Stars forward Patrick Sharp, who has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, was back on the ice for practice Monday morning in Frisco.
“It was nice to rejoin the team and practice with the guys today,” Sharp said. “It’s tough going out there one-on-one with the coaching staff and having the ice to yourself. It was nice to pass the puck around and shoot on the goalies. It was a big step.
“I am just trying to get back as soon as possible. I can’t tell you when that is. We’ve got a great training staff here and with the coaches, we are all talking about it, and we’ll make the right decision.”
Stars coach Lindy Ruff wouldn’t rule out Sharp possibly being ready for Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings at American Airlines Center.
“I think he might throw his name in there for being ready to play,” Ruff said. “The practice was his first [since going out with injury]. In his case, it is more about how he feels. We’ll get an update later after treatment today.”
Defenseman John Klingberg (lower body) did not practice today, but Ruff said Klingberg had a good skate before practice. Klingberg, who has missed the past four games, is still not ready to return. Neither is defenseman Jordie Benn, who has missed five games with a lower-body injury.
“I would anticipate Klingberg being in practice on Wednesday and Jordie Benn being a couple days behind that,” Ruff said.
Forward Mattias Janmark did not practice Monday due to an upper-body injury. Ruff said Janmark sat out Saturday’s game against St. Louis with the injury.
“He is day to day and progressing nicely,” Ruff said. “He’ll probably be back on the ice by the later part of the week.”
After taking three of four points in big games against Central Division rivals Chicago and St. Louis over the weekend, the Stars face another big test Tuesday. The Los Angeles Kings are coming to town. The Kings, who play at Chicago Monday night, currently lead the Pacific Division and are 7-2-1 in their past ten games.
“[They present] the same challenge we’ve just gone through,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Real good team, real heavy team. A team that doesn’t give up a lot, a low-chance team. A dump and punish you type of team with big bodies coming at you. They are similar to St. Louis. It’s going to be a good challenge.”
“I think we’ve got some guys energized now. I think the line shake-ups have really energized some players. We’ve got some guys that have scored goals and feel good about themselves. Some of the frustration is gone now just because good things have happened. I know Tyler [Seguin] is feeling a lot better and Jamie [Benn] is feeling a lot better. All of sudden, you get those guys on the board, and it is a little bit contagious. There is a lot of good stuff going on.”
-Stars coach Lindy Ruff on his team getting three of four points in games against Chicago and St. Louis this past weekend
Here was how the Stars lined up in Monday’s practice.
Jamie Benn – Cody Eakin – Patrick Eaves
Valeri Nichushkin – Jason Spezza – Tyler Seguin
Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Ales Hemsky/Patrick Sharp
Colton Sceviour/Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Brett Ritchie
Kris Russell – Alex Goligoski
Johnny Oduya – Stephen Johns
Patrik Nemeth – Jamie Oleksiak
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.