Mark Stepneski from ESPN Dallas reported today that Mike Ribeiro is not expected to be back in the lineup until after the All-Star break according to coach Glen Gulutzan. Ribeiro has missed the past three games with a torn MCL. The Stars have a 1-2 record in that span.
The offense that Ribeiro was finding before the injury helped propel the Stars to two big wins, having scored two goals in each of the two games prior to the injury. Ribeiro will miss at least the next five games, and those are some big games coming up. The Stars will play the St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild, and Anaheim Ducks in that span. Two of those teams are teams that are tops in the West, and two of those teams are right with the Dallas Stars in the race for those last three playoff spots in the West.
While Ribeiro heals up, the Stars will be relying on the rest of the team to step up. Notably, Tom Wandell will need to try to make centering Brenden Morrow and Loui Eriksson productive if the Stars hope to stay in the playoff race. They'll also need some depth scoring from their third and fourth lines, along with consistent scoring from their top line to keep pace for making the playoffs, especially with every game in the West seemingly a three point game these days.
Some forwards are still dealing with the flu, so the Stars are expected to call up Francis Wathier from their AHL affiliate Texas Stars. Wathier has played 37 games with the Texas Stars this season and has accumulated eight goals and 15 assists for 23 points. He was called up earlier this season with the injuries to the forward corps but did not play any games for the Dallas Stars.