Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow is getting close to returning to action, but it is extremely unlikely that he will be ready for tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks.
Morrow has missed 17 games with a wonky back/neck/shoulder joint that has prevented him from such critical functions as turning his head to the side. He's been forced to rest it after injections that helped him deal in the past were no longer effective, and he's spent his time off working on his core muscles to try and take some of the pressure off the problem area.
But he will still need to test his neck against contact from his teammates before he declares himself ready to play.
``It feels 100 percent better, but I think that's what happens when you rest it,'' he said. ``The real test will be when I get hit in practice and see how it responds. Then we'll have a better idea. But I feel really good about what we're doing. I have a lot of confidence in it.''
When Morrow returned from injury the first time this season, he was very effective for a stretch before the joint started bothering him again. Stars fans can only hope that the extended time off and new strategies will help him get back to that form or his 33-goal for from last season.
After the jump, more on today's game against the Sharks, Marty Turco clears waivers and video evidence that little Jamie Benn was really good at hockey way back when.
- You want to see what Barry Melrose thinks about Brenden Morrow's return? Sure you do. [ESPN Dallas]
- A few weeks ago, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said his team had a run in them. They're proving him right at the moment as Mike Heika details in this paywalled story. [DallasNews.com]
- I don't think we saw this kid on the Stars broadcast, but this little dancing dude was the best thing about Tuesday's game from a Vancouver perspective. [The Province]
- Steve Ott tried to channel his inner Wayne Gretzky against the Canucks, and he wouldn't be the pepper pot that he is if he didn't let everybody on the bench know about it. [DallasNews.com]
- A kid from Dallas whose name is Austin is leading the NCAA in goal scoring? There might be something to that fifth-round magic, as Austin Smith seems to have really blossomed now that he's healthy as a senior at Colgate University. [DallasStars.com]
- More chances for free tickets. If you've got electronics you need to recycle and you're in the DFW area, you have a chance to get tickets to a Stars game at a March 10 even at the AAC. [Houston Chronicle]
- Marty Turco cleared waivers and is now an official member of the Boston Bruins. The man is still one of the more honest and engaging interviews in the league, as well as one of the good ambassadors, and even though he will have a limited role in Boston, I wish him nothing but success. [Boston Herald]
- Another entry in the ice hockey causes injuries file: a lacerated kidney for Alex Khokhlachev of the Windsor Spitfires. [Backhand Shelf]
- Jordin Tootoo will not be disciplined for shoving a linesman during a scrum in Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Kings. [The Tennessean]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: They say the most dangerous animal is a wounded one, and the Sharks are certainly that as they limp into Dallas to begin a four-game road trip. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: All of the advanced statistics say that the Sharks shouldn't be losing as much as they are at the moment, and that is scary as a Stars fans because you figure they'll snap out of it sometime. But our friends over at Fear the Fin know they will have to figure out how to make that critical difference in games against divisional opponents. [Fear the Fin]
- Around the Pacific Division: Jeremy Roenick gives his take on the wild and wacky Pacific Division as he, too, tries to figure out what is up with the Sharks. [NHL.com]
- The few, the proud, the hockey hugs. [Puck Daddy]
- I love this interview with Jamie Benn by his hometown news channel because a.) he was really freaking good even as a grade schooler and b.) it's like half a second of personality! Part one is here, and stick tap to Megan, @BellaMattina on Twitter, for cluing me in to it.