The Stars worked out off-ice in San Jose in the morning and then flew back to Dallas this afternoon, but I just got off the phone with Stars coach Marc Crawford and he said that Kari Lehtonen had a great workout in Frisco today and will be ready for full practice on Wednesday.
Lehtonen was held out of four games with back soreness and did not travel with the Stars on their two-game road trip. Still, he has recovered nicely and is a candidate to play Thursday against the Sharks.
``I talked to (goaltending coach) Mike Valley, and he said he had a great day today,'' Crawford said. ``So we'll get out there and have a full practice (Wednesday) and then see where he is for Thursday. It's very encouraging that he should be ready.''
Crawford said he feels the way the Stars have handled Lehtonen during this situation actually reinforces that they have been doing the right thing with the injury-prone goalie. In fact, he said he will read and react to Lehtonen's situations and how the schedule unfolds, but that he does not immediately expect to reduce the workload of ``eight of every 10 games'' for Lehtonen.
``I know the fan can get nervous, and I realize the importance of some of the things we're dealing with, but I'm very encouraged by everything,'' Crawford said. ``Everyone in the organization feels good about where Kari is and how we have all reacted to this, so I see it as a positive.''
``We were conscientious with everything, and we feel we're on top of it,'' Crawford added. ``That's a good sign.''
When asked about Brenden Morrow's broken nose, Crawford said: ``I think he's just dealing with it. He didn't really say much about it.''
Crawford said he has broken his nose in the past, and it's no fun.
``But that's what you love about Brenden,'' Crawford said. ``When he comes back and plays the way he did, it sends a message to everyone. How can you not play your best when he's playing like that? I mean, you think about that _ it's like getting hit in the face with a baseball bat and then you just go right back to your job. It's amazing, really.''