There is a virus loose in the Dallas Stars locker room.
Alex Chiasson has missed time. Ray Whitney has missed time. Now Shawn Horcoff has been ruled out tonight with illness, that Mike Heika specifically called "flu." It's hard to know if it really is a strain of influenza, another bothersome winter virus that plagues so many of work places these days, or if the incidents are even truly related.
The only thing that is certain is that the Stars brought Colton Sceviour back from the AHL today, with Whitney and Horcoff possibly out.
So now one must attempt to imagine a potential lineup with Dustin Jeffrey and Colton Sceviour. Lindy Ruff started with this:
Whitney practiced but it's uncertain if he'll play. You could see putting Sceviour back with Peverley and Cole if he had to play, and Nichushkin and Chiasson continuing to play musical chairs- But it may not be a very active night for Vern Fiddler if that's the case.
Sergei Gonchar skated without the red jersey, signaling his approaching return, but it won't be tonight.
Mark Stepneski (@starsinsideedge) remarked on Twitter that the Stars thought they were through with this circulating sickness, but found out otherwise this morning. Hopefully the ability to go their own separate ways while home in Dallas will mitigate further spreading.
Heika got a good quote from the head coach this morning regarding tonight's game...
"We can't let our guard down," Ruff said. "Montreal's got good speed. They're a good transition team, good special teams, for the most part. Carey Price can single-handedly win a game himself and actually both their goaltenders have been excellent, so my message for them is not for one second to take Montreal for granted. Just because we've got a team that's out of the conference, don't for one second think it's going to be an easy game."