A little under a month and a half into a brand new season, the injured list seems to just keep getting longer and longer. It is as if the Stars’ finally got over their “losing-on-the-road” bug and picked up an “injury bug”, like a toddler that keeps getting sick after licking puddles.
In mid October, we talked about the injuries regarding Alexander Radulov, Stephen Johns, and Val Nichushkin. Sadly, the IR (injured reserve) has only grown since then. Connor Carrick, John Klingberg, Marc Methot, Brett Ritchie, and Devin Shore have joined the IR. Brett Ritchie missed 4 games due to an infection but will be returning to the line up on November 19th when the Stars face off against the New York Rangers.
Stephen Johns is still out with Post-Traumatic Headaches and Martin Hanzal is expected to return in late November. Hanzal had a spine fusion at the end of last season, which is why he’s been gone for so long.
Alexander Radulov has (finally) returned to the line up, playing his first game since October 30th on this last Monday (November 12th). Radulov did return with some firepower, snagging a goal of an assist from Jamie Benn and Miro Heiskanen. Radulov’s return will definitely be important in time going forward, giving the Stars’ some firm ground to stand on.
Now, let’s move onto the players who’ve gotten the “Injury Bug” (probably from licking puddles).
Victim #1: Connor Carrick
Connor Carrick is out with a foot injury and was placed on retroactive IR, meaning that he can return to the game very soon. Carrick hasn’t played since October 28th and his play on the ice is dearly missed, especially with some of the other injuries that have plagued the defense.
Victim #2: John Klingberg
John Klingberg deflected a puck off his hand during the Stars match up with the San Jose Sharks, and exited the game early. It was announced later that day that Klingberg needed to have surgery and would be placed on the IR for at least three weeks. Klingberg’s injury has been devastating to the Stars’ defense. Klingberg was off to a terrific start this season, and there is still hope that his return will also bring the power that the defense once held.
Victim #3: Marc Methot
Marc Methot has been out since November 1st with a lower body injury, although his injury is day-to-day it is still unclear when Methot will officially return. Methot’s return would be a big help to the Stars’ defense in the absence of their leader, and seeing as his injury is day-to-day that can mean a quicker return than Klingberg’s.
Victim #4: Devin Shore
The latest victim of the injury bug, Devin Shore. Shore was injured during the Stars’ game against Columbus on November 12th. Shore left the game early following a check from David Savard of the Blue Jackets. Shore had an MRI and was placed on the IR for 7-10 days with a lower body injury. Shore is another Star who has had an amazing start to his season, 4th in goals on the team even.
Due to the number of injuries, various players have been pulled up from the Texas Stars (Dallas’ AHL team) in order to compensate. Today, the Stars called up defenseman Gavin Bayreuther, who has 5 points in 7 games, from the Texas Stars.
Some other call ups include:
Ben Gleason (2 games, 1 goal, sent back down)
Dillon Heatherington (5 games, 1 assist, sent back down)
Denis Gurianov (2 games, 1 goal, sent back down)
Joel Hanley (2 games, still in Dallas)
The Stars also traded with the Buffalo Sabres a conditional 7th round pick for Taylor Fedun, a defenseman. Fedun was sent to the Texas Stars to grow acclimated to the Stars’ way of play. Fedun is a speedy player, impressive for being 6’1″ and 201 pounds.
This season’s “Injury Bug” has taken a hard hit at the Stars but they won’t go down without a fight. After falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Stars’ hold a 9-7-2 record. This is not a great spot to be in, it’s still early in the season, only 18 games in. The Stars have 5 games coming up in the next week alone, and with the return of Alexander Radulov, Seguin breaking his goal drought, and some new blood being brought up, the boys can win some games and push us into a better spot. The Stars did drop from 3rd in the division to 2nd in the Wild Card, but they aren’t far behind Colorado who is in front of them.
The Stars’ next game is November 16th against Boston at home, then the boys fly out to New York for a back to back against the Islanders and Rangers (Nov. 18th and 19th). On the 21st the Stars will head to Pittsburgh and take on the Penguins before coming back home for one game on the 23rd and going back on the road again.
There will be some back and forth traveling, but let’s keep our heads up Stars fans!