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Archive for the ‘Marty Turco’ Category

In Monday night’s game against the Kings, the thing I noticed the most was that the Stars had the puck most of the time.

It wasn’t easy, though, they had to fight for it, and catch it at the blue line, and pass it between forests of skates to keep possession of it. They spent an entire power play in the offensive zone at one point. I thought they might have to clear it themselves so they could get a change.

I probably should have been, but when the Kings scored first, I wasn’t nervous. I thought they were playing so well and spending so much time in the attacking zone that it was just a matter of squeaking a couple through.

I also wasn’t afraid that Kari would melt down or be otherwise fazed by giving up the first goal after all the work the skaters had done at the other end. He is really doing a bang-up job.

There’s still a long way to go before anybody gets any crowns, but it’s getting very exciting. I commend Joe Nieuwendyk for what he’s done so far. I know I was skeptical of his plan, but he seems to know what he’s doing after all. It appears that letting Modano and Turco go was really one of the biggest keys in this surprising (so far) season.

I am still a big fan of Marty Turco as a Star and a person, but it seems the two biggest pluses to this season hinged on letting him go. He’s (a) no longer running or splitting the room, letting Morrow get hold of it and giving the young guys some space to step up, and (b) no longer in the net. It’s pretty apparent that his window closed a couple of years ago and it doesn’t look like it’s going to open back up again this late in his career.

If Kari Lehtonen is playing like he will be playing until he’s 30, this could be really good for a while.

I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s hard not to. Not only is the net covered, but basically all four lines are covered. Guys like James Neal and Mike Ribeiro suffered through some slumps and came out of them. Now everybody seems to be scoring. Even in a game like this one against the Kings, where the score was only 2-1, it still felt like everybody scored.

And hmm, the defense seems to be doing fine. I’m stunned. (Not really. I thought they would be fine. It’s the “experts” who predicted they’d be the Keystone Kops all season.)

I’m not willing to trade anybody good for a disgruntled defenseman, and I don’t want one that doesn’t cost somebody good. I sure don’t want to pick up somebody like Souray off the scrap-heap. I’m willing to take this exact team all the way to the end.

Anyway, I digress. The point is, Woo hoo! The Stars are actually good!

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This has been a very long year for me. I was stressing over the job situation and various other stuff all year, and the fact that the Stars missed the playoffs for the second year in a row just dragged me down further.

So, in an effort to keep from going crazy, I decided to brace myself for the ’10-’11 season and try to be okay with things going poorly. I went ahead and assumed that it wasn’t going to be a good year, that things weren’t going to change much overnight.

There have been some big changes, of course. Our beloved Mike Modano is gone now. I’m not sure what happened to him, but I hope he’s happy. Our once-beloved-but-lately-maligned Marty Turco is gone now. He went to play for the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks (a much easier story to swallow). I admit I haven’t been keeping up with how that’s going, but I hope he’s doing fine. (Blackhawk fans, it might take a while for the defensemen to get used to his puck-handling. Be patient. [Not that there might not be other troubles.].) And our beloved Jere Lehtinen is kind of forgotten but not gone. If I’m not mistaken, he’s still “thinking about it.”

There has been one big lack of a change – at coach – that bothers me a little. Not that I expected there would be a change, but I don’t expect any kind of championship run until there is. If even then.

I say all this to say that I’m okay with how things are going. The hot start was what I didn’t expect. I’m kind of glad it didn’t last long enough for me to get my hopes up too far. I’m calm. I can live with mediocrity this year because I prepared for it.

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It’s been hard picturing what Stars Hockey is going to be like this season.

There are so many changes (and a few non-changes) that make the picture murky. I’ve been a Stars fan since about 1998 and Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen have always been there. Up until a couple of seasons ago, the Stars have mostly always been in the playoffs.

Over the years there have been plenty of peripheral players that came and went. I really liked some of them and wondered what we’d do without them. Then I forgot about them when the next season started. Others I can barely remember. And there are some, like Nik Hagman, that I miss terribly.

I still miss Philippe Boucher, even more so because he’s nowhere to be found. I can’t even watch him play on some other team.

I miss Sergei Zubov terribly, too, and I can’t watch him play anywhere, either.

Now I’ll miss Mike Modano terribly and [I’ll have to pretend] I can’t watch him on his new team. I’ll miss Marty Turco, too. I like the Chicago Blackhawks, so I think I can watch him on his new team. I really like their defensemen, so I am anxious to see what they think about a goalie that can pass as well as any d-man.

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Dallas 3, Colorado 5

They played a pretty good game. Had a lot of shots. Didn’t give up many shots. Yet the opposition still scored five goals.

Five goals a game. That’s the theme of this whole season.

I just have two questions:

1. Why was Sutherby scratched in favor of Barch?
2. Why did Mike Modano only get 8 minutes when he was doing so well in the first?

My guess? Crawford doesn’t know what he’s doing.

There was no way that the Stars were suddenly going to win a bunch of games in a row so it’s really silly to even contemplate it. The surprise was right before the Olympics when they were only one point out of the 8th spot in the standings. That fact was not an indication of the situation. Then, coming off the Olympic break, they went back to not surprising us.

I’m not looking forward to the day Turco moves on, but I am kind of looking forward to it. I know that sounds wrong but that’s the way it is. The problem is that I don’t know what we have with Lehtonen, but I don’t see Turco straightening out.

I think we’ll be a mediocre team while Crawford is leading it. I’m gonna go watch the Coyotes.

Wait. One more thing. Jamie Benn had a great game. And so did the new kid, Brandon Segal. I’m sure Segal will be healthy scratched next game.

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Dallas 4, Washington 2 (SO)

No, it’s not a turning point. Don’t even start with that stuff.

It was fun, though. It was an extremely impressive game by Marty Turco. While I was watching it, I kept thinking how great he seemed to be playing, yet we were down by two goals. Then at the end of the second period the broadcasters pointed out that the Capitals already had fired 42 shots at him.

That’s an unusually high number of shots for a whole game. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many after two periods.

But when the third period rolled around, the Stars were still in it. They poured on the pressure and tied it up, with power play goals by Brad Richards and Trevor Daley and then James Neal scored to take the lead.

Unfortunately, Ovechkin scored to tie it up again.

Unbelievably, (or as Pierre McGuire says, unbleebly) the Stars managed to hold it together through the overtime and score a couple of shootout goals to beat the Caps. That was a very fancy zip-around from Loui Eriksson to score the shootout winner.

It was a fun and exciting game and it showed that the Stars can play and that Turco can tend goal. They allowed a ton of shots but they didn’t give up, probably because their goaltender was actually helping them instead of hindering them.

This game is not a turning point, though. There have been too many games this season where the Stars beat a team they’re not supposed to and everybody says, “See? They can still do it! We just have to keep it going!”

The problem is that they can’t keep it going. They have yet to show that they can keep anything going. There are only 17 games left in the season and they have yet to win three in a row. I can probably count on one hand the number of times they’ve won two in a row. They’re not going to leapfrog all the teams near them in the standings to get into the 8th spot.

Still, it was a great game. I enjoyed it. I hope to enjoy the next game they play. But that’s as far ahead as I’m going to plan.

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Dallas 1, St. Louis 6

Well. That was terrible.

I can’t tell what was bad about it. It all looked the same.

Marty Turco is not helping. Not helping at all.

Our goalie-of-the-future, Kari Lehtonen, had to come in and mop up. He is a large man. That’s all I’m going to take from his first appearance.

And that’s all I have to say about that awful, awful game.

Oh, wait. Jamie Benn took care of himself in a pointless fight, picked by a crybaby that doesn’t like getting hit. He adds another dimension to the greatness of his game.

That’s all I have to say.

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Dallas 1, Los Angeles 5

The Kings even felt sorry for us. Anze Kopitar scored the 5th goal with just seconds to go and basically apologized for it.

That run of games before the Olympic break looked like it might be something building. We were all optimistic and we were just a point out of 8th place. Turco was back, we were scoring. All a mirage, it appears now.

Turco wasn’t at his best. Again. But he wasn’t the only one. Again. Brad Richards passed the puck to a Kings player more often than to a teammate. Steve Ott tripped over his own stick at one point. Krys Barch was Krys Barch.

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