Stars 4, Wild 2
Some one tell Marty Turco to play like that all the time. I was in the building and still almost did not believe how he played last night. Turco stopped 40 of 42 shots and the Dallas Stars again beat the Minnesota Wild in Dallas, 4-2 last night. The 40 saves were the most Marty has stopped this season and he looked like the Marty that has been the man in net for this team for years, and a top 10 goalie in the NHL for most of this decade. I don’t know if Turco was trying to improve his value to somewhere else he might end up, or if he is pushing to get back in the net and stay here. But either way he probably did both last night in the win. He looked solid and although the Stars were constantly out-shot in the game, they and Turco always seemed in control. And for that apparently Turco will start in net tomorrow night too.
A big part of the win besides Turco was the offense and its effectiveness. Despite Minnesota stacking up shots left and right, Dallas used what shots they did take and scored the timely goals to bring home the win. Again the guy who is a huge part of why I fell in love with hockey, Mike Modano, was very active and added two points in the game. Modano got the primary set-up on Richards 2nd period power-play goal, and then added a goal in final minute of the 2nd right after the Wild closed the gap to 2-1. Modano continues to play at a high level since getting more playing time in the games, but more time off in between the games. He now has 7 goals in the last 10 games, and funny enough even without Ribeiro and the goal-tending situation uncertain, this team is playing better. Benn, Richards and Neal added goals along with Modano. A big part of the game was after the Stars got up 2-0, every time the Wild got the game back within one goal, the Stars scored within a minute after to put it back to a 2 goal lead.
Something slightly missing was the physical game the Stars have been playing with more recently, especially at home. Steve Ott did decide to man-handle Clutterbuck twice in a pair of fights (the second time needed after already beating smacked around once Clutterbuck threw a shoulder at Richards in open ice later in the game). But besides the fighting the Stars played a skating game, and tomorrow night the Stars make a trip to Columbus where I think the Stars will have to bring the physical game back on the road to be successful going forward.
Side note for tomorrow’s game: Columbus today fired their head coach Ken Hitchcock. Of course Hitch is the former coach of the Stars during the deep playoff run years and Stanley Cup season, and he had a few decent years in Columbus. But the defensive minded coach apparently is not in their future plans after this team after the Blue Jackets made the playoffs for the 1st time last year, but this year have looked horrible again.