Dallas Stars (5) at Detroit Red Wings (1) Game 1
For Dallas to not only win the game, but the series, they must claim Joe Louis Arena (much like they did the Shark Tank) as their own. Winning on the road is tough, but so far the Stars have done it.
Some are questioning Marty Turco's ability to win in Detroit. My answer to this is simple. If the Stars defense slow down the pace of the game in Dallas' favor, and not only retain control of the puck, but also block shots and protect Turco like they have throughout the playoffs, then Marty and the Stars should hold their own in Hockey Town.
Dallas' defense is very young and had they had less success than they are enjoying in the playoffs, I might even call them inexperienced; clearly that would be wrong on my part. The Stars defense has shown even with youth on the blue line that they are capable of the suffocating defense Stars teams have been known for since the late 90's.
The reason Dallas will win or lose is because of the defense and protection of Marty Turco. I was present in the January 5th meeting of these teams. Although the Stars had great chances, the game, all in all, was terrible. The Stars defense must make it hell for Detroit’s amazing and quick forwards to get shots off. Less shots on goal for Detroit makes Marty's job easier, and the team's likelihood of winning greater.
The Stars offensive attack will no doubt get good chances and play a physical game against Detroit. The offense must seize good opportunities and get good shots on Chris Osgood. The Stars shooters must score early and often, taking the Detroit faithful and octopi flingers out of the game early. Furthermore, the Stars forwards must get back on defense and help out.
The bottom line for the Stars is to do the little things their Peewee coaches taught them to do long ago to be successful in hockey. The Red Wings and Stars will be an even matchup, and one of great Western Conference powers meeting in an epic battle to journey on for the ultimate prize. The Stars and the Stars' faithful now must do as they have said all spring and Believe. Believe in their abilities and of the destiny to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Ken’s Prediction: Dallas in 7