Aside from the fact his team lives to fight another day, the nicest thing for Marty Turco about the Dallas Stars win here today in Detroit is that it should put an end to reminders about his struggles here as a pro.
Turco had some great success in Joe Louis Arena when he played for the University of MIchigan, but he was winless in 11 previous starts with Dallas and it was something no one outside of his team would let him forget.
"There's been a lot documented about his struggles here, but I don't look at it as his, I look at it as our team struggles," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "But one of our themes this years is to find a way to win and to have a will to win and Marty exemplified that tonight. He was going to be denied."
Apparently not because the veteran goalie had to be very sharp in the early going when he was tested by the Red Wings, who ended up firing 39 shots at him, nearly double the Dallas total. But the only one to beat Turco came off a scramble in front of the net on a power play when Dallas didn't have enough bodies to pounce on a loose puck. And even that one by Jiri Hudler barely squeezed inside the post with the goalie in a prone position. Otherwise Turco was unflappable and critical to the victory not only because of his puck stopping but for the way he handled his stick to clear the zone, and in one case, make a great pass that set up the winning goal.
One might say he was destined to turn things around, and Turco admitted that despite his team having its backs to the wall, he felt that this was the day.
"It's probably the best I've ever felt in this building," Turco said. "You're not always a hundred percent confident starting a game, but right from the onset, from the warm-ups, the build up was there for me. I didn't feel like I needed to get into it, I was already there."
Even his teammates realized it. Captain Brenden Morrow talked about the focus Turco had before the game and how comfortable he looked once play started, while Steve Ott mentioned the goalie's ability to rise to special occasions. And Mike Modano made a point of noting that when Turco is as aggressive early in games as he was on this day, it generally means good things for the Stars. And in this case, especially for Turco.
"We talked about it before the game that one of these days he's going to stand out and win us a game here," Modano said. "That's the great thing about sports. You get a lot of second chances to prove yourself over again and to erase a lot of doubt anybody has in you."
Anyone outside the Stars, that it.