Monday, May 10, 2010
Player review: Brenden Morrow
By Richard Durrett
Our skate through the forwards continues today with captain Brenden Morrow.
Brenden Morrow's top moment of the season didn't come with the Stars, but with Team Canada.
The 2009-10 season can be best characterized as an inconsistent one for Morrow.
He couldn't wait to get on the ice and start the season after missing much of the 2008-09 campaign (he didn't play in the final 64 games) because of knee surgery (torn ACL). And he did enjoy some early success, including a five-game goal streak in November. But there were also times were Morrow looked fatigued, possibly from getting used to skating on that knee.
The best part of Morrow's season was as a member of Team Canada in the Olympics in Vancouver. He seemed to get better with every game, becoming a critical and integral part of the the gold-winning squad. Morrow arrived back in Dallas ready to carry the momentum into the final stretch of the season, but it never really panned out.
“I’m disappointed in my year," Morrow said during his exit interview. "I had some good things happen and some bad things happen. Confidence is an issue. In your head, you’re always wondering if you’re going to be the same player you were. I struggled with it a lot this year. Everyone I’ve talked to that’s gone through the injury says it takes awhile. Hopefully next year coming in, it’s not in my head."
Morrow is a gritty player known for going into the tough areas of the ice. He isn't afraid to fight for a puck in the corner or park himself in front of the net where he's going to hit in all kinds of different areas. But he hangs in and has an ability to deflect pucks in or screen goalies.
Morrow still did all of those things last season and managed to score at least 20 goals for the sixth time in his career. He finished with 46 points and was minus-3. But those numbers certainly weren't what he put up in his last full season, 2007-08, when he had 74 points, including 32 goals, and played all 82 games. He also was solid in the playoffs in leading the Stars to the Western Conference Finals.
I expect a bounce-back year from Morrow. He was dealing with knee troubles and the Olympics. And I say the Olympics because I do think that can make the year a distracting one. Every Canadian hockey player wanted to play in those Olympics in Vancouver, so that's understandable that it would be on Morrow and everyone else's minds. I think a completely healthy Morrow (he was also dealing with a foot issue late in the season) will have a solid 2010-11 season.