From the day I first saw Brenden Morrow in a Dallas Stars jersey, I knew he would be influential. Even in those early games, he showed promise of being a mix of a pure goal scorer like Mike Modano, and a grinding battle in the corner type of player like Brett Hull (who also happens to be one of Morrow’s boyhood idols).
In the early days, Guy Carbonneau (yes, Coach Carbo in Montreal) had taken the young Morrow under his wing. He showed him the way to truly be the grinding type of forward into which Morrow has matured.
"As a rookie, Morrow was Carbonneau's linemate. Their lockers were side-by-side in the old Reunion Arena. After work, it got a little trickier, especially after Brenden met Anne-Marie, Carbonneau’s daughter.
For Morrow, it led to a few meals at the Carbonneau house.
"We'd be waiting for dinner and rearranging the salt and pepper shakers to represent penalty killers or power-play forwards and then Anne-Marie and her mom would walk in with the food and boy were we in trouble for bringing the game home with us," he said, with a laugh.
"He's the sparkplug every team dreams of," said Turco, whose wife, Kelly, often sits with Anne-Marie at games. "He'll stand up to anybody, hit anybody. He's emotional, but he keeps it in check, where the team can feed off it."(1)
This sparkplug-like emotion is what makes Morrow not only a great Captain for the Stars, but also the pulse of the team within the current playoffs. His performance in Game 6 against San Jose is probably one of the best of his career.
The time when Morrow began to really shine was at the end of regulation with a bone jarring hit on Milan Michalek. This put out one of the Sharks most potent threats as the teams geared up for overtime.
During the four-overtime game, Morrow led the Stars in hits with 19; no one else on the team had more than 9. Morrow would go on to play 51 total minutes, second only for Dallas to Mike Ribeiro.
"The Stars feed off Morrow's competitiveness.
The captain doesn't have to be the best skater, the most accomplished scorer, or the most intimidating defenseman. Morrow is none of those.
He's never going to be a pretty player. He's as likely to punch your lights out as he is to put the puck in the net.
He is, without a doubt, the Stars' most relentless player. You can't make him quit. You can't intimidate him. At times, as we saw in Game 6, he refuses to lose.
Morrow will lead, and if the rest of his teammates continue to follow, the Stars will push Detroit to the edge." (2)
*Online sources for this work are listed below in address form.*
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