Sometimes, the Dallas Stars run full-personnel morning skates that allow us to get a handle on what the lineup might look like for that night's game.
Today was not one of those days. This Tweet from Sean Shapiro sums it up well:
Compelling notes from this morning skate pic.twitter.com/T9k9vBPbKR
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 8, 2016
One day after a very tough, conditioning-based practice, the Stars had an extremely optional morning skate at the American Airlines Center before their game with the Nashville Predators, so optional that only one goalie was there - Antii Niemi staying out with the guys skating late, which seems to point to Kari Lehtonen being the presumed starter again tonight. Lehtonen has been very solid in recent games, and he was the least of the team's problems in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames, so it makes sense that the team would turn back to him in net.
The more notable news came from Lindy Ruff, who mentioned that recent call up Jason Dickinson would likely play tonight. There are 13 forwards available, and with such a light morning skate, it's unclear who might come out of the lineup in his place.
In other forward news, Jiri Hudler skated with the team, as it were, again as he continues to try and get back in shape from his mystery illness. Ruff has mentioned that he and Johnny Oduya may be available as soon as this weekend.
Speaking of Oduya, he skated late as well alongside Jordie Benn, meaning it may be the elder Benn's turn in the "defenseman scratch roulette" of this season. Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Olekisiak both left the ice earlier and look likely to draw back into the lineup in the place of Benn and the injured Julius Honka, who did not skate.
On the Nashville side, Pekka Rinne will be in net, and former Stars defenseman Adam Pardy will be in the lineup after starting his season in the AHL. Pretty sure there won't be a video tribute for him (wait until February and the return of Trevor Daley for the next one?), but the way this season has gone in terms of unexpected things, you never know...