March 09, 2010
The goal cam on NHL broadcasts has given fans a goalie's-eye view of remarkable saves and thrilling offensive chances. On Monday night in D.C., it gave viewers on Versus something offbeat: The chance to see Marty Turco's(notes) amusing reaction to a stumbling Alex Semin shootout attempt in the Dallas Stars' 4-3 win at the Washington Capitals.
"He actually got the shot off, so it wasn't a complete train wreck," said Turco after the game. "In the shootout, you have to be ready for everything."
Like most teams that enter Verizon Center this season, the Stars may not have been ready for the Capitals' offensive barrage in the first two periods, when the home team posted 42 shots on goal and built a 2-0 lead. But Dallas rallied for three goals in the third and won in the shootout -- only the seventh time the Caps have lost at home this season.
"You can't put your finger on it, but it is about attitude and nothing else with this team," said Turco.
"But this team, not having strung together any streaks of wins together all season long, our attitude -- as well as we approach things or talk about it -- it's hard [to win]. You gotta have the right attitude."
The attitude now for Dallas: survival, in the Western Conference playoff push.
According to Mirtle's latest numbers-crunching, the Stars have to go 12-5-0 the rest of the way to make the Western Conference playoffs, as they sit 10th in the West with 70 points, four in back of the Detroit Red Wings.
The problem for Dallas: Their schedule the rest of the way is murderous, with seven games against the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks. That includes a four-game road swing from Nashville through California near the end of the month.
"We have an awful road trip. That makes it ultra tough. Like [a] 'you gotta get lucky' kind of tough," said Turco. "We don't really talk about it because it's so obvious. But it is gut-check time."
Does Monday's performance cement Turco as the goalie for that stretch run?
He laughed when asked, saying it wasn't his call and saying the usual rah-rah stuff about being a good practice player. But he was the difference in D.C. with a career-best 49 saves. It was a declarative performance by a veteran goalie in a tough place to play -- a statement game for Turco, so often (and frequently, fairly) maligned this season.
But more than what the win meant for him, Turco hoped it could spark his teammates as they head to Buffalo on Wednesday.
"I believe [this group] is good and smart enough to believe how big this win was, to come back like this against this team. To not only play against anybody, but win," he said.
"As crazy as this month is, this might be the win that gets us on a roll."