Yes, kids, it's the theme of the evening. Nobody cares what the victories look like right now, just as long as the Stars are getting them. Now defensively, this was a pretty sharp game. Cleaned up after themselves, Marty Turco was strong in net and Loui Eriksson was, well, himself.
I know I've thrown a lot of accolades the kid's way this season, but I think he's pretty deserving. He's doing the dirty work and getting into those tough areas, be it along the boards looking for the puck or in front of the net trying to score that goal. And that can't be easy for a guy who weighs 190 soaking wet (OK, I'm challenging that number on the official roster: 190? really? Does he look 190 to you guys?) Anyway, tonight Eriksson tied his career-high in goals that he set last year in 69 games. This year it took 30 games. He's riding the opportunity wave.
As for Mr. Turco, he's looking more like the Marty we know. His last two games, he's stopped 59 of 61 shots. Both victories. He's seeing the puck more, he's reacting so much better, he's closed the five-hole. All good things. And his puck-handling was big tonight. Phoenix just kept putting it in the areas where he could go. Good defense in front of him, too. So many games this season where pucks were just lying there with three or four Stars around. Tonight someone just started whacking it out of the zone. Aaah, what a concept.
Now, some quotes:
Dave Tippett on just getting points: "It's not pretty right now, that’s for sure. But that’s where we are. Points are effective. So hence, the not pretty but effective (game)."
Marty Turco on the same subject: "Points are points and that’s our short, long-term goal. It really is all about the things these guys were doing tonight. They did a tremendous job in the neutral zone, letting me get pucks and not allowing as good of dumps that (the Coyotes) wanted. That's a huge part of our success."
"The way the season’s gone, we could've felt a bigger sting when they scored in the third. But that wasn’t the case. Every shift it was good, solid play. That's what we need that from these guys."
And Marty on Loui: "It’s certainly no surprise. He's scoring goals and he has that knack around the net. I see it all too often in practice. I've been a big fan of his since he came over. He’s done a great job of assimilating himself into this style of game. We’re the ones getting rewarded for his work and his style of play."