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Cogliano reflects on career at 1,000 games: 'I've been very lucky'

The veteran forward will become the third player to reach the milestone in a Stars uniform this season

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer
Stars (32-19-5) at Maple Leafs (30-19-8)

6 p.m., Scotiabank Arena

TV: FOX Sports Southwest

Radio: The Ticket 1310-AM, 96.7-FM

 

TORONTO -- Andrew Cogliano will become the third player in a Stars uniform to play in his 1,000th career regular-season game this season, joining Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski. The timing is perfect for Cogliano, who was born in Toronto and who will have a lot of family and friends at the game.

"There will be quite a bit … I'll bet there will be people who I don't even know are here," Cogliano said when asked about the size of his cheering section. "I want to treat it like any other game in terms of preparation, but it's going to be different. I bet my family and friends are even more excited than I am about the game.

"It's going to be something special for them, too."

The timing is kismet, to be sure. Dallas plays only once a season in Toronto, so for Cogliano to get to celebrate in his hometown is perfect. He said as much as he will be honored, it's a great chance to honor his parents.

Video: Cogliano excited to celebrate 1,000 games in Toronto

"Obviously, I wouldn't be here with out the sacrifice of my parents and my family, and that's the most important thing," Cogliano said. "To be able to share it with family and friends makes it even more special. And to do it here, I just got lucky. It's pretty cool."

Cogliano started his career with an 830-game ironman streak, so he has arrived at 1,000 games pretty quickly. At age 32, he still has plenty of time to play, but he can also look back at great memories from his time in Edmonton, Anaheim and Dallas. He said winning has always been the thing he emphasized the most.

"I've played on some really good teams, and that's the most important thing," he said. "A thousand games is not only it is hard to do, but you remember winning the most. You remember good teams and you remember good people."

Stars coach Rick Bowness said coaching Cogliano has been a joy. The veteran winger is averaging 12:24 a game and has two goals and nine assists for 11 points in 55 games.

Tweet from @DallasStars: A model of durability. Andrew Cogliano returns home to Toronto for his 1,000th @NHL game tonight at 6:00 p.m.Tune in: @FOXSportsSW Stream: https://t.co/dc9nodfcdl#DALvsTOR | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/4Y5OiCIL9x

"This guy is a true pro," Bowness said. "It's nice that Cogs is getting to play his 1,000th game here tonight. He's a tremendous competitor and he's been a huge addition to our team. He's one of those low maintenance guys who just shows up and goes to work every day. When the puck drops, you know exactly what you're going to get."

Cogliano was asked about getting to the milestone so quickly, and he said that he has been very fortunate.

"Luck was on my side," he said. "I like to think how I approach the game and wanting to be in the lineup every night, and being someone who contributes every night, played a role into me getting to 1,000. I've always taken a liking to nutrition and the physical side of the game, so I think all of that combined into one gave me an opportunity to get to this point. …

"You can't find a better job and you can't find a better league to play in. I've been very lucky."

 

Robertson expected to make NHL debut

In addition to Cogliano playing in his 1,000th game, rookie Jason Robertson is expected to play in his first.

Alexander Radulov ran into teammate Denis Gurianov on Friday and suffered an upper-body injury. He sat out Saturday and then played 14:32 against Carolina at home on Tuesday. He was placed on injured reserve Thursday and will miss the next three games at least. Joe Pavelski missed last game with an upper-body injury, and skated in the morning, but will not play.

That clears the deck for Robertson. The 20-year-old forward has 35 points (20 goals, 15 assists) in 49 AHL games this season. He had 117 points (48 goals, 69 assists) in 62 OHL games last season.

Asked about his progress in the AHL in January, Robertson said: "I know that upper-management has a plan for me. If that's me going to be here for a little bit of time and preparing and becoming a better pro, that's how it's gonna be, and I'm just gonna keep working as hard as I can and wait until then."

Video: Bowness discusses injuries, challenge of facing Leafs

 

Polak to rejoin lineup for 800th game; Bishop in net

The Stars are coming off a really strong 4-1 win over Carolina Tuesday, but they have been good at shuffling chairs, and that will happen again tonight. Robertson will come in and likely play on a line with Mattias Janmark and Joel Kiviranta.

On defense, Roman Polak is expected to come in and Andrej Sekera will come out. Polak will play in his 800th NHL regular season game.

Ben Bishop is expected to be in net after sitting out the past two games in favor of Anton Khudobin. Bishop is 7-8-0 in his career against the Maple Leafs with a 3.09 GAA and .894 save percentage.

Video: Seguin discusses goal drought with media in Toronto

 

By the numbers
17

Tyler Seguin last scored a goal on Dec. 28 against Colorado. His goal-less streak of 17 is the longest in his career. In 29 career games against Toronto, Seguin has 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists).

 

3

The Stars are third in the NHL in goals against average at 2.50, while Toronto is third in scoring at 3.54 goals per game.

 

157

The Maple Leafs are second in power play success at 24.8 percent, but rank 28th in power play opportunities at 157.

 

He said it

"I've been feeling good. I've been patient with the injury, and I feel ready to go again. It was a nice little process to make sure we looked at the things we needed to and to get ready to play."

-- Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen on returning to play after missing four games

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn - Jason Dickinson - Denis Gurianov

Roope Hintz - Tyler Seguin - Corey Perry

Jason Robertson - Mattias Janmark - Joel Kiviranta

Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen - Stephen Johns

Jamie Oleksiak - Roman Polak

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: D Andrej Sekera

Injured: C Justin Dowling (lower body), RW Alexander Radulov (upper body), C Joe Pavelski (upper body), C Martin Hanzal (back)

Join the Stars for Hockey Is For Everyone Night when they return home to take on the Arizona Coyotes at American Airlines Center on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika, and listen to his podcast.

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