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Examining the Dallas Stars goaltenders

by Evan Grossman

Complete Stars Analysis:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards
Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster

Who's No. 1?

You can make an argument that Marty Turco was as good as, if not better than, Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo in the first-round playoff series between the two teams in which the Dallas goalie tied the NHL record with three shutouts in a series. No matter what side of that debate you’re on, there’s no underestimating Turco’s value to the Stars after yet another sparkling season as the franchise’s top goalie.

Turco will be the No. 1 guy again in Big D as he remains one of the top goaltenders in the NHL. Last season, he won 38 games and finished with six shutouts, and was top-10 in the League in goals-against average, minutes played and total appearances. As valuable as Martin Brodeur is to the Devils and Luongo is to the Canucks, that’s how critical Turco is to the defense-oriented Stars.

This will be Turco’s seventh season in Dallas. He needs 25 wins to reach 200 for his career, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t achieve that milestone this season.

Backup plan

On the nights Turco wasn’t fresh last year, it was rookie Mike Smith who made the change in nets a seamless one for the Stars. The 25-year-old could eventually inherit the No. 1 job from Turco, but for the time being, he is regarded as one of the top backups in the NHL. He and Turco combined to allow 193 goals last year, the fourth-best total of all 30 teams.

Smith saw action in 23 games last year and finished his first NHL season with 12 wins, a 2.23 GAA and .912 save-percentage. Under the close watch of Turco, an NHL All-Star last year, the Dallas goaltending situation appears to be in capable hands for the foreseeable future.

In the Wings

Philippe Sauve -- IAn insurance policy, the 27-year-old has played in 15 games the last two seasons with Calgary, Phoenix and Boston. He played in two games last year with the Bruins with no decisions, a 5.80 GAA and .826 save-percentage.

Steve Silverthorn -- The Colgate University product has spent the last three years split between the East Coast League and Dallas’ AHL affiliate in Iowa. The 26-year old made four AHL appearances last season, going 2-1-0 for Iowa with a 1.92 GAA and .923 save-percentage.

Tobias Stephan -- Taken by the Stars in the second round of the 2002 draft, this 23-year-old native of Switzerland played his first season in North America last year with AHL Iowa. In 27 AHL appearances, the career Swiss-A leaguer went 10-15-0 with a 2.88 GAA and .900 save-percentage.

Marty Turco
Last season, Marty Turco won 38 games and finished with six shutouts.

"Having the strength in the dressing room is something you need to have if you are going to be successful. We felt we had a lot of that last year when we went through some tough times with injuries and a depleted line-up some nights. We had some guys step up and it built character within our team. I feel very good about our leadership on this roster. Having that is very important and it cannot be underestimated."                  -- Stars head coach Dave Tippett

1. In the seven-game series against the Canucks, Turco put together a shutout streak that lasted 130:33 and Dallas won all three games in the series by shutout.

2. The 1.30 GAA Turco carried through the playoffs was his lowest average in five postseason appearances, while the .952 save percentage he posted was also a playoff best.

3. The Turco-Smith tandem allowed 193 total goals for the season, fewer than every NHL team except for Minnesota, Detroit and New Jersey.'s 2007-08 Stars Season Preview Package:
Intro | Goalies | Defense | Forwards | Feature | Numbers | Sked | Roster
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