Dallas Stars fans salivated over the possibility of installing Jamie Benn on Brad Richards left (with Eriksson on the other side), but that may have to wait a while. Once things got settled in last night and Marc Crawford saw what was working and what wasn't, Richards found himself with Tom Wandell and at times, Tomas Vincour as linemates. (He skated with Eriksson as well.)
While long time linemate James Neal was nowhere to be found, Alex Goligoski was and the two shared PP time.
All of these new teammates, new line mates and new situations added to what was already a complicated return for a man who still leads the team in scoring, even if the team is only partially recognizable as the same one he last played with three and a half weeks ago. Richards told the Morning News today:
"I felt all right, but it wasn't how I felt in the middle of the season when I was on form,'' Richards said. ``But I had to get that one out of the way and I'll probably have to get another one or two out of the way before I get back to feeling good.''
Dallas had an optional practice today as will often be the case (Dallas played five games in the next nine days) so it will be difficult to find full practices for Brad. We're just glad he's back, no matter how long it takes him to get fully comfortable.
- The Copper and Blue do things like track highly arbitrary metric "scoring chances" for random games and teams they're interested in and they did it for Kings/Stars on Monday. The Stars out-chanced the Kings, evidently, and this means something to someone. I tend to think the final score is also a good indication of what happened in the game. [Copper and Blue]
- The Red Wings are giving points out to the Western Conference like they're candy right now and couldn't even score two goals at home versus the Kings. [NHL.com]
- The Goldwater Institute is using the sale of the Stars and lack of tax payer involvement in their argument against the league's proposed plan with Hulsizer, saying: "The NHL is negotiating a deal to sell the Dallas Stars right now, and no taxpayer money appears to be on the table," Olsen said in a statement. "The Goldwater Institute is trying to protect citizens who don't have the resources to fight city hall." [Globe and Mail]
- Another column about the Coyotes sale. Either way, the tax payers in Glendale are going to "take a bath." [Globe and Mail]
- Nicklas Grossman continues to skate and improve supposedly. If we take each time we've been told he's improving and add them up, he's made about 20 different improvements and it's still not good enough. Friday sounds like a real possibility, however. [ESPN Dallas]
- Art's post on the Stars and social media was so good I'm going to link to it again here. [Defending Big D]
- The AHL playoff race is just as messy as the NHL's. Texas is sitting in a good spot right but must keep pushing forward. [Hundred Degree Hockey]