Defensive reinforcements are coming for the Dallas Stars.
Tonight, as the Stars prepare to face the New York Islanders for the first time this year, the Stars will get at least one and possibly two of their veteran blueliners back from injury - a fact made more notable by the fact that Aaron Rome went down last game leaving Alex Goligoski once again as the sole player with more than 100 career games.
Sergei Gonchar is definitely in after missing five games with a concussion he suffered after taking a puck to the jaw. Gonchar has definitely had his ups and downs this season, but diving back into the fray on a trip against the Eastern Conference - where he had played all of his NHL career until this season - might be the smoothest transition for him.
The big question is the availability of Trevor Daley, who has missed 14 games over the span of a month with a high-ankle sprain. He has been skating recently and is about as game-time a decision as you can get, so we won't know whether he's in the lineup for not until possibly after warmups. High ankle sprains have a pretty nasty rate of recurrence, and a month is a very, very quick time frame to fully recover, so this one worries me a bit. But if the training staff has cleared him, he would also he a nice addition on the back end.
Stephane Robidas has been spotted walking around the American Airlines Center recently on his broken leg and appears to be targeting a return in March, which would bring the defense up to full strength for the first time since he broke his tibia against the Blackhawks.
So it's not a full complement on the blueline tonight, but it's definitely getting closer. Tune in early tonight for the east coast start and see if the addition(s) help cure the goals against leak the Stars have recently sprung.