Anyone been on Twitter this week?
If you have, the world that encompasses Dallas Stars hockey on that popular social media platform can tell us a lot about the current psyche of the Stars fanbase. All across the landscape fans and some local media pundits are speculating if trading John Klingberg is what this team needs to build for tomorrow.
The same John Klingberg who helped stabilize a Stars blue line that was searching for anyone to step in after the retirement of Sergei Zubov. The same smooth skating, silky, and brilliant offensive mind that helped the Stars to within two wins of an improbable Stanley Cup last fall.
There isn’t the time in this preview to cover the merits of a trade, the pros and the cons. However, it is telling that the Stars season has fallen to this point as the team gingerly marches into Columbus this afternoon.
The Stars are coming off a huge win against the Chicago Blackhawks that seemed to indicate that the club was back to at least putting it back together. However, the big win was followed up by yet another loss in a game the Stars should have won without much issue. So goes the story of this Stars season, leaving valuable points on the ice and losing games that shouldn’t have been in doubt.
Alexander Radulov: Is the Russian forward due back into the lineup tonight? The Stars have upgraded him to a game-time decision for this afternoon. Per some media reports, the winger has been skating in practice and looks healthy enough to play. However, with the nature of injuries in a sport like hockey, healthy enough doesn’t mean healthy. If the Stars do see Radulov back in the lineup it will be a massive boost for a team that has missed all that he brings to the club. Before missing time with the injury, Radulov had already tallied 11 points in eight games with an absurd 23% shooting percentage. The forward also brings jump, compete, and creativity to a team that could really use some right now.
The Standings: The Stars loss to the Blackhawks didn’t help matters at all. In a season where each game is a four point game, it just simply can’t happen that the Stars don’t follow up a huge win with another win. Currently the Stars sit at 8 wins, 9 losses, 5 overtime losses, for 21 points. They are one point above the cellar dwelling Detroit Red Wings. The Stars are also 12 points out of the final playoff spot in the Central. The one good thing going for the Stars is games in hand. The COVID-19 outbreak and winter storms handed the Stars six games in hand on the Blackhawks. We’ll see if the Stars can figure a way to digging out of that hole - but games in hand are only valuable if you actually win them.
Projected Dallas Lines
Jamie Benn (14)- Joe Pavelski (16)- Denis Gurianov (34)
Jason Robertson (21)- Roope Hintz (24)- Joel Kiviranta (25)
Nick Caamano (17)- Radek Faksa (12)- Ty Dellandrea (10)
Andrew Cogliano (11)- Jason Dickinson (18)- Blake Comeau (15)
Esa Lindell (23)- John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2)- Miro Heiskanen (4)
Joel Hanley (44)- Andrej Sekera (5)
Anton Khudobin (35)
Jake Oettinger (29)
The puck drops early on this one, 4PM CST on FSSW and on 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket.