There have been several homecomings on the road for the Dallas Stars this season, but Saturday night’s game in St. Louis will be a reunion. And it will be with former captain Brenden Morrow.
“It’s going to be strange,” Morrow said. “There are nine or ten fresh faces over there, so it’s not like I know the whole team. I have some great memories of that franchise. Still close with a lot of players there, so it’s going to be a strange game.”
It will be strange for Morrow’s former Dallas teammates, too.
“It will be interesting. It will be kind of weird to see him. Haven’t got to play against that guy before,” Stars defenseman Trevor Daley said Friday. “Just like playing against Steve Ott, it will be special. Morrow was the biggest part of this team ever since I’ve been here. It’s going to be a little different seeing him on the other side.”
The Stars traded Morrow to Pittsburgh prior to last season’s trade deadline. He signed with St. Louis in September. Morrow played 13 seasons for the Stars, and was captain for seven. He played 835 games, registering 528 points (243 goals, 285 assists). There were 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 78 playoff games as well.
“I still care about how that team is doing and how those guys are doing, so I keep an eye on them and watch some games when I get a chance,” said Morrow, who has four goals and two assists in 15 games with St. Louis this season. “But once the puck drops I know whose team I am on.”
Still, Morrow keeps up with how the Stars are doing, and keeps in contact with some of his former teammates. He had dinner with a few of them Friday night. The fact that Morrow and the Blues are facing off against each other tonight is a sign of how much has changed.
“There’s been a lot of change, and I hope that helps a lot. It’s a different jersey, but there are still some guys I care a lot about on that team,” Morrow said. “Jamie Benn, other than his family, I am probably his biggest fan. Lining up against him, playing against him, getting physical with him, all those are going to feel different.”
Stars forward Ray Whitney will miss his fifth straight game with a groin injury.
“He’s real close, but the smart thing is to wait,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
Defensemen Aaron Rome and Kevin Connauton are expected to be healthy scratches tonight.
Quotable: Hitch on the Stars
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock talked about the Stars during his chat with the media after Saturday morning’s skate in St. Louis. Here’s what he had to say.
“I know Lindy [Ruff] and how he plays. He has his team playing very fast,” Hitchcock said. “I think the thing you have to get used to is there isn’t going to be any neutral zone play. You’re either going to be in their end or their going to be in your end, that’s just the way it is. He’s got his team playing with high energy, high tempo and you’re going to have to match it. You’re not going to slow them down. They’ve got great quickness, they’ve got great speed on the puck. We have to take advantage of what our game is. Our game is based on forecheck, just like theirs is. Their game is based on tempo, our game probably is based a little bit more on size and we’ve got to do that stuff.”
Who: Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis
When: 7 p.m.
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
Stars projected lineup
The Stars will go with the same lineup as last game. Kari Lehtonen is in goal.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Erik Cole – Cody Eakin – Alex Chiasson
Antoine Roussel – Vernon Fiddler –Rich Peverley
Dustin Jeffrey – Shane Horcoff – Ryan Garbutt
Brenden Dillon – Stephane Robidas
Alex Goligoski – Trevor Daley
Sergei Gonchar –Jordie Benn
Kari Lehtonen (starter)
Blues projected lineup
Brian Elliot is in goal for the Blues. Patrik Berglund (upper body) is a game time decision.
Alexander Steen-David Backes-T.J. Oshie
Brenden Morrow-Derek Roy-Chris Stewart
Jaden Schwartz-Vladimir Sobotka-Vladimir Tarasenko
Magnus Paajarvi-Maxim Lapierre-Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman-Kevin Shattenkirk
Ian Cole-Roman Polak
Brian Elliott (starter)
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.