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Three days of peace

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

October 26, 2003

By J. Douglas Foster

There's a funny thing that happens in the professional sports business.

Say, for instance, there are three off days between one game and the next. The level of confidence and happiness players feel during those three days often times is a direct result of how they performed in their most recent game.

Win that game, and it's a good three days. Lose that game, and it's three days of "what ifs" and "whys."

There's no easy way to explain it. That's just competitive nature.

"You try to keep it from being an emotional roller coaster," Stars head coach Dave Tippett said. "But we're in a results-oriented business. We want results. And if you don't get the results you want, you spend the time figuring out how you can get them.

"If you get results, you use that confidence during the off days. Those wins build a team's confidence."

That's the biggest difference the third period of Saturday's 3-2 victory against Columbus could make for the entire Stars roster during the next three days. Because they got three goals in the final 20 minutes on the way to a comeback victory, they can be content with themselves before they face the Calgary Flames Wednesday at home. Had they not, it would have been three days of frustration.

Fortunately, it wasn't the latter.

"It was a good win for us," Tippett said.

That it was. And it was for many reasons.

For starters, goaltender Marty Turco had a very solid outing, making a few very big saves as his team tried to kill more the one 5-on-3.

"That could have been Marty's best outing of the year," Tippett said.

The Stars also saw their captain, Mike Modano, play what Tippett said was his best game in quite some time. They also had very solid performances -- inspiring performances -- from hard-nosed players such as Rob DiMaio and Aaron Downey.

Now, they just hope to carry that into Wednesday's game with the Flames, their one stop at home before heading back on the road.

While they wait for the Flames, the Stars have good news on the status of Brenden Morrow, who left Saturday's game after suffering headaches following a collision late in the second period.

The good news is that Morrow, who has been one of his team's best players early this season, practiced with the team Monday and appears ready to go this week.

That, no doubt, is even better news that Saturday's victory -- and something else positive to dwell on for two or three days.

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