You got to love the NHL schedule markers, right? Four games on the east coast to start the season. Fly back to Dallas for your home opener. Then hop on a plane and fly back to the eastern time zone for another game. Doesn’t sound like the most convenient start to the season, but that’s what the Dallas Stars are doing. After a quick one-game at home, the Stars are back on the road tonight.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are the opponent this time. This is a team that Dallas is somewhat familiar with. Last year the Stars and Blue Jackets were in the same division due to COVID-impacted realignment. In eight games against Columbus last year, the Stars finished with a 5-2-1 record. It was the second best record against an opponent Dallas had last season. The only one that was better was against the Detroit Redwings (6-2). Defensively, Dallas played better against Columbus than any other team. Or at least in net they did. Dallas only gave up 2.13 goals a game against the Blue Jackets.
I’m not sure any of that matters to be honest since this is a new season and the Stars have Braden Holtby in goal now. Offensively, Dallas scored 3.75 goals per game against Columbus last year. Again that was the best against any team in the division. There again, I’m not sure what the significance is other than this year we have a healthy Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov.
Perhaps this is the team Dallas needs to help jump start some of the offensive players and get away from the “pesky, dirty, ugly” hockey the team has been playing as described by Seguin himself.
You can get this infamous quote to show off your Dallas hockey fandom to start the season here.
A couple of good things to report. Per Matthew DeFranks, Jani Hakanpää will not have supplemental discipline for kneeing Drew Doughty on Friday night.
Told that Jani Hakanpää will not have supplemental discipline for kneeing Drew Doughty, as he did not extend his knee in any way and kept his same position throughout the hit.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) October 23, 2021
Also, John Klingberg is expected to be in the lineup tonight per Saad Yousuf. Klingberg suffered a lower body injury in the first game of the season.
John Andersson Klingberg should be back in the lineup tomorrow at Columbus, per Richard Gary Bowness. Final call tomorrow.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) October 24, 2021
Klingberg has missed the past four games after suffering a lower body injury in the opening few minutes of the season opener in New York on October 14.
Dallas Potential Lineup
Denis Gurianov (34) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Michael Raffl (18) - Radek Faksa (12) - Tyler Seguin (91)
Jacob Peterson (40) - Jamie Benn (14) - Alexander Radulov (47)
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Luke Glendening (11) - Tanner Kero (64)
Ryan Suter (20) - John Klingberg (3)
Esa Lindell (23) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Andrej Sekera (5) - Jani Hakanpää (2)
Braden Holtby (70)
Anton Khudobin (35)
The Columbus Blue Jackets
Like the Stars, the Jackets have a 3-2 record. Where all three of Dallas’ win have come in overtime, Columbus has two wins past 60 minutes. Their other win was an 8-2 dismantling of the Arizona Coyotes on opening night. Arizona is one of two teams in the division that is winless as of Monday morning. (The other? The Chicago Blackhawks.)
Columbus has been led early by Boone Jenner who has four goals already on the season. Oliver Bjorkstrand leads the team in points (7) while Patrik Laine has six points. In the net, Elvis Merzlikins has got the nod three times with Jonas Korpisalo playing the other two. Merzlikins has a staggering 1.63 goals against average. Obviously it’s early in the year, but it’ll be interesting to see if that pace continues.
Columbus Potential Lines
Patrik Laine (29) - Boone Jenner (38) - Jakub Voracek (93)
Gustav Nyquist (14) - Jack Roslovic (96) - Oliver Bjorkstrand (28)
Alexandre Texier (42) - Cole Sillinger (34) - Yegor Chinakhov (59)
Eric Robinson (50) - Sean Kuraly (7) - Gregory Hofmann (15)
Zachary Werenski (8) - Jake Bean (22)
Vladislav Gavrikov (44) - Adam Boqvist (27)
Scott Harrington (4) - Andrew Peeke (2)
Elvis Merzlikins (90)
Jonas Korpisalo (70)