Brenden Morrow, Alex Goligoski

And the Stars return to nearly full strength

The Stars’ hot start was just that — a start — but now that they’re getting Brenden Morrow and Alex Goligoski back, they’ll hope to heat things up again.

The Stars activated both Morrow and Goligoski from injured reserve and coach Glen Gulutzan is eager to get both of them along with defenseman Trevor Daley back in the lineup perhaps as soon as tonight against the Sharks. Without Morrow and Goligoski, the offense has slowed down and while the defense is giving up more goals, that’s got more to do with Kari Lehtonen’s absence than Goligoski and Daley.

Morrow’s leadership and physical play will be welcomed back while Goligoski’s power play quarterbacking is what Dallas has missed out on of late. The guy who might benefit most from Goligoski’s return is Sheldon Souray. Without Goligoski, Souray’s had to handle running power plays himself. With Goligoski back, Souray will be freed up to unleash bombs from the point.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.