Before Corey Crawford’s bandwagon breaks an axle, I’ll get it out of the way that this post isn’t me clamoring for Marty Turco to get more starts in net. However, this is me solidifying my position when I state fans shouldn’t immediately gasp when he gets the nod.
Turco’s 26-save effort in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win against the Columbus Inappropriate Acronyms won’t earn him any Vezina votes, but I also have a strange feeling it won’t get him any more beats from the fading hearts of his naysayers. It’s unfortunate, though most likely true.
While Turco sat on his ass as Crawford won over the fanbase in a city so fond of the “backup,” he maintained his stance of being a consummate professional in every sense of the label. He’s said and done all the right things while he watched a kid outplay him and take a job he specifically came here to do and succeed at.
That may not seem valuable to those who kill themselves with each loss and resurrect with the smallest glimmer of hope. What’s lost is that Turco’s professionalism, patience and team-first attitude specifically led to his performance in net Sunday night. That, and a better defensive effort in front of him.
Keep in mind, Turco has face 107 more shots than Crawford in only three extra starts. Though Crawford has indeed played better than Turco, being outplayed isn’t so bad considering the facts.
Click the jump for more recap and Boxing with ‘Hawks/Inappropriate Acronyms
The early comparisons to Cristobal Huet simply because he was supplanted by a younger netminder are completely and utterly ridiculous. Remember that Huet’s contract and potential had him viewed as the goaltender who would lead the Blackhawks to the Cup – not by fans, but by management.
Turco is chasing a championship, like so many athletes have done for generations. He came here to win a Cup by doing whatever was asked of him. Lately, he’s been asked to be the solid veteran backup to perform when called upon. The reason he hasn’t spoken about his unhappiness is simple – he’s not unhappy with sitting.
Sure, he’d much rather be playing better than he has and being the No. 1 option. But he’s not, and he’s fine with that. He’s happy to get the victory. And you should be, too.
Having two goaltenders playing at or near the top of their game isn’t cause for concern about who is going to start next. When that’s the case, who the living fuck cares who starts? There’s no controversy here. If anything, Turco’s performance Sunday should call for a collective sigh of relief in the fact the Blackhawks can call either No. 30 or No. 50 and not skip a beat.
While you may be thinking I’m flinging my boner over a single above-average start, remember that Sunday wasn’t the first time Turco played well this season. He started the year 6-2-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average through Oct. 30. The problem lies in the fact most only want to remember his 2-6-1 stretch before Sunday.
Sunday wasn’t just a fluke, but more a reminder the ‘Hawks have two guys who can win a game on any given night.
And just for good measure, here’s another reason for Sunday’s victory:
With that, here’s your latest edition of Boxing…