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Counting the Stars - #35 Marty Turco

Marty always has his eyes on the puck and how has his eyes on the greatest #35 in Stars history.  (Tim Sharp/AP Photo)
Marty always has his eyes on the puck and how has his eyes on the greatest #35 in Stars history. (Tim Sharp/AP Photo)

Every day this summer (well almost every day anyway...) Defending Big D will count down the greatest players in franchise history (both Dallas and Minnesota), based on the sweater number they wore. Keep coming back for a look at who's the best in Stars history. For a recap on the list so far, click here.

#35 really was only a battle between two players, but really it wasn't much of a battle.  We have lots of love here for former Star and current goalie coach Andy Moog, but the numbers he put up in four seasons with Dallas don't match up with our obvious pick at the number...

#35 - Marty Turco

No one expected the Stars fifth round pick (124th overall) in the 1994 draft would turn out so well.  Solid backup?  Sure, but the manner in which he came to Dallas and practically forced Ed Belfour out of town - a situation not helped by the fact that Belfour and Ken Hitchcock were at constant odds, not to mention Ed's slumping play - seemed completely unlikely.

Yet after two seasons from 2000 to 2002 as a backup for Belfour, Turco was given the starters position at the start of the 02-03 season and the rest became Stars (and in some cases NHL) history.  His numbers have set or on the verge of setting team records...  456 games played, 240-134-52 career record, 2.26 career goals against average, .911 save percentage.

His place in the NHL history books are also starting to reach hights no other Stars goalie has gotten near.  Three time NHL All-Star, 42nd in the NHL Career wins list, 37th in career shutouts (he has 36), his GAA is good for 10th all-time, his save percentage is good for 12th overall...

And that's with the sub-par year he just suffered through.  Could you imagine his numbers if he had a more "Turco-like" season?

Before the 2007 playoffs the biggest knock on Marty was his inability to carry his team to playoff success.  During those playoffs against Vancouver the three wins he notched were all shutouts and infamously he had a "4th shutout" in game one of that series as he shutout the Canucks for three overtime periods.  But it was those three official shutouts that tied an NHL record for most in one playoff series.

That run against Vancouver gave fans a hope that with the right team in front of him, a deep playoff run was possible with him in goal and the following year in 2008 Turco did exactly that helping lead the Stars to the West final against Detroit and even in that series overcoming one last demon that stumped him as he won a game at Joe Louis Arena - something he had not done in his seven seasons as a pro beforehand.

It was those raised expectations that maybe made his below average year this past season such a great disappointment to not only Stars fans, but to himself, but it's also that past exhibition of greatness that has fans hopeful that a rebound season from Marty is in the cards.

It also didn't hurt that Turco despite his struggles all season made eye popping saves that showed that he's still one of the most athletic goalies in the league today...