The Dallas Stars don’t have a lot of time to smart from last night’s 4-2 loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. They’re hosting the Minnesota Wild tonight to finish off the back-to-back set of preseason games that mark their last at their home arena before the season opener next Friday versus the Vegas Golden Knights.
In some ways, it might be good that this game comes so quickly. Several players from last night are likely looking for a clean slate after their performances last night.
While we may have to wait until head coach Ken Hitchcock speaks to the media today to know who will be playing, one thing we can count on is seeing some faces from last night in tonight’s lineup. Hitchcock has stated that he will play guys both games to determine who will make the 23-man roster this season. If I were a betting woman, I’d put good money on some of the young blueliners to find themselves playing again tonight.
After all, that is one of the biggest logjams Dallas has on their NHL roster. The coaching staff has said they want to make those cuts and play their NHL roster on Saturday when they travel to Minnesota for their last preseason contest.
Then they’ll have a week to work out the kinks and try to build some more chemistry before opening night is upon them.
The Wild have had a fair amount of success so far in the preseason, notching a 3-1-0 record with shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets, a shutout of the same Jets in their second matchup, a 2-1 win over Colorado before getting annihilated 5-1 by the same Avalanche squad the next night.
Minnesota plans to use these forwards when they come to Dallas tonight:
Christoph Bertschy, Pat Cannone, Joel Eriksson Ek, Landon Ferraro, Kurtis Gabriel, Luke Kunin, Ryan Malone, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, Cal O’Rielly, Daniel Winnik, Zack Mitchell
We’ll have to wait to see how they assemble them at morning skate, but a lot of the “big” offensive weapons for Minnesota won’t be in the lineup (such as Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise). Everyone is trying to make their roster decisions, so it’s not exactly surprising to see some guys in the lineup that you haven’t seen before.
Besides, Niederreiter seems to do enough sniping on Dallas to more than carry the Wild’s weight in that department.
On the blueline, Minnesota will roll with some combination of these guys: Mike Reilly, Ryan Murphy, Gustav Olofsson, Matt Dumba, Kyle Quincey, Alex Grant, and Carson Soucy. We’ll have to see what their lines look like at morning skate before we know what the Stars are up against.
Alex Stalock should be getting the start in net, with Niklas Svedberg backing him up. Obviously Devyn Dubnyk has the starting job in Minnesota, and luckily Dallas won’t have to face the formidable Vezina-finalist tonight.
While this one won’t be broadcast on television, as is the case with all preseason games for the Dallas Stars, the Ticket will be carrying the stylings of Razor and Luddy so you can get pumped about the season starting.