Sloppy game Thursday night. I was in attendance in section 220 and got to see my second preseason game this year, and this one looked like it was preseason. Even for the refs. Penalties all over the place, even some very touchy calls going both ways in the game. Both goalies were the two best players for your team until the third period of the game. But after getting down 1-0 the Stars got a powerplay goal from Ribs to tie it up and the late in the game new linemate Adam Burish drives up the right wing and throws a puck at the net that captain Brenden Morrow is able to get it into the back of the net.
Now tonight the Stars play their last preseason game in St. Louis against the Blues. The two teams squared off last Saturday at the AAC and I got to see in person the Stars offense put up 4 goals in the first period in route to a 5-2 win. But looking at the match-up tonight, the game might look a little differently. Tonight should be the first time that Dallas sees Jaroslav Halak since he got traded into the Western Conference this summer. Besides seeing a lot better opposition in the net tonight, the Stars will also miss a couple of big names that will have tonight off. Morrow will sit out will pulled groin, but it is immediately being said that it is not serious and he will just have a couple days off. Also Brad Richards will get the night off, which was already planned by the coaching staff. So that means that we will get to see some different looks in the roster tonight. Young Jamie Benn will continue to get time at center, but tonight will be playing on the top line in between other top young forwards Neal and Eriksson. This is being talked about by some as a nice chance to see if Benn could have the ability to be a 1st or 2nd line center. He is showing the potential and stats so far in his really short career that he could be a potential star forward someday, the question still remains if it should be out on the wing or if the Stars will continue trying him at center and that becomes his primary position. Also young Tomas Vincour will play the LW next to Ribs and Burish to fill in for Morrow tonight. Vincour has looked great so far in preseason and camp, showing scoring ability and that he may be knocking on the door for a roster spot. I still think he gets sent down to the AHL, but he has a chance to show well and maybe getting his name up there as one of the first guys that could get called up during this season. In net, Kari Lehtonen will get the start for the second straight game and should play the whole game tonight with Raycroft as the backup. Kari has played 2 preseason game and has only allowed 2 goals so far, looking really good and promising. Here is hoping that it continues tonight.
Last note for today, the Stars send promising forward Tom Wandell down to the Texas Stars for conditioning. He will be in the lineup Sunday night for Texas and after being out with a shoulder injury for a few weeks, this move looks to be just to get Wandell some actual playing time and contact without putting him into the lineup tonight. Wandell will still probably be back up to Dallas for the start of the season or just shortly thereafter.
Stars and Blues drop the puck at 7pm, and here is a link to listen to the game.