance novel but we’re planning on reading a little bit of everything, have no fear.


From the back of the book:

She’s reaching for a breakaway pass.

Dana Campbell has spent the past seven years in self-imposed isolation for a crime she didn’t commit. The danger is well in the past, but her panic attacks make it impossible to have a normal, healthy relationship with a man. Even her counselor has given up on her. She has to find someone she trusts to help her fight through the panic, or her seven-year ordeal will become a lifetime sentence. There’s only one man she feels safe enough to ask.

He got caught with his head down.

As the captain of the NHL’s once elite but now fading Portland Storm, Eric Zellinger knows a thing or two about keeping his focus on the job. Questions are flying about his ability to lead the team back to the playoffs. If they don’t make it, he might be shipped out of town. It’s the worst time possible for his best friend’s kid sister to divide his focus. How can he give her what she needs without jeopardizing both the Storm’s playoff hopes and his future with the team?

It’s her only chance, but it’s his last shot.

Things I liked:
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Mail Bag: The Stars Are Bad For Our Heart Rates, Too

Time for another Two Bearded Ladies Mail Bag! Thank y’all so much for sending us these questions. We definitely have the best readers.

Anonymous Asked:

so … how do you explain that in every game they play whenever they outshoot the other team they lose … It’s coming to a point that when I watch the shot count on the screen and see that the Stars have more than the other team I can’t help thinking “mmm, that’s not good”. Also this team is not good for my heart rate.


M: Love. If we could explain that, we’d be co-captaining the Dallas Stars.

C: At this point, the only thing we can really look at is how many scoring chances the Stars give up per game. Usually, even if they’re out shooting the competition, they’re still ending up above league average scoring chances against per 60 (SCA/60). The difference between Scoring Chances and “Shots on Goal” is that they’re weighted by where they were shot from and whether it was a rush, breakaway, etc, and so are a better predictor of goals. Against Tampa we had an (5v5, score adjusted) SCA/60 of 31.2. Against the Islanders, which we had to win in OT, it was 37.3. League average is 25.

We are playing better defensively (against Anaheim it was only 15.3) as a whole, but we have a long way to go before we’ll really see that pay off.


Anonymous asked:

How would the Stars survive a zombie apocalypse? What would their plan be? Would they come up with a plan or just take it minute by minute? Who would be the surprising leader? Who would get caught by the zombies?


M: Where are they when apocalypse strikes? Because if they’re in their own homes, god knows. That would be a mess of everyone trying to get to a central location with their families. If they’re at the training facility just having a normal practice when all hell breaks loose, I predict minute-by-minute planning (nothing about this team strikes me as the long term planning type) and John Klingberg as your surprising leader. Turns out he’s GREAT at headshots with his hockey stick. Close combat isn’t ideal with zombies (you don’t want to become infected yourself) so Jamie and Tyler practice accuracy shots with pucks at zombie’s heads. They are also surprisingly effective at this, but naturally not able to react quickly with a horde. They manage to survive for a surprisingly long time in the Dr Pepper Arena before they run out of snacks and powerade. They send out the pitbull line to scout and lose Roussel and Garbutt (sorry boys) when they start a fight they can’t win against a handful of fresh zombies. Eventually they make their way to Ikea where Klingberg and Nemeth feel right at home. The employees and customers of Ikea have managed to hold off the zombies with stylish yet affordable home furnishings. They survive there on the meatballs until the National Guard arrives to take everyone to a more secure location. (All of the families survive because I’m not a monster.)

C: What she said. Also, Spezza learns to knit. Why? Because he seems the type.

M: If Spezza learns to knit, Hemsky learns to spin. They all end up on a ranch somewhere that Jamie names Apocalypse Ranch because he has no imagination. They keep sheep. For the knitting. (And other things, obviously, like cows and chickens. McKenzie turns out to be an excellent gardner.)

C: It’s probably Faksa’s goat farm.

M: They have to get rid of his fainting goats though. They let him keep a few that he bottle raised and named after family members in the Czech Republic.


Meep Asked:

Oh, a few things: Since this season is essentially done, do you think Tyler and Val should take it slow with coming back? I know they wanna be back asap, but it’s not like they could fix this anymore.


M: That would assume the only reason they’d come back is because of a playoff push, and not because they’re better. Stars organization unequivocally said that they weren’t rushing Tyler’s return on Saturday. Val’s taking a lot longer, but is still within the time frame they’ve been updating us with all season. So I don’t know that Val’s continued absence is because they’re taking it slow or just that he isn’t actually ready yet.

Another thing to consider, beyond what the medical staff approves, is that these are hyper competitive dudes that just want to play hockey. They got to the NHL by way of this hyper competitive attitude, and FUCK, Pascal Dupuis didn’t let MISSING ONE THIRD OF HIS LUNG stop him from playing five games. (This, by the way, is fucking stupid and not actually an attitude I advise ANYONE take to their health and wellbeing.) That said, the Stars staff is well aware of what Tyler’s going through, (the Pens staff were very much in the dark re: Dupuis) and would take his own opinion into account, probably, but not actually make decisions based on it.

C: Players playing while injured makes me so upset. LUONGO, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.


What steps would you like the Stars, or rather Jim Nill, to take during the off season? What are your dream trades, who would you like to see traded away etc.


M: Carolyn’s going to say Reimer for Sceviour and a pick and I’m not going to dispute that at all. I don’t know if we resign Enroth at this point, and we wasted a third round in a deep draft on him. Clearly we’re gonna need an upgrade in goal and honestly, TO BE QUITE HONEST AND FRANK, I wouldn’t be unhappy if we could unload Kari’s contract on someone, I just don’t know who would take him. Dream trade: Brent Seabrook for either Daley or Goligoski and probably a pick/prospect.

C: I would also take Bernier for Sceviour and a pick, as it would be another integral step to collecting all the hockey players with Brothers Forever tattoos.I do think either Daley or Goligoski will have to go over the summer, in part because we have a deep, if young, Defensive roster, and Nill is obviously going to be looking for a number one guy. If it’s Phaneuf (bleh), I could see the Leafs preferring Goligoski, but if we’re going to get Seabrook (plz plz plz) I think that Daley would fit better with Chicago’s super fast style of play. Defending Big D did an interesting article about trading partners, and Nill hasn’t been fond of in-conference trades (neither is Bowman) so I’m worried this might put a damper on possibly getting Seabrook.

I also think that either Oleksiak or Jokipakka will be traded as part of a package over the summer. So maybe it will be Reimer for Jokipakka and a pick.

M: LITERALLY ANYONE BUT PHANEUF. Also Stars organization seems like Jokipakka better than Oleksiak at this point, if the amount of time Jokipakka has spent up in Dallas is any indication.

C: Yes, but by the same logic, this would make him more valuable to other organizations. If we could get Reimer without giving up the pick, that would be even better.


Should there be coaching changes made? I mean clearly the PP hasn’t done quite as well as we’d want it to, or as consistent as we’d need it to. … Okay nothing has been as consistent as we need it to, *sigh*.


C: I wouldn’t be surprised if you see front office shake ups this summer. Nothing drastic like Lindy getting canned, but probably some of the support staff will go. The Stars’ power play has been limp and lifeless (M: one could almost say flaccid) (C: except then one would have to shudder) except for a few brief stints. They did score two power play goals against Tampa, so maybe it’ll kick back to life here and save someone’s job.

I think, despite our defense of him on our podcast, that Mike Valley will be out of a job come summer. Apparently Valley has also had a hand in some of the goaltending scouting that we were harping on, so I’m less keen on him sticking around. Also, it appears a good replacement, Jeff Reese, is no longer with the Flyers org, and by all accounts he did some excellent work with Mason and restoring his confidence. Rumor is that Reese & the Flyers “parted ways” because he was trying to make sure that Mason wasn’t played while injured, but Mason was put in net anyway. I would definitely not mind having a guy like that in our organization.

M: Former Flyers though, gross.

C: Dallas can rehabilitate him, though! I mean, not having to wear orange will do wonders for the soul.

M: So accurate.


@erozyskie asks:

@beardiestladies @merrinish How do you keep your beards so full? Conditioner? Mac & cheese loading? The world needs to know! 😀


M: I condition mine with only the finest of pizza oils. Every night. From Papa Johns.

C: Garlic butter does wonders for follicle stimulation.

Stars School of Witchcraft and Hockey

It may have come to your attention from how my three-sentence bio mentions Lord of the Rings that I’m a bit of a nerd. Not the number crunching kind, the kind that might actually own their own wand (I don’t, but I do have a replica of the Evenstar that I may or may not be wearing as a type this). I’ve read the Harry Potter series a fair few number of times, and sometimes expend quite a bit of energy thinking about how I’d sort people into houses.

For instance, me? I’m a Ravenclaw. I love to research, love to delve to the depth of a thing to understand, love to be right and legitimately get upset when people are wrong and won’t listen (at length) to why they’re wrong. (You may have guessed that this sometimes makes for insufferable conversations with me.) (You’d be right.) My cohort Carolyn is a Hufflepuff. She is loyal to her friends, trustworthy with secrets shared, and endlessly patient when explaining a stat to me for possibly the hundredth time.

It’s important to note, for those who aren’t as familiar with Harry Potter lore as some of us, that being sorted into one house doesn’t mean that you can’t have characteristics of another house. The idea is simply that the characteristics of the house that you’re sorted into are your defining or driving characteristics.

Naturally, since about 40% of my brain power these days goes to thinking about the Stars (listen, I’d be happy to devote more if someone would actually pay me to do it) I’ve given some thought to how I’d sort the Stars players if I were a sorting hat, and this is what I’ve come up with.Read More »