The Stars had a nice practice on Sunday at GM Place (whoops, Rogers Place now), and they seemed in good spirits and healthy.
Only Toby Petersen (leg) is injured, so coach Marc Crawford will have some interesting choices to make. Jeff Woywitka (shoulder) is a real candidate to return to the lineup, since he has been playing well, and that means Crawford will likely have to select between Matt Niskanen and Mark Fistric. Fistric played his junior hockey in Vancouver and was honored by his old junior team the Vancouver Giants on Sunday night, so my guess is he will stay in and Niskanen will come out.
But we'll have to wait and see.
Loui Eriksson (flu) was fine and skated on the top line, so he will definitely come back in. He had played in 263 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 7, 2007. The Stars lost a 7-4 game to Calgary on Friday when he was out.
``He misses one game and we lose,'' joked Brad Richards said. ``See how much he means.''
Coach Marc Crawford pointed out that Eriksson really was missed. He is averaging 20:44 a game, second highest among forwards, and is second on the team with 49 points.
``People are starting to realize how good he is,'' Crawford said. ``We did miss him last game. It would have been good to have him out there. He plays versatile minutes. He plays in situations where we need a goal and also in protective situations, as well. He's a big part of our team.''
Brian Sutherby (hip) also should be ready, so the Stars will have two extra forwards and will probably pick two of these four to play: Sutherby, Krys Barch, Aaron Gagnon and Francis Wathier. I would guess Gagnon and Wathier will sit, but we'll wait and see.
Kari Lehtonen will start in goal against the Canucks.