Let me preface this post with a quick disclaimer: I am not declaring this report as absolute truth and there is always an air of uncertainty around an injury, so take this news with a grain of salt.
Sources close to Brad Richards have informed Defending Big D that the Dallas Stars forward will attempt to play Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. How he responds in practice on Friday and during the morning skate Saturday will be the final determination on his status, but the chances are good for his return to the ice after being out for over a month with a broken wrist.
Richards will play with a brace that will prevent his wrist from bending backward, but the biggest test for him is how much strength he has recovered in his wrist and arm. The last reports of his progress in practice was that Richards had yet try any hard play along the boards or attempt to use his stick one-handed, a critical use for any hockey player.
With the Stars now in dire straits and the season hanging in the balance, I'm sure Richards feels pressured to return as soon as possible. However with this team suffering from so many key injuries, the return of just one player will not all of a sudden become the difference between this team making the playoffs or not.
It's heartbreaking to watch this team right now, especially when they play as hard a game as they did last night. They tried and tried and never gave up, but this team is just too tired and too injured to beat much more complete teams. This isn't a knock on players like Chris Conner, Joel Lundqvist, James Neal, Brendan Morrison or Steve Begin. Yet when the team is constantly rotating lines and fighting to fill spots night after night, it becomes an exhausting cycle that sucks any momentum and energy right out of a team.
Is Brad Richards returning going to change that? Not a chance.
Follow the jump for news and notes on the Stars, including an update on Mike Modano.
Mike Modano was held out of last night's game with a tweaked groin, but is expected to be available Saturday against San Jose.
Brian Sutherby was hurt last night while blocking a shot and we are still awaiting news of the extent of the injury.
After enjoying some fortunate seasons, the Stars have now lost over 300 man-games due injury. That's the 6th highest total in the NHL.
Mark Stepneski gives his thoughts on last nights game, saying at this point the Stars are just too hurt and too exhausted to do much more than they are right now.
Mike Heika pens article for Versus.com, giving his thoughts on the various teams locked in the playoff race.
Jeff Miller talks about how the Stars travel the third-most distance in the NHL, and the most to games two time zones away. There are some players on the roster that are used to it however.