After taking Tuesday off, the Dallas Stars were back on the ice for practice Wednesday morning in Frisco. They are in the middle of a three-day break between games, and the focus is on getting healthy as they prepare for the final third of the season, which will see them play 16 games over 30 days.
“We wanted to accomplish a little more, but the biggest thing is we want to get a little healthier. That’s the key thing here,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “We need to have these guys for the last stretch. I think our next practice day is going to be April 11 after this. We need to get healthy and this is certainly going to help.”
That flu situation that had been plaguing the team recently seems to have passed.
“There were about eight or nine guys and a couple coaches were affected, too. It lingered for about four or five days,” said Gulutzan. “It wasn’t the knock you down, drag you out type, but it lingered and stayed with you. It’s pretty much gone out of our locker room now. There’s a few things going on and this break came at the right time. We find ourselves a point out (of a playoff spot), and the push is on now.”
Jamie Benn and Aaron Rome did not practice on Wednesday.
“Rome, it was a personal day for him,” said Gulutzan. “Jamie was a maintenance day. He is still battling with his hand a little bit.”
Forward Ryan Garbutt, who has been out since March 16 with a hand injury, skated today.
“He’s getting re-evaluated Friday by a hand specialist,” Gulutzan said. “We’ll know more on Friday on where he is.”
Reilly Smith recalled from Texas
Forward Reilly Smith, assigned to the Texas Stars (AHL) on Tuesday, was recalled Wednesday and practiced with the team.
Smith played with Texas in Houston last night, picking up one goal, one assist, three shots on goal and a game-high plus-four rating in Texas’ 7-6 overtime victory.
It was a chance for Smith, who was scratched twice last week, to get some quality minutes.
“I definitely felt more confident on the ice down there, and I felt like I was able to do a little more with the puck,” Smith said, “I think I had more time with the puck in the first period than in my last couple games up here. It was good to get the confidence back up.”