Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/9/12
With Stephane Robidas returning to the ice, the Dallas Stars got a big boost at the blue line last week. Their most seasoned defenseman returning in a victory Thursday at Nashville. Now, as the Stars set out on a two-game Pacific Division trip that begins Tuesday night in Anaheim, Dallas could get back another key member of it defensive corps, Sheldon Souray. Souray has missed six games since he suffered an ankle injury Dec. 23 in a victory over the Predators. He did go through his first full skate on Monday just hours before his club left for the Southern California, a trip he will be making. But he stopped short of guaranteeing he will return on Tuesday night against the Ducks. "See how she goes. . . . (Monday) was kind of the first full practice I've had," he said. "So we'll see what's up." Dallas head coach Glen Gulutzan offered his own assessment about whether the big No. 44 will return for his club in the first game of the roadie. "He's very close. He's a probable for Tuesday," Gulutzan said. "I would say it's 6040." Souray has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 34 games, a total that led all Stars defensemen until Trevor Daley's recent offensive outburst. "I just have to make sure I don't play one to sit two," Souray said. "I want to make sure I'm fully ready to go because this is the first practice I've had. "We had a 20-minuter the other day, but you've got to get in a couple of practices. It's different than going out and skating lines." Souray's current injury is the same ankle he broke earlier in this career. "I broke my ankle one year in juniors. It was in January, so I ended up missing the rest of the year, so I never had to come back on it," he said. "I had the summer off to rehab. It was like it never happened type of thing. This is the first one, a sprain. It's kind of a nagging thing. I've heard it can be kind of serious." Before his injury, Souray lined up alongside Robidas as Dallas' top defensive pairing. Although he clearly would like to go right back to skating alongside Robi, whomever Gulutzan pairs him with is immaterial because all he wants to do is play and help his team win. "We'll see. We have gone good," he said of working with Robidas. "I think we're all used to playing with the partners that we had, especially in the first half of the year. . . . "Whatever, basically I just want to get back, get in and get to the level I want to play at for the home stretch here. I just want to get some minutes in, get comfortable and get back at it. It doesn't matter." And his return couldn't come at a better time, especially since Dallas' next two opponents, the Ducks and Kings, are two teams that have their fair share of big players, the sort of opponents this seasoned blue-liner definitely enjoys playing against. "When you've got guys who can play physical and also put the puck in the net, they skate well and kind of do everything well, it's a challenge," Souray said. But as loaded as the Ducks are with the likes of reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan among others, Souray realizes that matching up with them will only be half the challenge for him and his teammates during this short, two-game road swing. "You look at LA, and they've got a team that plays hard. They've got guys like Richards, Kopitar, Penner, Justin Williams, guys who play hard, who play big and are hard to play against," Souray said. "They wear you down. They go to the front of the net. They play big. They lean on you in the corners. They're hard to knock off the puck. They're good. It would be nice to come back and play against players like that because they're good players and you want to see how you match up. But I won't do that at the expense of the team and doing something that's not in the best interest of the team."
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