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Why Marty Turco Gives Me Confidence: Fan’s Take
The injury bug, after mostly staying away from the Boston Bruins this season, has suddenly ramped itself up and claimed a bunch of the team, including backup goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask's loss was upsetting not only because he looked to be in quite a lot of pain when he was injured, but also because it exposed the problems with Boston's goaltending line of succession. Thankfully, with the acquisition of Marty Turco, I feel like there may be a little more confidence coming in net.
You know the presidential line of succession, which is usually discussed only before the State of the Union address, when everyone in power is all gathered in one building? They always designate one person to stay behind and watch the address on TV just in case, heaven forbid, something terrible happens. Usually, though, the designated survivor is a Cabinet member—like this year, when it was the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. So, it's difficult to imagine them having to take power due to sheer inexperience.
Suddenly, though, the Bruins' goalie line of succession was weak right at the one time in the year when the team needed it to be strong. The Providence Bruins' starter, Anton Khudobin, has a wrist injury, so he can't come up and help Tim Thomas. As a result, Khudobin's backup, Michael Hutchinson, whose record isn't so great in Providence this season (6-11-0, .920 save percentage, 2.62 goals against average), found himself getting the big-time call-up.
That's a mighty big burden for Hutchinson to have to shoulder, so the Bruins began looking elsewhere for someone to help Thomas during this last run of the regular season. Maybe they were looking for another veteran presence, in which case 36-year-old Turco could be just what they needed. The team signed him on March 5 and then came a 48-hour waiting period for him to clear waivers.
At times those 48 hours were worrisome, considering that general manager Peter Chiarelli literally put his chances of becoming a Bruin at just 50/50 and two teams, the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning, are experiencing similar line of succession problems that might make them interested in Turco. However, he successfully cleared waivers and started practicing with his new Bruins teammates on March 7. He's postponing a family vacation in Italy for this opportunity, but he said he's happy to do so—what a stand-up guy!
The one problem is that, since he came in after the trade deadline, he cannot play in the postseason. Hopefully by then, either Rask or Khudobin, or both, will feel well enough to back up Timmy.
I've personally seen some fans who are skeptical about what Turco can do. While I understand their concerns, I'm more willing to give the guy a chance. Thomas himself is proof that older goalies can sometimes exceed expectations. The psychological boost of being back in the big times might inspire Turco to do great work.
Plus, he's pretty funny. Have you seen the video of when he pranked Roman Polak of the St. Louis Blues by opening the bench door on him? Or when he realized he was in a shot with NBC's Pierre McGuire, angled his head towards McGuire and then shook his head disdainfully? Considering the Bruins are still working their way out of some rough patches of inconsistency, maybe Turco can bring his blend of eagerness and humor to the locker room and inspire his new teammates.
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