Commentary

Stars seeing reversal of fortune against Red Wings

Updated: May 19, 2008, 1:27 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Five things we've learned from this weekend:

1. How's this for a reversal of fortune: The Stars held a 3-0 series lead in the second round against San Jose only to watch the Sharks claw back to force a sixth game that went to quadruple overtime before Dallas captain Brenden Morrow ended it. The Stars admitted afterward that had they lost Game 6, they don't know where they would have found the energy to win Game 7. They must be hoping the Red Wings are feeling that kind of pressure as the teams head into Game 6 on Monday night. Of course, the odds remain mightily stacked against the Stars; a team has rebounded from a 3-0 deficit to win a series only twice in NHL history. Those miracle comebacks took place in 1942 and 1975, leading some folks to note the miracle happens every 33 years, and we're due for one this spring.

2. Speaking of Morrow, who continues to be the Stars' undisputed on-ice leader, he took a nasty cross check to the face by Kris Draper in the third period Saturday. No call was made, but Morrow sported a nice bruise in the shape of a stick shaft below his eye in postgame interviews.

3. Sometimes stats are just that, a bunch of numbers thrown out into the stratosphere, regardless of context. But when Marty Turco won his first NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, it represented something more than just a win, but rather the end of a trend and a signal that the Dallas Stars were truly back in the Western Conference finals. Turco had been ordinary in the first three games of the series (all Detroit wins), but has been on fire in the past two, stopping 71 of 73 shots. Turco's terrific puck-handling skills also led to both Dallas goals in the Stars' 2-1 victory to set up Game 6 in Dallas on Monday -- a game few thought would be necessary. Before Sunday's win, Turco was 0-9-2 at The Joe.

4. Only one other time in the history of the NHL has more than one team erased a 3-0 series deficit to force at least a sixth game in a series in one playoff season. In 1975, the New York Islanders became one of only two teams to win a series after trailing 3-0; they nearly did it again, coming back to force a seventh game against the Flyers in the next series. This spring, there have been two so far. The San Jose Sharks forced a sixth game that went to quadruple overtime against Dallas in the West semis and the Stars have now forced Game 6 against the Detroit Red Wings after being down 3-0. The Flyers were denied their bid to make history after dropping a 6-0 decision to Pittsburgh in Game 5 on Sunday.

5. Whether or not you like him as a coach, Jacques Martin is just that: a coach. He's been at it since 1983, when he was an assistant with the Peterborough Petes of the OHL and has coached more than 1,000 NHL regular-season games. So it makes perfect sense that the Florida Panthers, the NHL's worst-run franchise, pushed Martin out of their coaching spot at the end of the regular season, made him the GM and signed him to a contract extension for a job he is ill-qualified to do. Perfect. No doubt someone will take the Panthers' bench boss job, but it will have to be a strong personality to avoid the inevitable conflicts with Martin, who didn't want to give up the coaching reins.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.

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