Turco seizes opportunity to start


He was minding to his family on Christmas Day when he got the call that he would be starting in place of the ill Corey Crawford. Marty Turco says he didn’t change much about his day, but it sounds like getting back in net was a nice, unexpected, Christmas gift.

“It was huge to get a game in there to reassess where you’re at and put some things at ease,” Turco said after the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 win over Columbus. “It was a good step forward for me but huge for the team to continue what we’re doing.”

Turco stopped 26 of 27 shots including six on the great Rick Nash. His 14 saves in the first period set the tone for the game.

“I thought [Turco] was a big part of the win tonight, I thought he was big in the first period and gave us a chance to get our feet under us,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was good to see him get a win.”

Turco needed one. He hadn’t tasted victory since a 5-0 shutout of Edmonton on November 17. Since then, he had lost three games, was pulled in a start against Colorado after giving up four goals, and subsequently lost his starting job.

“I felt better than I actually thought I would,” Turco said. “It’s just important to get into a game and get that type of intensity level that brings out the best in us, sometimes.”

And speaking of the best, Turco couldn’t identify one save that stood out against Columbus.

“The ones that were telltale to me would probably be meaningless to everyone else,” he said. “Just how I’m moving, the patience there, and just if the body is moving the way I want it to.”

It was, considering he made all different types of saves. Sliding from one side to the other, getting big and square for point-blank chances, and flashing his glove when needed.

After earning one of the stars of the game, Turco was asked if he had to put the eggnog or wine away when he got the call he was starting as he celebrated the holiday on Saturday. He thought for a moment.

“Before I say anything stupid, I didn’t put anything away,” Turco quipped.