Found December 29, 2011 on
Fox Sports Southwest:
An interesting exercise at the end of the 2011-12 NHL regular season might be to see which Stars players skated in all 82 contests. Last year, there were four Dallas players who held that distinction-Trevor Daley, Brenden Morrow, Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro.
Of that quartet, all but Ribeiro has already missed time due to injury so far this year, something that has been a trend for this year's Stars, especially at the blue line. In fact, Dallas is currently skating with only six healthy blueliners. That's because their top pairing of veterans Stephane Robidas and Sheldon Souray are both injured.
Robidas took a puck to the skate last week during an on-ice workout the morning of last Wednesday's game with the Flyers and the most experienced member of the club's defensive corps has yet to return.
Souray suffered a lower-body injury in the second period of last Friday's win over the Predators and did not return the rest of the night. It was later learned that the D man better known as Hammer suffered an ankle injury and on Monday, missed his first game of the year, sitting for the quick trip to St. Louis.
Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan offered an update on both Robi and Hammer after practice on Wednesday and the news wasn't terribly great, at least from a short-term standpoint.
"I would say they're both on the same timeline," Gulutzan said. "We're probably looking at a week to two weeks for both of them from today. So somewhere within that 10-day mark, they'll be good."
And there's no doubt in his mind that having his two most seasoned d-men on the shelf is nothing short of a big loss for his club. "Having Hammer and Robi out is a big loss for our club. If you take two guys that play around 22 minutes a night, two veteran, savvy guys that give you a little bit of everything-offense, physical presence, leadership, those are big holes to fill," Gulutzan said.
So, with Robidas and Souray out, Dallas' top defensive pairing is now Daley alongside big Swede Nicklas Grossman. That means Alex Goligoski and rookie Philip Larsen are now the No. 2 duo in the back while Mark Fistric and Adam Pardy are the third pairing.
Even with so much recent upheaval when it comes to his rearguard, Gulutzan admits he's pretty pleased with how those pairings have worked out thus far and has no current plans to make any changes. "We're OK with what we've seen so far. We're OK with our D pairs," he said.
Daley has returned to top form since returning from injury about three weeks ago and after missing several games earlier this year, Grossman has also been playing well of late. Goligoski returned from injury the same time as both Daley and Morrow and "Goose" has also been playing well out of the back.
As for Larsen, he performed so well with both Daley and Goligoski out that the recent call-up from the AHL's Texas Stars earned himself a longer stay in the NHL. Sure, the Danish d-man still makes some rookie mistakes but it's clear "Lars" becomes a better defenseman each and every shift he sees in this league and that's definitely a good sign for the future.
Fistric has also missed time thanks to the three-game suspension he got for a hit on the Islanders' Nino Neiderreiter earlier this month but paired with fellow big man Pardy, they have played fairly well at the bottom of the Dallas defensive rotation.
Of course, these pairings are literally subject to change at a moment's notice but should remain intact for at least the next week. Now, when Robidas and Souray return, there will definitely be some shuffling.
But while not having either member of Dallas' top defensive pairing is a big loss, the absence of Robi and Hammer is also felt in another area, one where the Stars have been struggling of late, the power play. Both veterans log good minutes on the PP and in their absence, Gully has been scrambling to find guys who can step into that unit in a pinch.
The Stars have made improving their power play a big focus in practice this week, but as Gulutzan said after Thursday's morning skate, the proof will be in the pudding. With Columbus' penalty kill near the bottom of the league, facing the Jackets could be just the shot in the arm the Dallas PP needs even in the wake of both Robidas and Souray watching from the sidelines.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
In the second period of Thursday's 4-1 loss to Columbus, Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow took a puck to his right knee. To his credit, he did try to go in the third period but his opening shift lasted just 21 seconds before he realized he was done for the night.
And after the game, Morrow was seen walking around with a noticeable limp. He did not practice today and did have...
When Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk brought in a number of new players before the start of this season, he did so with one simple goal-to make the 2011-12 Stars a team that would end the club's three-year playoff drought.
One of those players who was added during the off-season was winger Michael Ryder, a former teammate of Dallas assist man extraordinaire Mike Ribeiro during...
In a game where the Dallas Stars just got starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen back after missing 12 games due to a groin injury and a contest where the club's two most veteran defensemen Stephane Robidas and Sheldon Souray, continue to be sidelined, could Glen Gulutzan's club now be adding captain Brenden Morrow to the list of injured players?
Quite possibly. The Dallas captain...
Michael Ryder was maligned at times for his play as a member of the Bruins, but the crafty forward always seemed to come up big when it mattered most. That was no more evident than in the Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup last year when Ryder saved his best work for the spring. Ryder scored a handful of clutch goals and his glove save during the first round against the Canadiens...
Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen will return to the ice for Thursday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Coach Glen Gulutzan also announced that defensemen Sheldon Souray and Stephane Robidas will be sidelined for 10-14 days apiece. Souray is nursing a sprained ankle and Robidas sustained a setback in his recovery from a foot injury.
As for Lehtonen, he'll be...
Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow exited Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets with a knee injury.
Morrow was injured in the second period after he was hit by the puck on his left knee. He attempted to return in the third, but played on only one shift and retreated to the locker room.
The 32-year-old Morrow did not return to the contest and will be re-evaluated...
The Dallas Stars are in deep trouble as the final game of 2011 calendar year looms on the horizon on New Year's Eve. Last night's 4-1 loss at the American Airlines Center to the Columbus Blue Jackets was disturbing on many levels.
I am not too concerned by the fact that Kari Lehtonen did not look all that sharp in his return to the lineup after a 12-game absence due to...
DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Stars have activated goaltender Kari Lehtonen from injured reserve after he missed 12 games with a lower-body injury.
The Dallas Stars have activated goaltender Kari Lehtonen from injured reserve after he missed 12 games with a lower-body injury. Lehtonen led the NHL with 13 wins when he got hurt Nov. 26 in a game against Phoenix. He could be back in net Thursday night when the Stars host Columbus. Defenseman Stephane Robidas, who has missed three games with a lower-body injury, was placed on injured...
As every hockey fan knows, being a goaltender in the National Hockey League is not an easy job.
You can be great for one game, one season etc. and then the next game or season, completely lose it. Just look at what happened to the likes of Jim Carey or Blaine Lacher.
Another goaltender who has had both good times and bad is recently waived member of the Dallas Stars Andrew Raycroft...
Stars' Kari Lehtonen stops 25 shots, allows four goals in return from injury in loss to Blue Jackets.
Columbus Blue Jackets (9-22-5, 23 pts) @ Dallas Stars (20-14-1, 41 pts)
7:30 PM CT, December 29, 2011
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
If Kari Lehtonen wanted to try and ease his way back into the lineup, there might not be a better team to do that against than the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lethonen makes his long awaited return to the Stars lineup tonight after missing the...
Dallas Stars forward Brenden Morrow left Thursday's game with the Columbus Blue Jackets early in the third period with a lower-body injury and will not return.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Dallas Stars
RECORDS - CBJ: 9-22-5 (Road: 3-12-2), DAL: 20-14-1 (Home: 7-10-2)
WHEN: Dec. 29, 2011 - 8:30 p.m. | WH...