For two teams that were expected to play a tight, low scoring game, Wednesday night’s Vancouver/Dallas tilt was somewhat surprising–at least for the ‘first’ game, not the ‘last’ game and a third. The Canucks, I think, were fortunate that the result went their way. That they couldn’t nail ‘er down in regulation doesn’t bode well for the Pacific division champs. The Stars are a relentless, ’systems’, kinda team that really can’t be counted out of any 60 minute duration. They have, the Stars do, this mechanized uniformity almost to their game. The only ‘wild card’ being Turco. And I think Turco could very well be Dallas’ greatest liability. Conversely, the Canucks, with their lack of scoring power distribution through their line up, have this haphazard, try-this-combination, try that approach that may work or it may not, relying usually on Luongo to backstop them onward. What if they could key on Bieksa more as a offensive threat?
These two players, Turco and Bieksa, embody, I believe, contrasting tendencies, one too risky (the former) and one not risky enough. And their respective teams could benefit if each became more like the other. I think Turco is fantastic and Dallas wouldn’t dream of getting rid of him should he yet again fail to bring them to the promised land. But i think he is so intent on demonstating his puck handling skills, which are a great plus, otherwise, to his team’s ability to get out of their zone and in preventing dump ins, that he’s not entirely focused on being the goalie; the closer; the wall of denial–the way,say, a Luongo is. I think it is a mindset that eventually comes back to haunt Turco.
Now with Bieksa– and I know he’s a rookie–the guy looks so self conscious out there, and not in a nervous way, but in a with-a-chip-on-his-shoulder kinda way; if he could just relax and at the same time focus on taking the puck up the ice with a little more authority, this is a dimension that the Canucks’ attack is sorrily missing. And at times he sure has shown flashes of it. You just feel like he could be Bobby Orr!
If I were Dave Tippett I’d put Turco in his cage; write it in his contract that he can’t pass the puck more that three times a game. And if I were Alain Vignault, I’d plan around Bieksa taking off a lot more often and letting the Ohlunds, Mitchells, etc., be the stay-at-home. It would help both teams.