"We saw the white smoke coming down the hallway" Dallas Stars media joked with Glen Gulutzan following practice today.
"Too many meetings when you lose," Gulutzan said. "Meetings about meetings. Just talking about personnel and what areas of our game we want to make sure we're pushing forward on."
Personnel will continue to be a big topic of conversation for all until the Stars can finally ice a healthy lineup. Ray Whitney is back, but Jamie Benn and Brenden Morrow did not skate with the group today, opting instead to take a brief turn on the ice after practice to test their maladies.
"Nothing new," Gulutzan of the injury situation. "Jamie and Brenden skated today [ ] just a little bit. I would say that Jamie is doubtful for tomorrow. Brenden, we'll see how he skates in the morning."
So as the Ducks will likely be without Corey Perry tomorrow, so too will the Stars probably be without Jamie Benn for the second consecutive game to open this stretch of heavy home play.
That means Tuesday's line combinations are likely to stick around, at least for a little while.
"We changed right at the end of the second and in third there was no consistency," Gulutzan said of Tuesday night's lines. "It was one game with the lines. We'll probably keep the lines the same, go at it again and tomorrow will be a bit of a tighter leash to see whether or not we change things."
Tuesday's combinations started like this:
Trevor Daley was not on the ice today, but is fine as Gulutzan told media that it was just a maintenance day for him. A topic of conversation not broached by media, but perhaps by Gulutzan and company in those meetings, was what to do with the defense. Philip Larsen is healthy and remains an option if the staff wants to give Jamie Oleksiak or Jordie Benn a night in the press box to learn a different way. So we'll see what comes out of morning skate tomorrow.
If Morrow were able to go he could potentially play with Eriksson and Roussel, or else possibly in Reilly Smith's stead along side Eakin and Jagr.
The pope-humor was not contained only to the locker room, as Puck Daddy himself joked with Mark Stepneski that Trevor Daley's absence was perhaps more conspicuous than at first thought...
[Mild Language Warning]
And the Stars responded:
@wyshynski we've been scooped— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 13, 2013
A pope hat would come in handy for shot blocking, but may increase risk of own goals. #analysis