One banked-in goal off of a New Jersey Devils defenseman's skate was what it took to send the Dallas Stars into one of their longest down stretches of the regular season on a high note.
Vernon Fiddler's goal midway through the third period was the game winner in a 3-1 victory over the Devils that capped off the first 11 games of the season and sent the Stars into a five day off stretch. Their next game is not until Friday against the Colorado Avalanche.
While there may be concerns that the time off will slow momentum from the team's 8-3-0 start, it will also help the team deal with a number of nagging injuries, according to head coach Glen Gulutzan. The team even picked up a new one Saturday when defenseman Nicklas Grossman got a gruesome looking gash from a skate blade.
"We do have some nicks and bruises," said Gulutzan. "Steve Ott was a guy tonight that was in complete discomfort. He played through that, and that was a big thing for us. So having two days that we're going to take entirely off, that's a big thing for those guys. For us, it comes at a good time."
When asked about Grossman's injury, which was very bloody, Gulutzan said it looked worse than it was.
``He got a big gash, so we won't be modeling next week," Gulutzan said. "That's a little scary when that happens. I haven't seen him. I saw him on the table getting stitches. It's a good thing our plastic surgeon guy was here. He can make Grossy look as cute as he ever was. But he got a real good gash by his face, through his cheek."
At least he'll fit in at Halloween, eh?
After the jump, more on the Stars 3-1 victory over the Devils, former Stars traveling to and from the NHL and some of the best quotes from non-native English speakers this season..
- The usual quick-and-dirty gamer from ESPN Dallas mentions how much confidence the Stars are gaining from their ability to win close games. [ESPN Dallas]
- A teeny-tiny nugget on why Gulutzan doesn't seem to be married to any particular defensive pairings thus far. Seriously, this links post is longer than the entry, but it is an interesting point. [DallasNews.com]
- Our friends over at In Lou We Trust have only one word for how the game went from a Devils perspective: frustrating. [In Lou We Trust]
- The New Jersey Star-Ledger website appears to be having technical issues as I'm writing this post, but this blog entry follows up in the frustrating theme by talking about how disappointing the Western Conference road swing was for the team. [The Star-Ledger]
- For those of you who didn't catch the Joe Nieuwendyk ceremony, there's a great little quote in here that involves Jamie Benn and the future of this franchise. [DallasNews.com]
- Around the Pacific Division, the winners: Points for (almost) everyone! The San Jose Sharks pick up a very disputed two points on an incorrect delay of game call in a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Islanders and the Phoenix Coyotes let the Los Angeles Kings get to overtime with them before finishing out a 3-2 game. [Lighthouse Hockey/Los Angeles Times]
- Around the Pacific Divsion, the loser: While everyone else figured this "picking up points" thing out, the Anaheim Ducks didn't manage to find the net in a 3-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, a game that could have some videos coming from the Shanahammer. [Tennessean]
- Shock of shocks, Fabian Brunnstrom has been waived by the Detroit Red Wings. In a big turnaround since he played for the Stars, he is quoted as saying he hopes no one picks him up (which would mean a place on the NHL roster) and he gets sent to the minors because he wants to stay in the organization. Where was that willing to go to the minors attitude when he really needed to in Dallas? [Detroit Free Press]
- Another former Star, this one coach Ken Hitchcock, might be on his way back to the NHL. As the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to spiral further into the abyss this season, the front office is considering several drastic changes, including firing the general manager and coach and bringing back Hitchcock. [Puck-Rakers Blog]
- In a game that has little-to-no effect on the Stars this season, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 tonight. But this story is a must read for the quotes, which reference a classic Ilya Bryzgalov interview after the Flyers most recent loss. [Philadelphia Sports Daily]
- Oh Lehtonen. I love that he says "we were able to get that one crappy goal at the end." I could be misinterperting his accent, but I don't think I am.