The Dallas Stars survived their five-game losing streak, but their recent run of injuries might just do them in. Brenden Morrow is banged up. They’re without a much-needed blueline catalyst in Alex Goligoski. Trevor Daley is being evaluated at the moment and role player Adam Burish is on the shelf. Those injuries might pale in comparison to the one that happened tonight, though.
Workhorse goalie Kari Lehtonen won’t be back during Saturday’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes after suffering a lower-body injury that might just be a groin problem. Defending Big D explained that Lehtonen went down after “stretching out in a split-legged position,” which makes me think that a groin pull or tear could be the issue. (An Associated Press report reveals that it might be a right knee injury. Either way, it’s a big part of him making saves, so hopefully it’s a short-term thing.)
The fact that Lehtonen was playing both games in a back-to-back set that included travel shows how much the Stars lean on their goalie. Such an injury is a worry with just about any netminder, but for someone with a history of problems like Lehtonen, the concerns double. Throw that on top of the fact that the Stars are losing players at a near Buffalo Sabres-like pace and things could get a little dicey in Dallas.
Hopefully this is just a minor problem, though. Keep an eye on PHT for updates.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”