When Tyler Seguin went down during Dallas’ first matchup against the Florida Panthers, he was well on his way to being one of the league’s top scorers.
The former second overall pick was placed on injured reserve on Valentine’s Day; the team announced that Seguin — who had twenty-nine goals and thirty assists just fifty games into the season — would be out for three to six weeks with a sprained knee. Bad news for Seguin, but worse news for the Stars; they’d just traded for a quality backup netminder (taking Jhonas Enroth from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for backup Anders Lindback), and the playoffs were no longer a lost pipe dream. Without their top line center, though, the possibility of seeing the post-season was pretty slim.
In Seguin’s absence, though, the Stars have seen a pickup in production from their secondary scorers. Jamie Benn, team captain, has taken his game to a whole new level — not only has he been one of the most physically dominating presences on the ice for the Stars, he’s been on a scoring tear. Rookie Brett Ritchie has been a solid contributor, as well, and defenseman John Klingberg has emerged as an elite offensive talent on the blue line.
With the news that Seguin has taken the ice — per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, he participated in morning skate with the entire team, then stayed on for extra training and exercises — Seguin could be back sooner than anticipated.
What does this mean for Dallas?
With sixty-six points, it would take a miracle to see the post-season in Texas; likely, the team is going to work towards a strong finish on the regular season then redirect their attention towards the future. Even with Seguin back in the lineup, the Stars would have to both push through the final stretch at an unreasonably good pace and see the Avalanche, Kings, Wild, Jets, and Flames all fall considerably — but at the very least, the team will have a chance to show exactly what they’re made of and give fans a glimpse of what they could be moving forward.