Dallas Stars’ goalie Ben Bishop and forward Tyler Seguin are on track to rejoin the team in late March or early April, according to General Manager Jim Nill. Bishop had knee surgery in October to replace a torn meniscus in his right knee. Stars centre Tyler Seguin had off-season hip surgery.
Speaking to Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News on Feb. 26, Nill said that Bishop has gotten onto the ice a few times but is not yet ready to rejoin his teammates for regular practice.
Nill was cautiously optimistic at Seguin and Bishop’s individual progress. He noted:
“Until they really get on the ice and start really pushing in practice, you’ll never know. They might get on the ice and really start to take off and they might get on the ice and start going, and have some setbacks. It’s hard to put a definite timeframe on it.”Dallas Morning News
No Rush For Bishop to Return
Despite some disciplinary issues early in the season, Anton Khudobin has been steady as the number one goalie for the Stars. He’s posted a 2.72 Goals Against Average and a .915 Save Percentage through 10 games. But, he isn’t getting any help from his struggling club.
The Stars are 6-6-4 with 40 games remaining. They’re at the bottom of the Discover Central Division and have been playing sloppy hockey lately. They’ve gone 1-5-3 in their past nine games. That being said, having Bishop back isn’t going to drastically change the team’s fortunes, so there is no rush for him to return.
Stars Injury Woes
It seems that with the condensed schedule, every team is dealing with a plethora of injuries that are slowing them down. In the Stars’ case, they are without one of the league’s elite talents in Tyler Seguin.
Nill told DeFranks, he expects Seguin will be available to return in early April after having hip surgery this past off-season.
Another one of the Stars’ top centres, Roope Hintz, has an injury that he could be battling all season long, Nill said. The Finn has four goals and ten points in 12 games played this season.
Alexander Radulov is out with a lower-body injury. He is expected to return later this week and will bring a much-needed offensive punch.
Dallas is a Team Searching for Answers
The Stars looked early on like they were set to continue their hot play from the Edmonton bubble into 2021. After COVID-19 spread amongst the team delayed their first games, they went 4-1-1 through January.
February was a different story. After beginning the month with a 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas lost eight of its next nine games, ending a rough month with a 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first game since those two faced off in the Stanley Cup Final.
Players and Coaches Weigh in
“It’s just self-reflection time, really, for an individual, as a professional and as an athlete,” forward Andrew Cogliano said Saturday night post-game:
“We’re at a desperation moment to get things going in the right direction, but we play a lot of divisional games, and as fast as you go one way, you can go the other. I think we’ve all accepted that it’s going to be a grind all season to make the playoffs. We’re going to have to fight and it’s going to come to the end. We have to accept that and it’s going to be a lot of hard work from here on out.”
Head Coach Rick Bowness thinks luck, or the absence of it, might have something to with it.
“Sometimes, you don’t get the big goal, you don’t get the big save, it’s a little bit of everything, but that’s what happens when you’ve been on the slide we’ve been on,” Bowness said Saturday.
Stars defenseman John Klingberg said adversity is nothing new for this group:
“We’re going to play every second day. It’s going to be like the playoffs, we’re going to see the same team a bunch of times, so not too high, not too low. We’ve put ourselves in a worse position than we wanted, so we’re going to have to dig out of it This team has faced some adversity in the past, so we’ve got to find ways to get points and win games.”
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