It seems like every time the Dallas Stars get a player back from injury, another goes on the injured reserve list. Today, that lucky player is blueliner Julius Honka. Honka sustained an upper body injury in the Stars’ loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, December 6th.
Head coach Lindy Ruff on Wednesday after practice indicated that Honka’s injury is expected to be short term, even though there were reports of him sporting a cast post-game Tuesday night floating around Twitter.
With Honka being placed on IR retroactive to December 6th, he’ll definitely miss this weekend’s back-to-back in Philadelphia and Chicago. (Relatedly, how designed that travel plan, NHL?) He’ll be eligible to return at the earliest for next Tuesday’s home game versus the Anaheim Ducks, but will likely miss at least a handful of games with his mystery upper body injury.
The Stars will play in Philadelphia at 1 PM EST / 12 PM CST tomorrow in a rare matinee matchup, so there is no morning skate expected tomorrow. Lines reported out of practice today were as follows and should be close to what the Stars will ice versus the Flyers tomorrow afternoon:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Jason Spezza
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Brett Ritchie
Lauri Korpikoski - Cody Eakin - Jiri Hudler
Curtis McKenzie - Devin Shore - Adam Cracknell
It should be noted that someone will draw out of the lineup, as Patrick Eaves is likely to play. He doesn’t generally take practices this season considering how banged up his style of play often leaves him. In last night’s game, he slotted into the right wing of the fourth line next to McKenzie and Dickinson.
Defensive pairings remained the same as last night’s game, with Johnny Oduya skating with Jordie Benn on a pair. It’s likely that neither will be in the lineup tomorrow versus the Flyers, but I would anticipate different pairings in Chicago on Sunday.
Esa Lindell - John Klingberg
Dan Hamhuis - Stephen Johns
Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleksiak
Johnny Oduya - Jordie Benn
Jiri Hudler Returning To Lineup
With Jiri Hudler now apparently recovered from the mystery illness that has kept him out for all but four games this season, the Stars had to make some roster space to fit him on the active roster. Jason Dickinson, who played in his first game of the season for Dallas last night, was returned to the Texas Stars this morning.
Dallas Stars Lead League in Minutes Lost to Injury
While the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers are slightly ahead of the Dallas Stars in terms of cumulative games lost to injury this season according to ManGamesLost.com, the Stars are leading the pack in cumulative minutes lost to injury. That means they’ve had the most attrition to impactful players than anyone else in the league.