Glen Gulutzan Looking for Better Net Presence; Red Wings Banged Up on D

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

Glen Gulutzan says the Stars may "shuffle things around" in-game tonight, but expect the existing line combos to start.

In the Dallas Stars' video game preview featuring the incomparable Razor, it was remarked that perhaps Ray Whitney was hobbled (sounds like he has a sore foot) and that Cody Eakin and Tom Wandell could potentially swap places in the lineup. That started a wave of speculation this morning that Glen Gulutzan later quelled to an extent, but did acknowledge that they simply weren't good enough in Minnesota.

"We had a conversation today about - as a group that we didn't get to the net well against Minnesota," Gulutzan told media this morning. "We had perimeter shots. We had 26 blocked. We weren't establishing a good net presence. We've got to get to the net better. We were basically discussing the best ways to get to the net."

When asked a few minutes later if the lines would indeed change, Gulutzan returned to the net presence issue.

"We'll probably start the same way but regardless of what we do or what the score is or anything like that we may shuffle things around just to - not give us more balance, but that net presence thing I alluded to earlier is something maybe we could spread around if we move the lines a bit."

Net presence. Who gives the Stars net presence in a predominantly smaller, less physical lineup than in years past? Is Brenden Morrow in for a different role tonight? Eric Nystrom? It's anyone's guess at this point.

Will Cody Eakin get a little bit more?

"There's no question Cody Eakin is the forefront of our mind," Gulutzan told Mike Heika. "All of those young guys are because they give you energy."

(You know who has a big body and goes to the net? ...Naa, let's leave it alone for now.)

The only way to see what Gulutzan has in mind is to tune in tonight on FSSW at 6:30pm CST.

***

On Detroit's side there have been some significant updates since their game in Columbus concluded. Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo hurt a shoulder Monday night and will definitely miss tonight's contest. Jonathan Ericsson is day-to-day with a shoulder injury as well. He was rumored to be getting an MRI today - But on his hip, so he probably won't play tonight.

That leaves their blue line looking very thin, so they went out and signed UFA d-man Kent Huskins who is a former Duck and Shark. His status tonight officially is unknown but it sounds like he will arrive and get into the lineup immediately for this one.

Mikael Samuelsson is also out, but that might be bad news for the Stars as Detroit recalled 23 year-old Gustav Nyquist to take his spot. The rookie brings with him fresh legs from the American League and is a point-per-game player down there.

Jimmy Howard will start back-to-back against Kari Lehtonen in net.

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