Someone shouted “Clear!” and in a snap, the Dallas Stars were defibrillated back to life. That's good for hockey in Dallas and tough tiddy for fans in Detroit.
Before Saturday, everyone kept returning to Marty Turco’s bad record in Detroit like it was a mosquito bite they just had to itch. Tired of hearing about it, Turco led his team to victory with 37 saves—many of them glorious—and some great offensive play.
That’s right. Marty Turco’s offensive play was a major game breaker.
Now, the Red Wings find themselves in the crucible of the American Airline Center for game six in Dallas—a game six that should have been as needless as the period in Bleacher Report’s logo.
Because of this loss, over 20,000 die-hard Red Wing fans went home grouchy. And on a Saturday too.
Allow me to consult my coaching notebook.
What the Stars need to do to win:
Marty Turco must play as well as he did the past two games, and perhaps even better, to fan the flames of his team’s confidence.
Moreover, the Stars defense must continue to collapse down low and take away Detroit’s shooting lanes. If they do, the Red Wings will be hard-pressed to score.
The Dallas Stars’ stars must be their stars. I didn’t write that just to say “stars” a lot, because their team needs it to be true.
While Brendan Morrow has kept up his scoring pace, Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards and Mike Modano have been rather quiet, notching six points and only one goal between the three. If the Stars should advance to the Finals, they will need more production out them.
What the Red Wings must do to win:
Primarily, they must relax a little, and those mental mistakes will disappear.
They need to stop turning over the puck in their own end, and their defense needs to get back to playing like the NHL’s best. Their forwards have to communicate and catch their third attacker, who has hurt them the past two games.
Offensively, Detroit needs more secondary scoring. Dan Cleary has been snake-bitten all playoffs and is due for a goal big-style, and the same goes for Mikael Samuelson. These two players need to fill the offensive gap that Johan Franzen has left.
Marty Turco burned the Wings not once, but twice, because of wimpy dump-ins and bad line changes. Detroit forwards must come into the Stars’ end with speed and get it deep without sending the puck to Turco first.
See you at the bar.