The Dallas Stars need a healthy Ben Bishop, and they could get him back as early as tonight. He’ll dress for the Florida Panthers game, starting at 7:30 p.m. Central time – although the team won’t decide whether he or Anton Khudobin will start until this evening, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks.
Bishop gave up a chance at a franchise-record four shutouts in a row when he took himself out of last Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild. The preventive measure could benefit the team as the playoffs race hurtles to its conclusion:
“You’ve got to think more big picture than that particular instance,” Bishop said. “It’s something that was lingering there. You don’t want to end up making it way worse and missing two, three weeks. You’d rather get out of there, take care of it and make it short-term instead of obviously taking the risk of the bigger picture, which is more important.”
That may not sound very reassuring to fans who are mentally reliving the March collapse that narrowly took the Stars out of last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Head coach Jim Montgomery says it shouldn’t:
“To me, we’re such a mentally tougher team,” Montgomery said. “You look at our road record, you look at our consistency in effort and execution here, especially since the All-Star break, has been a very consistent hockey team that’s hard to play against.
”To me, I think our team has gained confidence, we’re a resilient bunch. I think if you look at the two last games are perfect examples of we probably would have gone away in the last two games. But we don’t go away anymore. ... To me, we don’t even think about last year, we think about where our team is. Our mental state is in a real good spot.”
There’s much more under the paywall. [SportsDayDFW]
The return of Mats Zuccarello is one more thing that could bolster the Stars as they look to punch their playoffs ticket.
Zuccarello expected to travel, practice with Stars on next road triphttps://t.co/S1RjBmQDLA— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 18, 2019
Remember the last time Julius Honka started a game? Sean Shapiro fields this question and more in his latest roundup.
Julius Honka has sat out the Stars' last 25 games. How is he dealing with his role? @seanshapiro tackles that topic in this week's Shap Shots, as well as Jason Robertson's OHL scoring title and Roman Polak's impact.https://t.co/BLMzKhD701…— The Athletic (@TheAthleticDFW) March 18, 2019
Is this the last word on that Anton Khudobin - Elias Pettersson penalty shot? We can hope.
Around The League(s)
- The Vancouver Canucks are on something of a winning streak against Central opponents. Last night they took down the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. [Nucks Misconduct]
- And Kyle Connor earned a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2. [NHL]
The Tampa Bay Lightning locked up the President’s Trophy last night. Will the home-ice advantage help?
Running away with the Presidents' Trophy race isn't just for show: by locking in home ice throughout the playoffs, the Bolts are following a franchise template that really helped the first Stanley Cup champ from Tampa Bay, writes @THNRyanKennedyhttps://t.co/cDaLhax74y— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) March 18, 2019
Roberto Luongo is the poster child, but he’s not the only future (or past) Hall of Fame goalie who has never won a Stanley Cup.
Do all of those wins matter if you don't have a Stanley Cup? https://t.co/LhEESFvGue— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) March 17, 2019
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park (And Beautiful Boise)
The Texas Stars welcomed back Landon Bow yesterday. The goaltender has been reassigned to Cedar Park, which is the best indication that Bishop will be back immediately.
The Dallas Stars have reassigned goaltender Landon Bow to the Texas Stars. https://t.co/ynBbBcyKFV— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 18, 2019
And in case you missed it, the Idaho Steelheads are back in the Kelly Cup playoffs.
Last night’s sports news was all about future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki. As Dirkules passed Wilt Chamberlain – Wilt Chamberlain! – to become the NBA’s sixth all-time scorer, the Stars took a moment to celebrate, too. Enjoy.