Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is He Back?

Stars beat the Phoenix Coyotes last night, and Loui Eriksson was the hero with 2 goals. He now has 14, and I believe he will break “the Brenden Morrow factoid” into many pieces. “The Brenden Morrow factoid” is one of the more disturbing trends about this franchise, and I plan on writing an entire study about it very soon, however, the short version is this: No Dallas Stars draftee has scored 20 goals in a NHL season since Brenden Morrow. 1997 was Morrow’s draft, so to go for more than a decade without drafting a 20 goal scorer is shocking and disappointing. However, Eriksson and Neal have us all hoping that the Morrow Factoid is about to be blown out of the water. I love watching Eriksson grow up before our eyes, and I think we can all agree that the brightest spot of a dark season has been seeing the future the Stars have in Eriksson, Neal, and Brunnstrom.

Meanwhile, don’t look now but Marty Turco is playing like Marty Turco. After back to back starts where he held Detroit and Phoenix to 2 goals (total) on 61 shots, he looks like he owns his crease, and if it were not for that meltdown goal where Trevor Daley mishandled a Turco pass last time Phoenix came through town, the Stars
may really be rolling right now.

Since he was pretty much the most vocal Dallas Stars player regarding the Sean Avery soap opera, I was very curious if the exit of Avery would have any impact on Turco’s play. If people suggest that the play of Turco was negatively affected by the circus, wouldn’t it be positively affected after that?

Well, so far, it is actually pretty convincing. Looking at the below chart, look how starts 21-27 for Turco – which include the last game with Avery and the 6 starts without him – appear to be the best work of his season.

GamesGoals allowed per StartSave Percentage

Table Tutorial

I am still not too crazy about the fact that in 30 games this season, Turco already has 27 starts (90%). I am not sure if the Stars are trying to make Marty the Martin Brodeur of his office, as Brodeur actually has started 78 games in a season, but I think they need to be careful with him so they don’t run him into the ground. Tobias Stephan looked the part in Nashville, so let’s see some more of the guy and not just wear down Turco.

Finally, I wanted to write a little something about Mike Ribeiro. There is no doubt his production is feeling the effects of not having Brenden Morrow around. The Stars success in the playoffs last year was largely due to the unstoppable duo of 63 and 10. Now, the numbers are quite clear that Brenden is the necessary finisher that Ribs needs.

RibeiroWith MorrowWithout Morrow

Table Tutorial

Notice that Ribs goal totals are not affected. But he is a special player because he sets up his mates with great passes, generally from below the goal line. He needs a finisher, and without Morrow, Ribeiro is having a hard time breaking loose. Loui's overtime winner last night was set up by a vintage Ribeiro pass from down low. Maybe that is a combination they should roll with for a while.


Jay Beerley said...

No mention of the fact that we got out of the basement?! Ouch.

Avery vs. Owens as a cancer?
At least it seems we can still win with Owens, not so much with Avery. That guy is crazy. I still stand with my thoughts on free speech and perhaps an undeserved suspension, but the reality is that the contract he received was more undeserved for such a headcase. Good riddance.

Actually looking forward to the rest of the season!

Jake said...

Unrelated but interesting read:

Winchester was mentioned.

CottonMcKnight said...

the dark green tables are tough on the reading...just sayin'