The big news of the day was that defenseman Patrik Nemeth practiced without the red no-contact jersey for the first time since suffering a severe wrist laceration in mid-October. The original plan was for him to miss the entire season and perhaps be ready if the Stars made it to the playoffs, but that timeline has obviously accelerated.
Patrik Nemeth skates sans red no contact jersey. https://t.co/9MAaEjTtkU— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) February 12, 2015
Nemeth won't be a part of the Stars plans in the immediate future - Stars coach Lindy Ruff said they would reevaluate where he was in a week's time, and Mike Heika indicated he would play in the AHL first to get his legs back under him - but it certainly is a good sign given the seriousness of the cut and the original projected recovery period.
The 6-foot-3, 230 pound Swede played in five games this season before suffering the injury against the Philadelphia Flyers and had 13 games last season, including five in the playoffs, after coming up late in the year from the Texas Stars.
Not practicing was newly acquired goalie Jhonas Enroth, who is expected to arrive in Dallas later this afternoon. Ruff said Enroth would likely play in one of the games this weekend as the Stars have a back-to-back with travel at home against Florida tomorrow then on the road in Colorado on Saturday.
Given that Enroth won't be able to skate with his teammates at least tomorrow's morning skate, one would think Saturday's game in Denver is a much more likely possibility while Kari Lehtonen starts against the Panthers. But that's a divisional game against a team the Stars are competing with for a playoff spot while Florida is a solid but not spectacular Eastern Conference team. It will definitely be an interesting decision to watch.
Another absentee from practice was Tyler Seguin, who was battling an illness in Boston and reportedly got sick before, during and after the win over the Bruins. He missed today's practice with the same bug, but Ruff indicated he would be fine to play tomorrow against the Panthers.
Vernon Fiddler centered Patrick Eaves and Jamie Benn for the practice, and Curtis McKenzie filled in on the third line next to Cody Eakin and Ryan Garbutt, indicating he may be the replacement for the suspended Antoine Roussel. Ruff wasn't committing to that version of the third line, though, as Travis Moen is also healthy and ready to play.