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Shorthanded and Overworked Stars Get Some Rest Before Facing Vancouver

Thursday the Dallas Stars practiced in Calgary and, according to who you believe, had a nice hard skate at it's conclusion...

Dallas with an old-school hard-ass skate at the end of practise in Calgary. @Elliotte Friedman

Some people went as far as to call it a bag skate. Without seeing I don't know how anyone could make that determination, certainly not when Mike Heika turns around and says that some players skated, some players did not, and the goaltenders were off the ice yesterday.

Today they had a goaltenders practice with barely anyone on the ice, we hear.

They'll have only a morning skate tomorrow, and then the day off on Sunday as they travel back to Dallas. That leaves a very important practice on Monday that will determine if some of these injured bodies can get back in the lineup or not.

Jamie Benn has been said by several outlets today to be a candidate and Brad Richards certainly is as well. The news on Nicklas Grossman sounds good to hear Mike Heika tell it, but not so good that he'll play on Saturday. Adam Burish's status is still pretty cloudy at this time, but you know this off time is killing him. He wants to help this team and I expect he'll be back skating mid next week sometime.

The sum total of all these parts seems to indicate that rest and health, not practice, is the way they hope to escape these desperate times. If you think desperate is too strong a word, go look at the conference standings and come back. We'll wait.

Rest might be the best medicine because the injuries have increased the work load on the forward group. When things were going well in January it was not uncommon to see a box score with no forward reaching the 20:00 mark. These days Morrow, Ribeiro, Eriksson and company are pushing 23:00 some nights. It doesn't sound like much but it wears on them greatly. Even Trevor Daley played over 29 minutes on Wednesday.

One game in five days and at least a body or two back on Tuesday should have everyone in better spirits when the Versus cameras shine on AAC ice against the hot New Jersey Devils who are 7-0-1 to start February. (It never gets any easier does it...?)

Some afternoon reading after the jump...

  • Justin Bourne describes this time of year from the stand point of the players over at Puck Daddy. Mentions Stars could have just had a hot start. [Puck Daddy]
  • New notes that Jamie Langenbrunner leaving the Devils seems to have coincided with their remarkable resurgence. []
  • The Stars ECHL affiliate Idaho Steelheads add a forward kidding... "Bear Trapp." [ECHL]
  • This betting web site calls Brad Richards injury a "(head)" injury. First we've heard of that specific term. Are they guessing? []
  • Matchsticks and Gasoline is even dreaming about Brad Richards now? Keep dreaming, guys. [Mathsticks and Gasoline]
  • Mr. Stepneski had a good roundup of the scoreboard watching from last night. It was not a good night. [ESPN Dallas]
  • Mike Heika has to answer questions like "So the Stars lost out on Kaberle, huh?" ... [DMN]
  • Pray for the Wild to beat the Ducks tonight.