by PuckStopsHere on 11/01/08 at 08:09 AM ET
Most people expected the Dallas Stars to do pretty well this season. They were fresh off a trip to the Stanley Cup semi-finals and would have Brad Richards joining their offence for the entire season. Marty Turco had provided solid goaltending for the last several years. There was no reason to doubt his ability to keep that up into the future. However, the goaltending has not been there. Dallas has the worst goals against average in the NHL. They have allowed 4.09 goals per game (they had a sizeable lead over second place Atlanta’s 3.70 GAA).
The problem is clearly their goaltending. Among goalies with four or more games played, they have the goalies with the two worst saves percentages in the NHL. Marty Turco has a .842 saves percentage and a 4.26 GAA. His backup, rookie Tobias Stephan does not look much better with his .857 saves percentage and 3.53 GAA. For comparison, the next goalie on the list Dan Ellis of Nashville has a .873 saves percentage.
It has been a long time since a goalie has gone through a season with as poor a saves percentage as either of the Dallas pair. Given Turco’s history, it is likely that he will pick up his game, but it is not clear that Stephan can supply NHL calibre goaltending.
Dallas is in trouble if their goaltending remains this poor. It probably will not as Marty Turco is a proven NHL goaltender. As long as it does, the Dallas Stars will be looking up at the standings from near the bottom.
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