Another match-up against a team they can’t seem to lose to, no matter how hard they try? I’ll take it.
The Stars need easy points right now. The injury bug is in full force as they can add their best player, Brad Richards to the tragically long list of injured players. And while we are going to see Toby Petersen return, it is one of the few pieces of good news on that front as more seem be going out than are coming back at this point. It looks like we could see an influx of players returning just in time for the last push of the season, but could it be too late by that point?
Right now your Dallas Stars sit in 4th place in the conference, just outside of 3rd and the Division lead that seemed to be theirs all season by just 1-point to the Coyotes. If they can pull out a win tonight against the inexperienced but promising Oilers then this will put them temporarily back into first place as they start the game of leap-frog that could last the rest of the season.
This is a very important game for the Stars as they will follow it up by meeting with a fairly hot Flames team (get it?) and the Stars kryptonite; the Vancouver Canucks. They need the easy points, because they may not have the fire power to get the hard ones. The coaching staff is confident that they still have a lot of offensive capabilities.
It’s true, the Ribeiro line is largely still in tact and the Wandell/Ott/Vincour line is very strong, but without Richards as a catalyst you have to wonder if they have enough to squeeze out wins on some nights.
The good news is that if what they say is true, the injury doesn’t seem like a big deal and Richards wanted to play through it; if all goes well we could see him meet the team on the road trip.
When it rains it pours for the Stars, the last 3 seasons. I think we are all hoping that fate isn’t conspiring against a team that wasn’t supposed to make the playoffs this season, let alone lead the division.