Friday night at the American Airlines center may have been Marty’s finest effort yet. He was under siege from Vancouver from the opening faceoff, and it looked like only a matter of time before the Sedin’s and company begin lighting the lamp.
But, like Marty has recently, he decided against a Vancouver scoring show. He was flat-out awesome. Big saves and controlling the puck are the best of Marty when he is at his best. It surely has not been an uneventful season, but if this is the #35 that we can expect to see most nights, the Stars sky is the limit.
2008-09 has been quite a roller coaster ride for Marty and Stars fans alike. If he was great in February, it should be noted he was awful in October. And the steady climb has been a real testament to his ability to believe in himself and persevere to get it done.
For kicks, I wanted to run Marty’s numbers by month. If these numbers don’t shock and amaze you, then you might need to keep studying.
I would imagine it would be impossible to continue to improve in Save Percentage and GAA each month for the entire season, but so far he is 5 for 5. Hard to imagine improving on 1.51 and 94%, though; That is pretty lofty territory.
In looking at the numbers since the all star break, it is clear Marty is playing his best hockey right now. He is #1 in the NHL in GAA since the break, and #3 in the NHL in save percentage (Vokoun and Chris Mason). Also, his 7 wins since the break is tops in the entire league.
Last night, we were talking about the work load issue with Turco, and Fox’s John Rhadigan called in to indicate that the modern record for consecutive starts is Martin Brodeur’s 44 in a row back in 1995-96. Turco started his 25th straight last night. I honestly don’t know what to make of this, because I have always kind of felt that goalies don’t work long streaks because we don’t ask them to. Is it impossible, or like the modern day pitch counts, do pitchers only throw 200 innings now instead of 300 because “that is the way we do it now”. Further, unlike a baseball pitcher, there is no sore shoulder that will not allow a goalie to do his job. Aside from avoiding injury, it would seem the biggest foe is your mental capacity to stay locked in.
I will say this, though, with his streak going this long, we can now predict the media’s explanation of any goal he allows – he is tired. It is odd how we compartmentalize everything into simple explanations, but from now on, any time Marty makes a mistake in this streak, it will have to do with the perceived fatigue issue. It kind of drives me nuts, but I have already seen it on the NHL Network last week. When he plays well, apparently we forget about that fatigue. But, if the Stars lose a game, it is because Marty is about to pass out.
I still think the Stars need to address their goalie situation by the deadline, and like many of you, I do wonder if they should grab Curtis Sanford or Manny Legace when they pass through waivers, but they are staying the course with Marty, and so far, so great. You wonder what if any effect this is having on the goalie we will see in the playoffs (assuming there is a playoff in Dallas), but you have to get there first.
Now, every night (including tonight) just continue to hope that Marty stays healthy. I can think of nothing more catastrophic to this season - that now has a positive vibe about it - than a Turco injury issue that would keep him out for a few weeks. That would be very, very bad.
Chicago tonight will have Marty under siege again. I look forward to seeing him pass another test.