Stars Face First Road Test
Monday, 10.05.2009 / 5:09 PM / News
By Dallas Stars Staff
The Stars flew to Alberta on Monday afternoon, embarking on their first road trip of the season that takes them to Edmonton (Tuesday), Calgary (Friday) and Vancouver (Sunday). The team had a good practice in the morning before leaving and got some good news on the injury front.
“It’s nothing structural,” Modano said. “I’m just going to have to deal with it and hopefully get the soreness out of there. It depends when I get on the ice how much I can and can’t do. It feels fine right now. But the first, 24-36 hours is tough, so it’s settled down a little bit now.”
Stars Head Coach Marc Crawford confirmed that Modano will come on the trip and the team is hopeful that he can play once the soreness dissipates.
“At some point I hope (to play),” Modano said. “(Tuesday) might be tough, but maybe Calgary or Vancouver. Either way, it will be good to be with the team. It’s tough to do anything here when everybody is gone.”
Crawford also said that Jere Lehtinen is getting closer to making his 2009-10 debut. Lehtinen practiced with the team on Monday and has made progress from a hip/groin injury that has hampered him thoughout the pre-season and training camp.
One player who has impressed Crawford over the last four weeks has been forward Tom Wandell. With Modano probably sidelined for Tuesday’s game at Edmonton, Wandell may be the beneficiary of more opportunity.
“I think Tom is going to get more ice,” Crawford said. “I thought he played pretty good in the last game. Tom has had a good camp, and we used him in a lot of roles in camp, because we wanted to see, ‘Can he play in a fourth line role, how is he as a checker, how is he when he plays with good players?’ One of the best games he had in training camp was with Steve Ott so I think that’s good. Hopefully Steve is excited to play with him as well. He’s got great speed, like Mo, and they can hopefully get a little bit of chemistry going on that line very quickly.”
Wandell made this team because of his performance at camp and Stars brass believe he is ready to take that next step in his development and hopefully seize an everyday role at the NHL level.
“I think that he’s ready to improve, he wants a consistency that comes with being on a team and maybe understanding your role and getting solidified within a lineup,” Crawford said. “As a young player, he’s not going to be afforded the same breaks that Richards or Ribeiro or Modano might get because they are known quantities and known entities. We’ve been really impressed with him and we’ve been really pleased with his play thus far.”
The Stars and 105.3 The Fan will hold a Watching Party at Hooters in Addison (5005 Belt Line Road at the Tollway) on Tuesday night at 8:30 pm when the Stars face-off against the Oilers. As always, great food will be featured along with a $3 Heineken special and Dallas Stars prizes (including autographed merchandise, hats, jerseys, T-shirts). The Dallas Stars Ice Girls will be in attendance as well.
Tuesday’s game at Edmonton will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southwest on the TV side and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket on the radio side.