The Dallas Stars jump back onto the ice tonight at the AAC after having an extended period of time off this week, hosting the Colorado Avalanche. Dallas has enjoyed their time off this week to rest up and prepare for the next stretch of games, but the fanbase has been less then amused this week. Well hockey returns tonight in Dallas and we can all calm down and get back to enjoying hockey.
The Stars players had two days off after beating the New Jersey Devils last weekend 3-1 and followed it up with three days of practices the last couple of days. Coach Glen Gulutzan and the boys had a few days to work on some things that needed attention and train this week. The time off and what they did during it could be huge, as the Stars now play 13 games this month with no more then two days between games at any point. In the midst of those 13 games, the Stars play back-to-back games every Friday and Saturday this month after this weekend. Just as important to note, Dallas plays four in a row next week on the road against four “playoff” caliber teams. So the schedule gets a little more difficult now as the season starts to move on.
Sounds like Steve Ott may miss a couple of games despite the time off. Otter has been ruled out for tonight with a hip-pointer injury, and is probably out for the first game of the coming roadtrip on Sunday. Ott played through the injury in the game against the Devils but now the team wants to rest him and let it heal rather then have it linger on. Right now he and Gulutzan have targeted Tuesday night’s game in Washington as the first game he should be back, but we will have to pay attention to it and see if anything changes this weekend. Ott has immediately stepped up this season and enjoyed a great start to the season working on a line with Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson. Next to Lehtonen and Souray, he has been the Stars best player so far this year. Hopefully he can heal up and join the lineup early this next week for the Stars.
Another member of the team will play tonight after his scary injury on Saturday night. Nicklas Grossman took a skate to the face late in the Devils game and sustained a big cut across his fight cheek. He immediately left the ice at the time and spent the rest of the game getting worked on. It took 60 stitches to repair and close up the injury from the team’s training and medical staff. Earlier this week Grossman said he would wear a full cage while the injury healed, but in the last couple of practices he has worn a visor. He will not miss any time because of it, but he should have a very pretty mug for the next week or two while it tries to heal. If you have yet to see the injury and do want to see the video, here is the link from Bob Sturm (Warning: It is bloody and in the feed you do hear someone at ice level yell an expletive).
Stay tuned for the game preview later this afternoon right here on BlackoutDallas. As always you can follow myself (Austin) at Twitter.com/BlackoutDallas or follow BlackoutDallas contributor Melissa on Twitter at Twitter.com/DalStarsWriter, and new addition Andrew Monrreal at Twitter.com/_Ammon.