Marty Needs a Good Yanking

The old hockey adage is that in the Stanley Cup playoffs, teams need their goalies to play extraordinarily well--to "stand on their heads." At this point, the Dallas Stars just need Marty Turco to save face. Already down 0-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in their best-of-seven playoff series, the Stars' promising season could all but end tonight in Denver if Turco doesn't remember who he is. After a Game 2 heartbreak in which he allowed the tying goal with fewer than two minutes remaining, and then a soft goal early in overtime, Turco claimed, "I don't have a very good memory." The 30-year-old tries to deflect pressure with humor, which is all well and good, but this is a goalie who had the third-most wins (41) during the regular season and allowed only 2.5 goals per game. This is a goalie the Stars so feared losing as a free agent they signed him to a giant contract in mid-season.

But in the playoffs, he's allowed five goals per loss, coughing up home-ice leads of 2-0 and 4-3. Drastic times call for desperate moves. During their Cup runs of '99 and '00, the Stars often jump-started goalie Ed Belfour by pulling him from games. And who replaced him? Fella named Marty Turco. Now it's Turco that might be well served by a good yanking. Replaced by backup Johan Hedberg? Or maybe even eye surgeon Dr. William Boothe and his "intense concentration." --Richie Whitt

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky