Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco's numbers in the last two games against the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks have been outstanding, especially in comparison to the rest of his putrid season. Dallas spotted him a 5-1 comfort zone in the win against Anaheim on Friday; last night's game at San Jose had no margin for error, tied 1-1 late in the third period. And that's when Turco made this gigantic blunder:
A blind backhand into the slot with less than a minute to go in the game probably doesn't rank high on the list of "Things Struggling Goalies Should Do." Yahoo! Sports NHL editor Ross McKeon, in a column on the gaffe, quotes Turco: "I don't know what I was thinking, really." Join the club.
Beat writer Mike Heika had reaction from the locker room for Dallas Stars Blog:
Generally speaking, the Stars tried to focus on the good things that happened.
"Marty played a heck of a game, and made some big saves at critical points," Brenden Morrow said. "It's disappointing that we didn't come out with points, but on the bright side, we played a heck of a game against an elite team."
Turco concluded: "My embarassment aside, we were in the game and at least had a chance to get a point. That's huge for where we were and where we are in team confidence."
True, but this Turco goof cements the state of the Stars: More than offensive concerns or health or internal chemistry, this team lives or dies on Turco's competence. That Stars fans focus their frustration on guys like Sean Avery and Steve Ott rather than an absolute abomination between the pipes this season is baffling. But Puck Daddy reader Taylor says not every Stars fan agrees:
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"While Mike Heika fielded a bunch of comments questioning Avery's influence on the team, regardless whether they win or lose, it will ALWAYS be Marty Turco's fault in the eyes of some fans. Doesn't matter if he's being screened, his defensemen aren't playing well, or if someone slashes his stick, it will always be his fault."
Dallas is one St. Louis victory away from being last in the conference. Turco shoulders the vast majority of the responsibility for that record.