I despise Sean Avery. I think all goalies, including the ones on his team, hate Sean Avery. He’s a pompous ass who deserves to have his head forcibly inserted into said ass by an opponent. But the NHL has no place in handing down any suspension, let alone six games. It was a stupid public comment and should be addressed by his employer but the real retribution should come on the ice.
I don’t know for sure but I have to assume from his interview afterward that even Stars goalie Marty Turco has no use for Avery and would like to see him dealt with in a more appropriate manner. Of course Turco remembers what Avery did to Marty Brodeur last season and to Rangers’ goalies Henrik Lundqvist and Steve Valliquette this season. Do you really think Turco is going to side with Avery over fellow Olympians Brodeur and Lundqvist?
Avery getting in the face of Brodeur in '07-'08 playoffs
Avery pestering Lundqvist earlier this season
Avery yapping at Valiquette during warmups
My job here at TendersLounge is not to break news (I can’t compete with ESPN for that) but to comment on how it affects the world of goalies. Today the goalie world loses one of the best there’s ever been (I’m not eulogizing him, he is still alive!) as Dominik Hasek has retired from the NHL.
He is the only goalie to win the league MVP award twice. He has six Vezina trophies. He’s won the Stanley Cup twice. He was one half of the most infamous goal in recent NHL history and part of one of the most famous games in recent Olympic history. He finished his career with the highest save percentage ever.
All of those accomplishments might not even cover his biggest accomplishment and that was changing the way the position was played. You may not have been able to call it a style, but he changed the game none-the-less. Call it the ‘Hasek style of goaltending’. Call it the “stop-the-puck-with-any-part-of-your-body style”. Or as MasterCard so eloquently put it years ago, “having a slinky for a spine… priceless”.
As the Dallas Stars prepare for their return to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2000 a lot is being made of Marty Turco’s career record against the Red Wings (2-10-5). Even more is being said about his record at Joe Louis arena in Detroit (0-7-2; 3.17 GAA). Should Stars fans be worried about a goalie who is playing in his first conference final? Hardly.
For a few years Turco has been considered one of the top goalies in the NHL but he has consistently faced criticism for only winning one playoff round since he assumed the starting role from Ed Belfour in ’03. This year he has delivered the type of goaltending required in the playoffs with a 1.73 GAA and a .923 save percentage. Not to mention the best game of his life in stopping 61 shots against the Sharks in their 4OT thriller in game seven.
So which Marty Turco will the Wings see in game one on Thursday? The one who’s winless at the Joe as a professional or the one who led Michigan to two NCAA titles and used to love playing college games at the Joe? According to Turco himself it’s the latter: “(the Joe) has a lot of great memories for me, not just the disappointing ones in the NHL. I’m really looking forward to going back there and looking to have some more success.”
It’s always seemed like it was just a matter of time before Turco took a leading role on the Stars and it appears that time is now.