Stars defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who has missed the last three games with concussion-like symptoms, skated with the team at this morning’s practice in Frisco wearing the red no-contact jersey.
“He’s progressing. He’s feeling better,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “He’ll participate in morning skates and stuff. As soon as he is cleared for contact, we’ll get him up and running.”
Gonchar was injured in the Dec. 21 game at San Jose, when he was hit in the jaw with a puck off the stick of Sharks defenseman Justin Braun.
“I was fortunate. Nothing was broken and everything was in place. No one could believe it,” Gonchar said. “I am making progress and it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.”
Today was Gonchar’s second day back on the ice. He skated a little on his own Sunday. If all goes well, he plans to skate Tuesday as he tries to work his way back to playing.
“Hopefully I am going to feel fine and skate some more tomorrow,” Gonchar said. “I’ll play as soon as I feel normal and I am in good shape. We are going to work towards that and then I’ll start playing.”
Daley making progress
Stars defenseman Trevor Daley, who has been out since early December with a high ankle sprain, is making progress in his recovery. He’s been skating recently, the last two days in full gear.
“I haven’t got much lateral stuff, too much turning or putting all my pressure on it,” Daley said. “Straight lines I am fine. It’s one day at a time and I am doing a little bit more every day.”
There is still no definitive timetable for Daley’s return. His goal is to get into a practice by the end of the Stars’ current homestand to get a better idea of where he is.
“I’ve got to get into practice and battle, get into contact stuff before I know,” Daley said.
Daley was injured in the Dec. 5 game against Toronto when he got tangled up with Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk.
“I haven’t watched it,” Daley said. “I remember getting a step on the guy, I think he tried to draw a penalty, pulled me down and at the same time he fell on my ankle.”
Daley said he’s been impressed with the young defensemen who have come into fill the void while he and others have been out of the lineup over the past month.
“They’ve done a great job,” Daley said. “You come in and you have to play big minutes and play a huge part. It’s not easy for just anybody to do it, and for those guys to come in and play big minutes is pretty impressive.”
Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas was at the team’s practice facility Monday. He broke his leg in the Nov. 29 game against Chicago and the time table on his injury was put at 4-6 months.
“It’s coming. I’ve never had this injury, so it’s tough to know if I am on schedule or not,” Robidas said. “It’s tough to compare. Every injury is different, but at least now I can walk more like normal. It’s tight a little bit, but it’s getting closer. It’s good.”
While Robidas is up and walking around, when he’ll be able to get back on skates is another question.
“It all depends,” he said. “They took an x-ray a couple days ago and I don’t know how long it takes for it to fully heal and get back all together. Before I can start skating, everything has to be back in place.”
For now, it’s a lot of rehab work and watching Stars hockey.
“They’re playing really well,” he said. “I’ve been watching every game. They’re doing really well right now and they’ve got to keep going. I’ve been very impressed with the way the guys have responded and have been playing. The guys have been working and battling and they’ve got results for that.”
Maintenance day for Horcoff
Stars forward Shawn Horcoff did not practice Monday. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said it was a maintenance day and that Horcoff should be ready to go for Tuesday’s game against Los Angeles. Dustin Jeffrey took Horcoff’s spot on a line with Vernon Fiddler and Ray Whitney in Monday’s practice.
Here was the practice lineup.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Erik Cole – Rich Peverley – Alex Chiasson
Dustin Jeffrey – Vernon Fiddler – Ray Whitney
Alex Goligoski – Brenden Dillon
Aaron Rome – Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton – Cameron Gaunce
Sergei Gonchar (injured)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.