With Stars fans and players gearing up for Game 5 in Detroit, many fans have already raised questions of how Marty Turco and the team will play at Joe Louis Arena. The team, especially Turco, have not played well at the Joe this season. With “Believe” plastered on everything around Dallas, the Stars must now truly have faith not only in their team, but also in their talents and ability to win.
The biggest key for Game 5 is the team uniting around Marty Turco. The first two losses in Detroit are in no way his fault, but the entire team knows they must stand together now to conquer the Red Wings. Turco will not face his demons, or Detroit alone. The Stars know they must protect their goalie and make his job easier tomorrow night.
"Everybody knows that Marty's had a difficult time in Detroit," said center Steve Ott, unafraid to state the obvious about Turco's 0-9-2 record on the road against the Red Wings. "That's no secret."
With the record being no secret, Ott believes his teammates and Turco have an obstacle to overcome.
"Marty's an extremely competitive goalie, and I think this sets up great for him," Ott said. "He wants that win probably more than anybody – get that monkey off his back. And getting a win there would be huge for his confidence and the team's, as well. ... So, really, what better time than now?"
Two important points linger in the Stars minds preparing for Detroit.
One: With a win in Game 5, the small seeds of doubt will have been placed into the mind of the best team in hockey. Maybe it is possible for the Red Wings to lose the series. They would also know they have the possibility of becoming only the third team in NHL history to allow an opponent to come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win.
Two: If the Stars lose…the season is over and the Stars can hit the greens and enjoy the golf season.
The Stars have worked hard this year to not be the playoff team they have been in the past with big wins over the 2007 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and the division rival San Jose Sharks. At the forefront of those series’ was the man who had taken most of the blame for the Stars early playoff exits in the past, Marty Turco. Turco faced two top teams to earn his, and the Stars' way to face the Redwings and the winning mentality is being held for tomorrow night.
"Over the last couple of days, we've been talking about doing the right things," Turco said. "I think in years prior, we've not entirely talked about the right things. We now have a firm grasp on how to act, how we need to play, how we're going to do it – and it's together. It's amazing the things you can do when you bond together."
"First and foremost – and Marty would say this – they want to win for the group, they don't want to win for Marty," Stars coach Dave Tippett explained. "You can look at the past, like Colorado when they got Ray Bourque. There are certain situations that act as inner motivation. But in the end, the team trumps any individual."
Tippett noted that while Turco was at his best in a 33-save performance in Wednesday's Game 4, it was the team that won the game and extended the series. He said that attitude should spread confidence throughout the locker room – not just the crease.
"We have confidence in the way we played," Tippett said. "We can talk about what we want to do, all the emotions and everything, but it's a matter of, when you look at what you did, you can build on that. Our guys feel very good today. You get up this morning, you're still alive. That's a strong thing to grab a hold of."
Sort of like grabbing a spear to slay an octopus.
"I think the lack of confidence that we had, it did weigh on a lot of guys," Ott said. "For us to beat them and prove to ourselves, and prove to other people, that we do belong here, we can beat these guys, I think that was really key."
Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images via redwings.nhl.com
Article quotes and information via Dallas morning news