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Sturm Blog: Gritty and Composed

by Bob Sturm / Dallas Stars
Bob Sturm

It was certainly a banner sports day in our fair burg on Saturday, and the Stars did their part in front of a festive audience with a 4-3 win over Detroit.
Both teams had 1 line play at an extraordinary level, with Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, and Todd Bertuzzi on the Detroit side - and the Brad Richards, James Neal, Loui Eriksson trio working magic for the Stars. 
Everytime either line was on the ice, it was with serious trepidation for the opponent.  It is a pleasure to watch a line that understands it cohesion and its chemistry so well.  You can see that the only way to defend them is with 5 players in concert, and even then the talent is such that the goaltending must bail you out from time to time. 
Detroit's line scored all 3 goals for the Wings, and the Stars had 2 goals from James Neal, and another off a Brad Richards feed to the hero of the day, Karlis Skrastins.
I really enjoy Skrastins and his style.  Not the most glamorous signing in the league this summer, Skrastins has been a much needed defensive pillar for the team, and it is scary to wonder where they would be without his contributions helping Robidas and Daley usher along the kids. 
But, on Saturday, with some of the defensemen down to injury, Skrastins found his way into the goal-scoring column, for the first time as a Dallas Star.  And then, he enjoyed it so much, he did it again! 
As Razor indicated, any time a defensive defenseman scores twice, you better win.
It was a great test for these Stars in the 3rd, when Skrastins scored his 2nd, and ultimate game winner.

Could they nurse home a 4-3 lead against a team like Detroit, who is surely not healthy and normal, but still they wear the Wings sweater that has caused plenty of headaches over the years. 
But, they killed off the final 19 minutes in a way that looked natural and easy.  They seemed gritty and composed.  Not always simple, but effective - the Stars won a game in regulation against an opponent that gave them plenty of a challenge. 
A great result for the Stars after a frustrating week, and a great way to blast off the holiday schedule that has plenty of home ice to protect.
In the post game, plenty of talk about Turco's performance, which was uneven to say the least.  But, he should receive marks for his spotless 3rd period after allowing a 1st period goal that should be considered curious. 
4 straight wins for the Stars at home against Detroit, a stat that we might have never thought we would see with the all of the struggles to beat Detroit this entire decade. 
That never gets old.


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