Stars Drew Canucks in Round One Print
Written by TheSpread   
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 06:37
NHL Headline News

Turco and Luongo Duel in Game One

Marty Turco hasn't left much of a mark in his postseason career. Roberto Luongo finally has the opportunity to leave his.

The goaltending duel between Turco and Luongo will highlight what figures to be a very tight series as the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks open their Western Conference quarterfinal series Wednesday night at GM Place.

There is no bigger factor in the playoffs than goaltending, and in no first-round series will that be more on display than this matchup between Turco and Luongo, who is making his postseason debut in his seventh season.

Oddsmakers have made Vancouver -140 money line (NHL Odds) favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 5un total

goals (View NHL Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 51% of bets for this game have been placed on Vancouver -140 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Turco has been one of the NHL's best goaltenders the last four seasons but success in the playoffs has been harder to come by.

Since leading Dallas (50-25-7) to a first-round win over Edmonton in 2002-03, Turco has lost 12 of 16 playoff games with the Stars losing in the opening round to Colorado each of the past two seasons. He has allowed four goals or more in four of his last six playoff starts and is 8-14 with a 2.54 goals-against average in 22 postseason games.

"Marty took a lot of criticism last year, probably unfairly," Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher said on the team's official Web site. "We win as a team, lose as a team. Marty's been very solid this season. We have tons of confidence in him. We've had great seasons and not-so-good results in the playoffs. So the pressure isn't just on Marty. It's on all of us."

Luongo, meanwhile, will be getting his first taste of the playoffs despite being one of the league's best goaltenders for most of his seven-year career. After toiling for five seasons in Florida, Luongo flourished during his first season with Vancouver (49-26-7), tying for the second-most wins in NHL history with 47 while posting a 2.29 GAA and five shutouts.

"It's exciting, I can't wait to get it started," Luongo said. "I've been waiting a long time for this and it's finally here so I'm really looking forward to Wednesday."

Luongo started slowly with his new team but picked up his play dramatically in 2007, leading the Canucks to a 32-8-8 mark after Christmas and the Northwest Division title. No player had a bigger role in helping Vancouver set franchise records for wins and points (105).

"Since Christmas, we obviously have been one of the best teams in the NHL," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "One of the reasons I think we have been one of the best teams is we've played hard at both ends of the rink. That's what we're going to have to do starting Wednesday."

Dallas also finished the season strong, losing in regulation in just two of its last 16 games. The Stars reached 100 points for the third time in four seasons, finishing sixth in the West.

Because both Dallas and Vancouver had such excellent goaltending during the regular season, the teams were successful despite being the two lowest-scoring teams in the conference playoffs. New Jersey (216) is the only playoff team that scored fewer goals than the Stars (226) and Canucks (222).

All four regular-season meetings between these teams were decided by 2-1 scores, with each club winning twice at home. Dallas won once in overtime and one of the Canucks' victories came in a shootout.

Although offensive depth is an issue for both teams, the Stars and Canucks both have some very capable forwards.

Dallas' surprising scoring leader was center Mike Ribeiro (59 points), while next on the list were defensemen Sergei Zubov (54) and Boucher (51). Mike Modano missed 23 games with hip and groin injuries but still managed 43 points in 59 games. He has 52 goals and 79 assists in 149 career playoff contests.

After leading the Canucks in scoring for seven consecutive seasons, captain Markus Naslund slumped to 60 points in 2006-07. That decrease, though, was offset by twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who combined for 165 points and emerged as two of the league's top forwards.

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who missed Sunday's regular-season finale at Phoenix with a foot injury, hopes to be back for this game.

The only previous playoff meeting between these teams took place in the 1994 Western Conference semifinals, a series the Canucks won in five games. Vancouver's Trevor Linden and Modano are the only players on those teams playing in this series.

Game 2 is Friday at GM Place.

by: Gary Roberts - - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - NHL Home


NHL Team Pages

Top NHL Public Bets

View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

NHL Futures

View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.