Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 11/18/11
On Friday night in Colorado, the Dallas Stars figure to get center Steve Ott back from the hip pointer that has sidelined him for the last six games. But in Tuesday's 6-0 loss to Florida, Glen Gulutzan's club suffered another notable setback when grinding winger Adam Burish suffered a broken hand and will miss the next four to six weeks. And it was just under a week ago that the Stars lost defenseman Alex Goligoski to a broken thumb, which will sideline him for a month, after a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh last Friday. Krys Barch, a fourth-line grinder, also is battling an injury a twisted ankle suffered in the shutout loss to the Panthers, and is listed as day-to-day. Ott will step right in and replace Burish on the Stars' second line alongside captain Brenden Morrow and assist man Mike Ribeiro, which should leave the rest of the lines largely intact. But as Stars fans saw last year, this is a different team when Burish is on the ice. When he missed some time last year, it was clear the club missed having such an invaluable role player, a guy who is willing to do all the little things like take a puck in the breadbasket for a blocked shot, dig a loose puck out of the corner or generally make things life on the opposition. Burish epitomizes what most fans think of when they hear the term "glue guy". Now, his absence from the ice could be mitigated a bit this year with the off-season acquisition of guys like Vernon Fiddler and Radek Dvorak, two more great "glue guys" in their own right who also do more than their fair share of dirty work out there as two-thirds of the Dallas checking line, but still, not having Burish or "Bur" as he's called available definitely puts Gulutzan and his team at a pretty big disadvantage. But the biggest loss thus far has to be Goligoski, who had firmly entrenched himself as a top-four defenseman since coming over from the Pens just prior to last spring's NHL trade deadline. "Goose" wasn't posting the strong numbers he did in his first 23 games with Dallas last season but he was still making notable contributions both at the blue line as well as on the offensive end. And the greatest indicator of how much his absence could affect his team comes on the power play, where he served as the point man. Toby Petersen filled that role in Tuesday's loss but didn't perform all that well, so it will be interesting to see if Gully decides to stick with him in that role for at least one more game or if he makes another change in that role. Losing Goligoski also means that Adam Pardy now moves into the top six of the defensive rotation. Thus far, he has been paired with fellow big, bruising type Mark Fistric and against Detroit on Saturday, the duo fared pretty well but those gains were completely wiped out in the loss to the Panthers, a defeat where Pardy finished at minus-3. Of course, one game doesn't define any player's worth but of the players brought in this off-season via free agency, other than Eric Godard, who is now skating for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League, Pardy has been the most underwhelming. Sure, he has good size, can play a physical game and can move the puck pretty well but having him paired with Fistric is a duo that may or may not work well. So, does Pardy's showing against Florida mean that we'll see Danish youngster Philip Larsen on Friday night at the Pepsi Center? It's very possible. Gulutzan knows Larsen well from having coached him each of the last two seasons in Cedar Park. He's even gone so far as to say that Larsen is in his eyes, an NHL defenseman. All he needs is an opportunity. If Larsen does indeed get the nod against the Avs and performs well, then it wouldn't be a huge stretch to see the young d-man start the next few games. And if he can put together a string of good performances, then could he be the more frequent choice alongside Fistric until Goligoski returns? Very possible. And there is the whole question of Barch. Should his ankle injury persist and be enough to put him on the shelf, that would mean the Stars would have to add a player from the AHL. Right now, the two most likely choices are Matt Fraser and Tomas Vincour, who are third and fourth on the Texas Stars in points respectively. Vincour has been up and down several times over the last year plus and while there have been flashes, the consistency just hasn't been there. Would that mean it's Fraser's chance? It could very well be but that will only happen should Barch hit the sidelines, which at this point looks pretty unlikely.
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