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Full Strength

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

For the first time this season, it looks like Marc Crawford will have a full healthy lineup for the game on Wednesday vs. Calgary. Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen have been cleared to play and play on being in the lineup.

“We will have a few decisions to make on our lineup,” said Crawford. “It is great to get the type of experience that we’re getting back into our lineup with Mike Modano and Jere Lehtinen. Those guys are very excited about coming back into the lineup. When you’re playing a top team coming back in, it gives you that much more enthusiasm and excitement. You can see with our guys that there certainly is competition now; healthy competition amongst our 14 forwards the same way there’s been on our defense. It’s mainly been with Fistric and Woywitka.

“On the forward positon, we’ve got a lot of guys who are really playing well. They’re making it difficult to make decisions. Somebody’s going to have to sit out the next game who doesn’t deserve to sit out. I think on the other side of it, it’s not really that bad of a happening for the Stars. It really does emphasize our depth, and I think our depth can be something that is such a strong characteristic of this club. When you’ve got your seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth forwards that you can march out and they can be high-end quality people, it just stands to reason that we should be able to play an up-tempo game and really outlast clubs.”

That’s exactly what the Stars hope to do Wednesday vs. the Flames – find a way to get two points.

One line that has been playing well together over the last few games is the line of Brian Sutherby, Tom Wandell and Fabian Brunnstrom. The trio has created some good chemistry.

“It’s been fun the last couple of games,” said Sutherby. “Wandy’s a very good hockey player. He can carry the puck and control the play. I’m just trying to keep things simple, get on the fore-check and get the puck in those guys’ hands. They’re the guys that have a lot of the skill. They can make the plays, and I’m trying to be a big body and get them pucks, get them some room and get the puck to the net. We’re just trying to find the holes. The last couple of games have been good. We’re really trying to build on continuing that; two games doesn’t make anything. We’ve got to keep doing things that we’re doing, and hopefully it keeps doing that way. [Confidence is building because Crawford] has been putting us out there. We’ve just got to keep it simple, not force plays at the blueline, get pucks in and make our plays from down low.”

“I think we’ve played well the last couple of games,” added Brunnstrom. “I think we have pretty good chemistry. Tommy is our center and he makes good plays. Sutherby runs around and hits people and makes good plays as well.”

Crawford likes what he sees from the line as well.

“I think they all have ability first and foremost,” he said. “I think there’s a certain amount of comfort that’s come from playing with each other, looking for each other, maybe understanding what a player likes to do; if you’re going to hang onto the puck and cycle back. Brunnstrom has the tendency to get low and turn tight. I think in some instances it’s easier for Sutherby and Wandell to read what he’s doing with the puck. I think the fact that the two Swedes speak the language there on the bench might be a little more comfortable for them to talk about what they’re trying to accomplish on the ice.”

Dallas hosts Calgary on Wednesday night, followed by a date with the Canucks at American Airlines Center on Friday night. Get your tickets here.

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