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Training Camp Blog: A View From Within

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars

Throughout training camp, different members of the Dallas Stars will sit down and share their thoughts on the day’s events leading up until Opening Night.

2008 Stars Training Camp Photo Gallery
Day 1: September 19, 2008
Goaltender Marty Turco:

The excitement for the start of the season is definitely here, and last night and this morning a large part of me was excited to get going again. I haven’t gotten up early in a long time and felt this excited to get to work, knowing that everybody was going to be there. This is our team, and no matter who plays at the start of the year, who gets called up during the playoffs and everything in between, all these players are here, barring any changes. This is the team that we’re going to make a run at the Stanley Cup with.

This is Day 1 of a long journey, but one that is hopefully going to be utilized every day to go toward that championship. It was exciting to see everybody gather and hear the excitement in (co-general manager) Les Jackson’s voice and Coach Tippett’s too, and then seeing the guys jump on the ice and get after it.

As veterans, we were able to get a lot of our physical testing out of the way early this week and last week, so that was nice, and we had a pretty easy day today. Most of the guys were able to get their testing out of the way early. We like to try and avoid the chaos by coming in early and getting some of the testing done. Not having to worry about that, we could focus more on the guys and the team being back at work, and just getting out there and having the first full, meaningful practice of the season.

Having the training camp in Dallas is great; I get to go home and be with the family. As you know I’ve got my newborn son, Finley. You don’t feel like you’re sacrificing as much as when we’ve had camp in Colorado or somewhere like that. You kind of get the best of both worlds on days like today.

Being back on the ice with coaches and running through a real practice felt good. It’s amazing – the speed of the game picks up so much more when you get to today. There are more guys out there and they’re a little more eager to do things, because they know they have to get ready for game situations and they just can’t turn a switch on to make smart decisions.

As a goalie, I’m starting to see a lot more game-like shots, a lot of guys driving to the net, tips, rebounds, a lot more flow. The biggest thing I look forward to is the practice, the repetition of shots. It’s going to take some time, but I’ve always notoriously not been a training camp goaltender, because I’ve never put an emphasis on peaking at this time of year. It’s a building process for me, too. October 10th is what I’ve got my sights on, but I’m not losing sight of how important it is to be smart and work hard this time of the year, too. So far, so good. I got scored on a lot today, so the confidence is there, but the humility has definitely taken a step forward.

I feel like I’m in great shape, physically, and that’s my major goal through the summer. I don’t play much – I didn’t strap on skates until September – but for me, the health of my body is what I focus on. The way I play, the torture I put my body through, I need that time off, time to re-coop in the weight room. That gets me through the season. I’ve gotten into a pretty good routine, so I feel like I’ve had a pretty good summer and I’m back in shape. All that work is just preparing you for the real work of the season. We’re all glad it’s here.

We had our team mostly out there today; a few new guys, but everyone looked good. No one looked out of place, out of shape or looked liked they haven’t been skating, so that’s a good sign.

Tomorrow we start mixing things up. We’ve got two teams and we’re going to have some scrimmages, and I know I’ll have my eye on some of the younger guys to see how they’re working out there, and watching them play with their hearts on their sleeves, leaving it all out there. It’s a fun time of year for those guys. They’re so eager and so excited to get out there. They try so hard and they’re playing like a lot of veterans do during mid-season or the playoffs. I remember that feeling quite clearly when I was young and not guaranteed a roster spot. Every shot and pass, and for me every save and goal felt like it meant so much.

I’m in Group B tomorrow and unfortunately our team doesn’t have any practice or warm up before the scrimmage. Hopefully that won’t affect us too much, but we’ll have to see.

Overall, it’s just great to be back with the guys and back on the ice.

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