Stephen Johns sent a message this past weekend when he was sent down to the Texas Stars of the AHL: I belong in the NHL. He placed an exclamation point on his message with three goals in the two games he appeared in, including an overtime game winner, a power play goal, and a short-handed goal.
Johns did exactly what the Stars needed him to do. He went down, had a good attitude about the assignment, and found a little bit more of his game. He played better with the puck and found some offense along the way.
The move is not surprising for the Stars. They’re about to hit a road trip that will see them play four games in six nights, including a back-to-back set in St Louis tomorrow night and Detroit on Tuesday night, then Pittsburgh on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday.
Bringing eight healthy defensemen on the road trip should give head coach Lindy Ruff several options and help to keep guys fresher throughout those games. It also helps in case someone gets injured on the road.
No Update on Johnny Oduya
Mark Stepneski reported yesterday that there is no update on Johnny Oduya. Oduya, who has missed the past week with injury, was placed on IR and would be eligible to return as early as tomorrow. With no reports of him skating, it appears that Oduya is still a few games away from returning to the lineup. That means that Esa Lindell and Julius Honka, who have looked solid in their last few games, will continue to get looks on the Dallas blueline.