Remember when we thought the end of 2016 would hopefully bring the end of the mysterious injury curse that plagued the Dallas Stars through the first half of the season?
That was a nice dream for a few weeks.
Now, three weeks into 2017, it can be safely stated that the injury problems are still a big part of the Stars season. Today’s version of that song-and-dance came with news about Radek Faksa and Tyler Seguin.
Faksa suffered a lower-body injury in the overtime loss to the Washington Capitals and, while he came back out to the bench for the start of overtime, is now slated to miss at least the next two games with that issue. With the All-Star break coming up this weekend, that means he will miss games against the Wild (tomorrow) and Buffalo (on Thursday) before potentially being back next Tuesday against the Maple Leafs.
Seguin missed practice because of an illness, and Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he is officially questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Wild. While Jamie Benn and his recently broken nose didn’t skate, he should be available.
If Seguin can’t play tomorrow, that would leave the Stars without (deep breath) Jamie Oleksiak, Johnny Oduya, Radek Faksa, Tyler Seguin, Mattias Janmark and Ales Hemsky from what could have been penciled into the lineup at the start of training camp. I mean, it’s not six of the top nine forwards out like happened earlier this season, but seven players out with injury is still pretty darn significant.
That brings us to the good news, such that there is. Mattias Janmark has skated in Frisco a few times and has gear back in his stall in the locker room. That likely doesn’t speak to his potential timeline for return, as with the underlying knee condition he has, they are probably going to test it out very conservatively to start, but it is a positive bit of recovery news.
But back to the injuries for a second, because you needed a little more pain today. The great site NHL Injury Viz has tracked games lost in terms of cap hit for the season. The most recent breakdown they had was through the 15th of January, and it showed the Stars had lost the third-most “cap dollars” to injured players of any team and the most in forwards. Only Tampa and Buffalo had more. Winnipeg was lurking, but the Stars have probably pulled back ahead with this recent slate.
That chart is here if you want to dry your sports tears with it. In terms of overall man games, the Stars are tied for fourth behind Detroit, Edmonton and Vancouver at 208 (though it should be noted that Edmonton lost mostly lower line and pairing players to injury, so their numbers, while high, are not representative of impact.)