The Dallas Stars entered Saturday night's contest with the Phoenix Coyotes already down three huge cogs in Brenden Morrow, Alex Goligoski and Adam Burish. Add Kari Lehtonen, Vernon Fiddler and Trevor Daley as three more key pieces now out for Joe Nieuwendyk's surprise team, now 2-6-1 in their last nine games after a 3-0 loss tonight.
Lehtonen is the really, really big one. He left the first period 5:31 in after stretching to stop an off-sides shot from the Coyotes on a rush. He left the ice favoring his left leg heavily, not appearing to put any pressure on the right leg at all. The AP reports surfacing first from Phoenix called it a right knee injury.
The Stars are saying that it is his groin, not his knee, but everything is still being evaluated at this point. Glutzan said it was "a little bit of a groin pull" and that they wouldn't know the full extent of it until the next day. He will be "unlikely" for Monday, in Gully's words.
I could quote you his stats, what he's done for the Stars up to this point and what they need him to be going forward, but you know all that already and there are no words strong enough to really describe it. Think a good thought for the big Finn. He has been healthy for two full calendar years now, putting his old injury woes behind him. This one is just bad luck.
Trevor Daley has a back injury and is also considered very unlikely for Monday night's game. Vernon Fiddler left the game in the second and did not return. He also has a groin injury, though it sounds less serious than Lehtonen's. He has not been ruled out for Monday in Colorado yet and is day to day.
We'll update tomorrow and Monday as we know more but for now it looks like the Texas Stars will be getting a phone call or three. We'll have analysis of potential callups (or news of it) in the morning. How would you proceed to fill these vital, vital roles?