Saturday, September 1, 2007

Turco Overcomes Playoff Woes... Kinda

Marty Turco has been haunted by his play in the playoffs ever since he received the starting role for the Dallas Stars in 2002. Last offseason he aimed to change that. He made changes to his diet and exercise plan, and even shied away from group activities within the team, all in hopes of changing his luck in the postseason. The result: a first round playoff exit by the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. It was not at all his fault though. He had 3 shutouts, and led all playoff goaltenders with a 1.30 GAA. He played very well for the Stars in that series, the problem was that they just couldn't score for him. If Turco continues these routines, he will be doing what every goalie wishes to do, and that is give your team a chance to win. With the talent Turco has, he should be able to do that, and more. 06/07 was a very good year for goalies in the big D in general, as first-year backup Mike Smith stepped in unbelievably, playing 23 games, and posting a 2.23 GAA. He should continue to improve, and be a solid backup for Turco for years to come. He may even be able to step in for Turco, sometime down the road.

In terms of prospects, the Stars have a Swiss netminder named Tobias Stephan. He spent his first year in North America last season with Iowa of the AHL. He only played in 27 games, but proved that he could handle more, and now that he's accustomed to the different style of play, he should continue to make strides at the pro level. He's a calm, cool, and collected butterfly style goaltender, and rarely seems to panic. He has excellent size and great reflexes, a good combination. He is criticized for having a weak five-hole, and has some consistency issues, which could be due to lack of endurance. Those are all things that can be fixed, so Stars fans should not be worried. He is certainly a name to watch this upcoming season, because if he continues to get better, he may be called up sooner than we all thought. Other than Stephan the Stars are very weak in the depth charts at goaltending, mainly due to their confidence in Turco, so they haven't been drafting any young goalies. Turco should be the man between the pipes for the Stars in the foreseeable future, with Mike Smith waiting in the wings, and Tobias Stephan in the background.


Anonymous said...

They've got a couple of goaltending prospects drafted in the past three years, but the organizational depth is pretty barren.