The 2016 Dallas Stars continues to be drama-filled each week.
Johnny Oduya suffered a lower-body injured in the game against the Oilers adding another name to the injury list. The Stars put Oduya on injured reserve as a timetable for the veteran defenseman has not been set.
The injury forced the Stars to reach into the pool of young talent from Texas Stars AHL. Maybe one the best out of the bunch is Julius Honka.
The 20-year-old defenseman was called up to start his first NHL game against the Wild on Monday. Honka was drafted in first round of the 2014 draft and immediately starting playing for the AHL team as a teenager.
Like Klingberg, Honka is a offensive-defenseman. This season Honka had 12 points (9 assists, 3 goals) in 16 games. The Stars are hopeful the young Honka can contribute to the power-play.
Yet, Honka playing along Klingberg was held off for a game.
Lindy Ruff tagged Klingberg with a healthy scratch versus the Wild after the star defenseman showed up late for a team meeting. And with the Stars winning against the Wild, Ruff will have a decision to make on changing up the lineup something he doesn’t usually do after a loss.
As a Stars fan, it is face-in-palm. Another player goes down to injury and an exciting prospect is called up, minimizing the damage only for it to rear its ugly head again.
But there was good news on the injury front. The Stars got Cody Eakin and Patrick Sharp back from their injuries. Eakin had missed the first part of the season due to a knee injury. The center-ice-man played his first game on Thursday against the Avalanche.
Patrick Sharp returned after sustain a concussion in October. The winger had missed 14 games before returning to play against the Oilers on Saturday. As a result, Gemel Smith was sent back to the Texas Stars.
Getting those guys back is huge for a team decimated at the forward position. Eakin and Sharp were among the players missing numerous games this season. With Mattias Janmark and Ales Hemsky still sidelined indefinitely, having Eakin, Sharp and Spezza (missed seven games) healthy and playing helps this team as they try to find their grove this season.
The Stars have a 4-2-2 record in eight games and have 21 points total through the first quarter of the season. That puts the Stars square in the middle of a number of teams separated by just two points.
Seeing how things have worked out so far, being seventh in the conference is not that bad. Sure they are a couple points from being in the bottom half of the conference. But at the same time they are just a couple points away from the third position.
And hey, they got their first overtime win this season, snapping a nine-game losing streak in such games (dating back to last year).
Here’s a look at their upcoming schedule:
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
11/23 @ Predators 7:00 p.m.
11/25 vs Canucks 7:30 p.m.
11/28 @ Blues 7:00 p.m.
11/29 @ Red Wings 6:30 p.m.