As we speculated this past summer, Steve Ott has become one of the most important forwards on this team in a hurry. He's tied for third on the team in scoring with eight points in only eleven games, is a +4, and is the team's faceoff leader. Unfortunately the Stars will have another way to gauge his importance: being without him this weekend against Colorado and Carolina.
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan says Ott's injury is a "hip pointer". (A hip pointer is a contusion, or bruise, of the iliac crest, the bone along the brim of the pelvis, and its surrounding structures. [link]). He was able to play through it for one game after the injury occured (against the Kings last Thursday, played against Devils on Saturday) but succumbed and now they want to hold him out to get it right moving forward.
"He won't be ready for us tomorrow," Gulutzan told media after practice on Thursday. "He's got a bit of a hip pointer. It's bruising out now, so that's a good thing. We can see it. I don't think he'll be a guy for Sunday, but that Tuesday game in Washington isn't out of sight for us now. We just want to make sure he is ready." [ESPN Dallas]
The forward depth for the Stars will get it's first big test as a result. Adam Burish, who has played with the fourth line as of late, will move up into the top six with the Ribeiro line, and Michael Ryder will move to Jamie Benn's right. This puts Loui Eriksson on his natural left side, but he's had more success in his NHL career on the off-wing.
As was discussed this morning already, this looks to be the configuration of the top six to start this next stretch of games after the break:
No word yet on how that might affect power play units, but Gulutzan likes to keep things pretty consistent from even strength to special teams so my guess is we'll see Ryder with Benn on the PP too.
It's unfortunate that Ott could miss two or three games, but also lucky that it came before the five day break as the on ice impact could have been worse.