With Ben Bishop out of the lineup currently due to injury, the Dallas Stars have once again been forced to rely on Kari Lehtonen between the pipes.
But what may be a surprise for Stars fans given past seasons is that the Stars’ coaching staff are confident with Lehtonen’s play going forward:
“He just showed us,” Hitchcock said when asked if Lehtonen is ready. “Come on, he was incredible in Nashville. We expect the same again. He’s on top of his game. Why would we expect anything different? He’s just a flat good goalie.”
Lehtonen has had a .919 save percentage with a 11-7-2 record so far this season as the Stars’ backup goaltender. The timing of his sudden promotion is not ideal given how late it is in the season, but Lehtonen is trying not to worry too much:
“I’m comfortable with where my game is. It’s an exciting time for me to get to play,” (Lehtonen) said. “Hopefully, Ben comes back soon and we can keep going together. At this time, we’ll just go one game at a time and put all your eggs in that basket and keep grinding. That’s all you can do.”
You can read more at Mike Heika’s place here.
Here’s what Hitchcock had to say on Bishop’s injury:
Here are a couple of Ken Hitchcock quotes on the status of goaltender Ben Bishop: pic.twitter.com/PJVcMrQyJz— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 8, 2018
And more injury updates, including a foreboding mention of Martin Hanzal:
Bishop injury looks short-term, not long-term. Will travel on road trip. Should start skating next week.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 8, 2018
Hanzal out long-term. More info to come from Nill.
Faksa, Lindell practiced, should play if they feel good in morning.
Sean Shapiro discusses the scoring issues, playoffs, and cloning in his latest mailbag: [The Athletic]
It’s game day, with the Dallas Stars taking on the Anaheim Ducks tonight at the AAC. Here are the practice notes from yesterday:
Thursday practice update: Bishop's knee injury 'short-term and not long-term' https://t.co/Xdiz0BTbMp via @NHL— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 8, 2018
Here’s the official game preview: [NHL]
Shapiro decided to write on the other Russian this time, delving into the life of Denis Gurianov: [The Athletic]
It was a very busy night on Thursday in the NHL, with pretty much everyone else in the Central Division hitting the ice:
- The Colorado Avalanche fell a bit short, losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 overtime.
- No General Manager? No problem. The Carolina Hurricanes won 3-2 over plummeting Chicago Blackhawks.
- It must not have been a good night for the Central though. The St. Louis Blues also lost, getting shutout by the San Jose Sharks 2-0. [Fear the Fin]
- Oh never mind, the top dogs are still dominating. The Winnipeg Jets beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- And the Nashville Predators continue to be unstoppable, winning their 10th game in a row with a 4-2 win over the Ducks. [On the Forecheck]
In case you haven’t notice, Pekka Rinne has been on fire lately:
Pekka Rinne is 18-2-1 with a 2.03 GAA, .934 SV% and four shutouts during the 2018 portion of the Predators' schedule.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 9, 2018
Also concerning the Jets-Devils game - RIP Taylor Hall’s point streak:
Taylor Hall’s remarkable point streak ends at 26 games https://t.co/reklT1Xb38— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 9, 2018
After dedicating their lives to hockey, it’s not hard to understand why some players would have a hard time moving on from the game:
NHL & NHLPA have a program to help players transition to life after hockey. Their huge problem? Trying to get players to think about life after hockey. A deep dive into the 2-year-old Core Development Program. https://t.co/YgWC8Hxz46— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 8, 2018
Ron Francis is out as the Carolina Hurricanes’ General Manager. Rory Boylen recounts the best and worst moves of his tenure: [Sportsnet]
Who is the Dallas Stars’ MVP? Sam McCaig names one for each of the 31 NHL teams: [The Hockey News]
Hilary Knight is about to make a big splash in Canada:
Team USA star Hilary Knight is headed to.... Canada https://t.co/1aG0Lcd9kd— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) March 8, 2018
Speaking of foreign countries, Vancouver Canucks prospect Elias Pettersson has broken a Peter Forsberg record in Sweden. [Sportsnet]
With free agency only a few months away, could John Carlson be the biggest fish not named John Tavares?
#Capitals' John Carlson is about to hit the jackpot: https://t.co/7uWvV9oGcV— FanRag Sports NHL (@FanRagNHL) March 8, 2018
It’s been some time since I left you all with a heartwarming link, so here:
With the help of @flashesofhope and @johnklingberg, 15-year-old Cameron Ross joined the Stars for a picture to remember. #GoStars pic.twitter.com/uD7ZzbHULU— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 8, 2018