by Mike Chen on 11/21/08 at 11:55 PM ET
If you’re a Stars fan, news of Brenden Morrow’s torn ACL is probably the worst thing that could happen next to getting into a drinking contest with Ed Belfour. (Bet a billion dollars on that one.)
However, it’s not the end of the world. Really, it’s not. This faltering Stars team does have a glimmer of hope, but it’ll require a lot of things to go right—and it’ll also need a lot of people to step up. Here’s how Dallas can survive the Morrow injury.
Of course, it all starts with Marty Turco. Yes, Turco’s season has been ridiculously awful, perhaps even worse than getting into a drinking contest with Ed Belfour. (Maybe that explains why Turco’s play has been so bad). But we all know that Turco is an all-world goalie; he’s simply too good to be this bad for the duration of the season. There are many formulas that can lead to a successful Stars season but all of them have Turco in the equation. Without Turco stepping up, there’s simply no hope.
Ok, let’s assume Marty Turco returns to form starting Saturday against Anaheim. Then what? You lose your heart-and-soul player who also happens to be one of your best players on both sides of the puck. That’s where Brad Richards and Mike Modano have to step up. Richard has continually underachieved since arriving in Dallas and Modano’s well past his best years. Can Richards return to the form that saw him hit 90+ points in Tampa Bay? Can Modano find another gear to carry this team one last time?
As Yoda once said, on this everything depends. Because pinning your hopes on Mike Ribiero simply ain’t gonna cut it. Ribiero’s the furthest thing from a defensive forward, he’s not particularly gritty, and he’s a playmaker rather than a goal scorer. Loui Eriksson has put up impressive goal numbers so far this season, and he’s often been the recipient of Mike Ribiero passes. However, it’s very critical to note that Morrow often played with those two. Morrow’s hard forecheck and tough board work was often key to the puck possession that led to those Ribiero passes and Eriksson goals. Can that happen when Morrow’s taken out of the mix? I’m leaning towards no.
So what happens now? Stars fans (and I’m certainly not one of them), let give you another geek quote to give you hope.
Captain Kirk: I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim.
Captain Picard: You could say that.
Captain Kirk: (dramatic William Shatner pause) Sounds like fun.
(In this post, I made a Star Wars reference, a Star Trek reference, and two references two Ed Belfour’s billion-dollar bribe. That’s gotta be some sort of world record.)
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