The Detroit Red Wings open a set of two road games opposite the Dallas Stars tonight (8:30 PM EST on FSD/FS SW/97.1 FM; the teams play at the same time on Thursday).
The shorthanded Wings (no Darren Helm, Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina, Sam Gagner, Adam Erne or Jon Merrill as of Stars morning skate time) are on an 0-and-2 slide after two disappointing losses against the Chicago Blackhawks, while Dallas has won its only two games of the regular season.
DallasStars.com also posted a worrisome set of stats about the teams which tangle this evening…
The Stars come into Tuesday’s matchup boasting a four-game home winning streak (4-0-0) against Detroit, while also earning points in each of the last six games (4-0-2) against them at American Airlines Center.
Dallas owns a 5-2-0 record over its last seven games against the Red Wings and has points in seven of the last 10 (6-3-1) against them.
As did Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal:
Wings need more balance in their scoring….
5 players have scored all 12 Red Wings goals
Mantha & Fabbri 1G each— Ken Kal (@KenKalDRW) January 26, 2021
If you’re interested, there is a local tie in this game as Ty Dellandrea once played for the Flint Firebirds, too:
“This kid is full of confidence. We love it. He’s a National Hockey League player.” – #GoStars Head Coach Rick Bowness on @TyDellandrea.
Watch Dellandrea and the Stars face the @DetroitRedWings tonight on @FOXSportsDet! pic.twitter.com/pDPc198YQh— Flint Firebirds (@FlintFirebirds) January 26, 2021
Speaking of which, the Stars’ morning skate started at 11 AM, per the Dallas News’s Matthew DeFranks, The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf, DallasStars.com’s Mike Heika and WFAA’s Bruce LeVine:
Stars pregame skate looking optional.— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) January 26, 2021
No sign of Jamie Benn, yet
Joe Pavelski giving Ty Dellandrea tips on … tips. pic.twitter.com/WOdzoD0KIU— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 26, 2021
Morning skate officially underway. No sign of Jamie Benn on the ice.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 26, 2021
Stars during morning skate:— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 26, 2021
Stars lines at morning skate. We'll ask about potentially missing players afterward.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) January 26, 2021
The Wings won’t skate until 12 or 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, so that’s when I’m going to hit “Publish” on this post.
Anyway, the Stars received customary news regarding their starting goaltender for tonight’s game, and good news regarding two of their injured players:
Anton Khudobin is the first goalie off the ice this morning.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 26, 2021
A very welcome sight this morning, Blake Comeau has come on the ice with the #GoStars taxi squad as the morning skate winds down.— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 26, 2021
Comeau has not been on the ice with team in any capacity since Saturday, January 16th.
So the Stars said, “Hello”…
And Stars captain Jamie Benn is “questionable” for tonight’s game:
Rick Bowness says he doesn't have an answer yet if Jamie Benn will play tonight.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 26, 2021
Blake Comeau is "definitely" out tonight. Needs a few practices before playing in games.
We’ll sum up the Stars’ side of things with this Tweet from Heika:
Rick Bowness said they will not know if Jamie Benn is playing until tonight. Gardner and Kero (who skated on lines this morning) are still on taxi squad roster, so Stars have some decisions to make.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) January 26, 2021
Anton Khudobin is expected in goal.
So we waited for the Red Wings, who do not have any traveling media members with the team, to Tweet out any relevant information from today’s morning skate…
In the interim, the Stars’ website posted coach Rick Bowness’ pre-game presser:
The Wings did post a Tweet from today’s skate. It involves Frans Nielsen working on his stick, Mathias Brome doing his thing on the ice, Thomas Greiss getting a skate repaired and Bobby Ryan kneeling.
There’s your morning skate’s worth of information from the Wings, as of 1:09 PM EST.
(If form holds true and Blashill continues to alternate goaltending starts, Greiss goes tonight)