Some odds and ends about the Dallas Stars as the team gets on a plane to New York City today.
Joel Kiviranta Recalled, Justin Dowling to IR
After reports that Justin Dowling was seen in a walking boot after Wednesday night’s game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was retroactively placed on injured reserve to make room for the recall of Joel Kiviranta. In the seven games he played earlier this season for Dallas, Kiviranta acquitted himself pretty well. He showed a sound two-way game and some flashes of speed that could inject a little life into the offensive zone for the Stars.
Last night, the Dallas Stars Foundation hosted their 21st annual Casino Night. They turned the Comerica Center arena floor into a beautiful and elegant casino floor. From the floral arrangements, to the specialty cocktails and liquors available, and the auction items, the Foundation staff really outdid themselves at the event. Casino Night is one of the biggest fundraiser nights of the year, with experiences that can’t be had anywhere else, such as a road trip to Vegas with the team complete with a ride on the team plane, auctioned off. The silent auction alone raised over $100,000.
All of the money raised goes into local charitable organizations through various grants given out each year. Organizations that have benefited from the Dallas Stars Foundation reach a wide variety of causes, including North Texas Special Need Assistance Partners, Puppy Rescue Mission, Dallas Warrior Hockey, and The Gatehouse, among many others.
One thing that is available for Casino Night are baskets put together by each player. It’s, in theory, a basket full of each player’s favorite things (which was likely helped along by their significant others, no doubt). Some interesting choices were in those baskets:
Miro Heiskanen’s basket included a soccer ball, a large bottle of Finlandia vodka, some Finnish chocolates, and some dog toys, among other things.
Ben Bishop’s basket had a gift card to Flower Child, a signed jersey of his, a St. Louis Cardinals hat, and a bottle of a Faust cabernet wine, among others.
Denis Gurianov’s basket had to be the purest of them all. It featured a bunch of movie theater-style candy, an AMC gift card, box sets of Game of Thrones (the full series!), and a bottle of TX bourbon, among others.
Tyler Seguin’s basket was sponsored by Top Golf, based on all the golf items in it.
Somebody put a picture of Roman Polak from the Winter Classic, featuring his best Cowboy style, in their basket.
The coaching staff’s basket had bottles and bottles of wine. To be honest, I could have 100% walked off with that and would have felt like I’d really won the night.
Standings and Scoreboard Watching
Now that the regular season is about 60% over, it’s about the time that people start watching the standings and doing a little scoreboard watching. Before Friday night’s games, the Stars are still firmly set in 3rd place in the Central Division.
Dallas finds themselves with a five point gap on the Nashville Predators, a six point lead on the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks while holding a game in hand, and an eight point lead on the Minnesota Wild. While nothing is ever guaranteed, and a solid run one way or the other by any given team can change this picture very quickly, Dallas looks to be in a decent place.
While they’re making hay at home, where Dallas needs to improve is their road record. This three game swing through New York could help. They’ll face off against the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils, two of the last teams in the Eastern Conference. Sandwiched in there will be a matchup against the Stars of the East, the New York Islanders.
Games to Watch This Weekend
Saturday, February 1:
St. Louis Blues at Winnipeg Jets (6 PM CST)
Colorado Avalanche at Philadelphia Flyers (6 PM CST)
Chicago Blackhawks at Arizona Coyotes (7 PM CST)
Nashville Predators vs Vegas Golden Knights (7 PM CST)
Minnesota Wild vs Boston Bruins (7 PM CST)