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Taking on Turco

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The past few days the news of Marty Turco still being available has been directed toward Columbus. Have we no faith in our once amazing young Steve Mason? Well, no. This has been the backdoor flung open for the past couple seasons.  The famed season he had with 33 wins in 61 games has turned into 44 wins in 112 games.  Now let’s just say by some stroke of luck the hockey gods gift the Jackets with another playoff run. Considering this, like every team, we have to look to our goaltending to get us to the cup.

 

At this very moment Columbus has two goaltenders that never experienced a winning playoff game. You know, Steve isn’t ready and probably still has nightmares about the 17 goals that got by him from Detroit in the first ever playoff appearance of the Blue Jackets. Hell, newly acquired Mark Dekanich hasn’t ever had the chance. The one and only time he got the opportunity to play in an official NHL game was as a backup in Nashville. Starting goaltender Pekka Rinne was pulled after 3 goals went past him courtesy of the L.A. Kings and Mark got his chance.  Maybe it was the excitement or the fact that he was stepping into the highest level contest of ice hockey, but he collected 3 goals in his net after 25 shots ending in a 6-1 loss.

As far as the Jacket’s go everything that you could think of is covered. Allow me to break down the grocery list from this off season:

Goal Scorers-CHECK
- Jeff Carter, a Center with a career high of 84 points

A Fill-in for an injured Huselius-CHECK
- Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal, a Left Wing with a career high of 80 points

Power Play strong Defenseman- CHECK
- James Wisniewski, a Defenseman with a career high of 30 points and 16 power play points (in 43 games)

A reliable Goaltender to back up Steve Mason-

CHECK


- Mark Dekanich, a Right handed Goaltender with a career high of 27 wins and 16 losses…in the AHL
- Curtis Sanford, a Right handed Goaltender with a career high of 23 wins and 11 losses in the AHL but has seen action in the NHL 5 times with the Blues and Canucks with a combined record of 37 wins and 48 losses.

Now we have a problem and I have a bone to pick with Scott Howson. What were you thinking when you decided to spend money on players that you hoped would succeed? These aren’t your kids, and I hope you’re not doing someone a favor. We are already taking a chance with our young goaltender starting for the past 3 seasons and look where that has gotten us.

Let’s go back to thinking we’re in the playoffs.  Let’s dream that after the 2011-2012 season we made it. Mason bombs the first game, we hold our breath. Again it happens. Oh my, what to do? Put in Dekanich? Well, no, let’s give Mason another chance. Same story, we’re out. Why not use the money left to pick up a goaltender that has playoff experience like the available, over the hill Turco? His playoff runs are frequent although he hasn’t gotten his name on the Cup yet. He knows the waters and can teach young Mason to swim. What in God’s name is stopping Howson from making this deal?

35 year old Marty Turco has proven himself in the past and now it’s time to let him rest as a backup and give Mason pointers on how to handle the puck as well as he can. You get what you wanted with him. He isn’t left handed. That’s why you traded Garon in hopes it would improve our shootout attempts on a goalie that catches with his left after having the team practice on 2 right catching keepers.  He’s got the numbers, even last year he was better than Mason’s goals against average by a hair and exceeded his percentage of wins and losses.  He’s Blue Jacket material and perfect for our purposes. I don’t care how old he is after seeing that Roloson, at 41, was resigned.

I can’t imagine how badly Turco wants to play another season, and if it works out he might be on for a few more. We have room for him to play with $7,000,000 still hanging in the air. So, please Scottie, do Columbus a favor and make the right choice. We’re as desperate as Turco right now.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nicholas Lorenzi, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marty+turco

Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

On the money.. Cbus is still in desperate need of a bonified starter in net.. how long do you let the mason experiment go on?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/10/11 at 07:45 PM ET

Avatar

On the money.. Cbus is still in desperate need of a bonified starter in net.. how long do you let the mason experiment go on?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/10/11 at 05:45 PM ET

Until the competition committee makes him take those bricks off the top of his chest protector.

Could be worse: at least the jackets got Carter for their 1st rounder and not friggin Varliamov.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/10/11 at 08:53 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

haha, they definitely made some moves to be competitive, but without the goalie they wont be conference champ contenders.. can’t bring myself to say “blue jackets” and ... you know what… in the same sentence.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/10/11 at 10:27 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t think it matters who is in net, the support system isn’t there for any goalie.  I’ve been saying this for some time now.  It’s not coincidental that young goalies come into CBus, tear it up, and then hit a wall they never seem to remove from their path once opponents start to figure them out because their development is non-existent.  It happened with Leclaire, and now it’s happened to Mason.

Get the goalies some better one-on-one coaching and development.

And you don’t want Turco.  God…  you’re in a division with DETROIT, who Turco wakes up out of sleep screaming about at nights still because of the way they abused him in the past.  It got so bad when he was in DAL that the Stars always made sure to play the backup whenever the Wings were on the schedule (and lo’ and behold the backup always did better).

I watched Turco come up in college and the then-IHL.  His confidence then compared to now… he just plain doesn’t have it anymore and is mental case.  You don’t want that around the young goalies.

Conklin would have been a perfect fit.  I actually expected CBS to sign him before DET did… give the keys to Mason but give Conklin the chicken-brake.  But oh well, that’s gone now…

Posted by Primis on 08/10/11 at 11:57 PM ET

Nicholas Lorenzi's avatar

I don’t think it matters who is in net, the support system isn’t there for any goalie.  I’ve been saying this for some time now.  It’s not coincidental that young goalies come into CBus, tear it up, and then hit a wall they never seem to remove from their path once opponents start to figure them out because their development is non-existent.  It happened with Leclaire, and now it’s happened to Mason.[/quote

I completely agree but there are way too many times when Mason tightens up with a puck flying over his shoulder. Not to mention Mike Commodore kicking goals into Mason’s 5-hole. Leclaire had his hay day with shutout streaks but in the end injuries slow him down, luckily in his trade we nabbed Vermette from Ottawa. Besides a guy who gets injured while sitting on the bench, re: puck flying into his face, is just bad luck. Just look at his record.

And you don’t want Turco.  God…  you’re in a division with DETROIT, who Turco wakes up out of sleep screaming about at nights still because of the way they abused him in the past.

I’m sure Mason does too. Picking up Turco wouldn’t really affect this at all. In the past three years the numbers stand (against Detroit):

Mason: 6 Wins 8 Losses 42 Goals Allowed
Turco: 4 Wins 3 Losses 21 Goals Allowed

So I’m still sold even if they leak like sieves when they see the Wings. Asking for a goalie that’s good against Detroit is something no team would hold their breath for. I’d love to have Conklin back but that ship has sailed.

… he just plain doesn’t have it anymore and is mental case.  You don’t want that around the young goalies.

That’s a risk I’m willing to take, it can’t get much worse really. I’m hoping a last minute trade would amp him up to “give it his all”. Anything is better than what they currently have in place.

Cbus is still in desperate need of a bonified starter in net.. how long do you let the mason experiment go on?

My guess is that if he doesn’t have a winning season he’ll be traded and Columbus will be searching again in a dark room again for a keeper.

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 08/11/11 at 01:28 AM ET

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Don’t disagree on premise that experienced backup would help, but couldn’t agree more with Primis that Turco is not the answer. 

IMO Howson had someone in mind on July 1st but missed out on him and decided to take a chance on an up & comer like the Dex show after none of the other avail vets were of interest.

The young hungry backup may push Mason more than the reliable experienced vet ever did.  Don’t forget a full time goalie coach was hired and will be tasked to bring the youngsters along.  Should the Jacket contend for playoff spot, Howson can always bring in a vet in during the season - like TB did with Roloson last year.

Posted by puckeye on 08/11/11 at 01:58 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Wasn’t mases coach the one who tried to commit suicide? Doesn’t help mases mental toughness

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/11/11 at 06:41 AM ET

Nicholas Lorenzi's avatar

Turco isn’t really the answer but one helluva option everyone has right now and we could take advantage of it. I’m happy about Ian Clark but he is the only variable in all of this that gives us a little hope in the crease.

I guess I’m just saying that it wouldn’t hurt at all to bring someone in who’s older than 25 and had his career together at one time. His numbers are dipping just like Hasek’s did from 1997-2000 and I hope that if the Jacket’s pick him up he’ll be on a good upward trend again.

The Blue Jackets experiment could use a few more elements thrown in there. I agree with you puckeye that Howson could bring him in later but I’m worried about another team picking him up who has hella cap space like Winnepeg.

Posted by Nicholas Lorenzi on 08/11/11 at 02:17 PM ET

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You know, it might be worth having a stopgap like Turco (for one season only), then taking a run at a 3 year deal with Brent Johnson in the mentor/backup role the season after that. The guy’s been exemplary in that role as a Penguin, but I’d be surprised if he were re-signed because Pittsburgh’s kind of got a logjam at that position.

Fleury doesn’t really need a mentor anymore (Mason could use one) and Wilkes-Barre’s Brad Thiessen is past-due for a long look after winning Vezina equivalents in both the NCAA and AHL—a long look he’ll never get as long as steady, reliable, amiable Brent Johnson is on the roster and healthy.

The more I think about this, the more I like this idea. Johnson’s hometown isn’t all that far from Columbus and the struggling Jackets marketing people could do an ‘our backup goalie can beat your ahl goon’s ass’ promotion that might sell a few tickets.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/11/11 at 05:00 PM ET

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God…  you’re in a division with DETROIT, who Turco wakes up out of sleep screaming about at nights still because of the way they abused him in the past.

Yeah, you certainly don’t want to pick up a guy as a back up because of 3 games in they’re going to play at the Joe…

Posted by Garth on 08/12/11 at 12:39 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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