There goes another monkey off the back of Marty Turco.
Despite being one of the world’s best players at his position, Turco is consistently one of the most underappreciated, as well.
People always want more from the unpredictable tender. A year ago he posted three shutouts in the first round, but because Dallas lost, Turco, still, wasn’t a “playoff goalie.”
And again this season, Marty has been the central piece of Dallas’ run to the Conference final. He toppled the defending champion Ducks with ease and outlasted the Pacific Division-champion Sharks in a legendary marathon.
So when the Conference final was about to begin, talk didn’t praise the dominance Turco had displayed over two elite hockey clubs, rather it pointed out another flaw: he had yet to win in Detroit as a professional.
While the Stars did fall behind 3-0 in the series to a relentless and impressive Detroit team – let’s not discount anything they have shown us this round - it is hard to write Dallas off after seeing the display put on by their goalie Saturday afternoon.
Marty not only turned aside 38 shots against a Detroit attack that just kept coming, he was also the catalyst for both of Dallas’ goals.
The way Turco confidently and sure-handedly plays the puck and changes the momentum of a rush is an important counter-attack on the Red Wings offense, which rarely gives up control.
The Stars haven’t generated much in the way of shots this series – Osgood faced 21 Saturday – so when Turco comes out to play it’s like having a third offensive-minded defenseman on the backend. For Dallas, a team with some quick forwards, it’s a creative and key way to generate a quick opportunity.
So I suppose Turco’s real curse is that his unique style stands out so much that when his team wins he gets lauded for his game-changing plays, but when they lose he gets the old “why can’t you be just like the other world class goalies.”
Saturday he was simply brilliant, and as long as the Stars can score this series is far from over.
I attended the Russia-Switzerland game in Quebec City Wednesday night and to any hockey fan who ever gets the chance to see one of these events, don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
It was an experience unlike any other hockey game I’ve been to. The constant chanting, flag waving and singing – the Swiss fans were still partying down 6-0! – from pockets of fans from around the world is a totally different and more lively atmosphere than you ever see in the NHL.
It is a sight to see and behold.
On a sad note
It brought me shock and sadness to hear earlier this week of the passing of Dave Steinhart.
Steinhart’s “money game” segment on Toronto’s Fan 590 sports radio was a pausing part of the morning show for me. His take on stories from the sports business world was full of insight and delivered with a sense of excitement and joy.
Here is a great tribute written by Steinhart’s former colleague Robert Thompson.
My condolences to his family and friends.
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