Yep, the Russian defenseman showed us a few smiles today when he came off the ice. And why not? It's been a long haul for Zubov, who's finally coming to the end of a frustrating season's worth of injuries. So is he available for the series? "Possibly," he said. He looked like he was enjoying himself out there, said he's feeling better. His teammates, not surprisingly, are happy to see him back.
Sergei Zubov skated, in full pads, with most of his teammates today. Dave Tippett said that it's a big positive that he took the full practice. Yes, it sounds like Zubov is a go at some point in the second round. When that is, exactly, we're not sure yet. But the potential of his return has to make Stars fans giddy.
Philippe Boucher, however, isn't anywhere near skating. The hip is apparently giving him a lot of issues. So it doesn't sound like he's even on the radar right now.
Meanwhile, the Stars are just waiting for tonight's Calgary-San Jose game to figure out who plays who, and where. There's a big difference here, depending on the outcome. If San Jose wins, the Stars are getting ready to get out of town in a hurry, with a probable Thursday game on the docket. If Calgary wins, the Stars can sit back and enjoy the first two games at home.
I got a strong feeling about Calgary tonight... that, or just the overwhelming feeling of 'I don't want more West Coast deadlines.'
I've lost track of how many Zubov updates I've written, so just insert whatever number you would like.
Anyway, Zubov skated today in Frisco, and he'll probably be out there with whichever group skates tomorrow (it's an optional for the boys). As much as this little "break" benefits the Stars, I'm sure it benefits, Zubov, too. He gets a few days to possibly work out with the team. Don't know when he'll be ready, but April 28 will be near the four-week mark of getting that second hernia surgery.
Busy day in the locker room today. Well, a lot of media turned out, anyway. The guys were feeling pretty good, no doubt, about what they've already done. Yes, one of the topics was about this team's lack of winning postseason games at home. I have a theory, though: This is the postseason of redemption. Marty Turco is playing great, and he's getting help from his offense. The Stars have stayed away from the really stupid penalties, especially at crucial times. So are home playoff victories next on the list? Just curious.
Anyway, Sergei Zubov skated today on his own. He was apparently in a sweatsuit, so no pads and practice yet. Said Tippett: "He's not on the radar yet." Mattias Norstrom also was absent from practice, but that was just a rest day.
First, the defenseman: Sergei Zubov had a "procedure" done overseas to fix "lingering problems from a sports hernia," according to coach Dave Tippett on Thursday morning. Zubov will fly back to Dallas tomorrow, and the Stars will re-evaluate after that. This procedure apparently, according to Tippett, "allows him to come back quicker."
Now what constitutes "quicker"? The surgeon that did Zubov's procedure is the same one who did Brad Lukowich's back in February. He was back in about a month. If Zubov is on the same time frame, you would think he would be out at least the first round, depending on what the Stars do in the postseason.
The sports hernia was a lingering problem for Zubov. Whether or not the other injuries added to the hernia problem, who knows. Either way, it seems Zubov has taken care of the problem. We'll see what we can find out this weekend.
Brad Richards will not play tonight. He's still ailing, so he's out for the evening (it's not mono). The guy must not feel good, because he's not much for missing games. He had a streak of 354 straight going into tonight, and this will only be the third missed game of his career. Not too bad there.
Oh, and Johan Holmqvist will get the start out here tonight. Marty Turco will take tomorrow's game against the Desert Dogs in Dallas, as well as the regular-season finale against San Jose on Sunday. Whew... and just like that, I'm tired.
The news doesn't sound too good on defenseman Sergei Zubov. He didn't skate today, as he went to see specialists for his ongoing injuries. And won't skate for the next few days. Coach Dave Tippett called the situation "a concern." When asked if the problem was the foot or the groin, Tippett said, "all of the above."
That can't be good.
So if Zubov can't even skate until this weekend at the earliest (and that's me just guessing here, nothing else), could he be ready for the first game or two of the playoffs? Definitely not the best news for the Stars at the moment.
Sergei Zubov looked pretty good out there in practice today, but Tippett said he's doubtful for today's game against the Loss Angeles Kings. Oh well. There's always hope we'll see him Sunday night against Anaheim. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if it's just a choice of keeping him out of the L.A. game so he's good and ready on the second half of this back-to-back. Why throw him in for the Kingies if not completely necessary. And it shouldn't be necessary.
Then again, I thought that game would be a cakewalk for the Stars last Saturday, so that shows what I know.
Philippe Boucher said he felt fine after last night's game. Little tight, little rust, but that's it. Not a whole lot else to report, so we'll see you tomorrow.
Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett said defensemen Sergei Zubov (foot) and Philippe Boucher (shoulder) are "day to day" and getting closer to returning. Boucher will be re-evaluated Thursday morning to see if he could be possibly ready for San Jose. Zubov is unlikely to return Thursday.
Lines were again shook up in practice with Mike Modano returning to a checking line with Steve Ott and Stu Barnes. Brad Richards, who was teamed with Modano and Barnes on Monday, centered a line with Niklas Hagman and Loui Eriksson.
Sorry, just feeling full after a big lunch. There really wasn't any practice day to speak of. It was picture day, then rest-yer-bones day.
Sergei Zubov and Philippe Boucher skated after the pictures were done, and both say they're feeling better by the day. When do they play? Up in the air. If Boucher plays on Thursday, Dave Tippett said he would have to have a great Wednesday practice. Both will be on the trip, so we'll see if either/both are in for Saturday or Sunday's game.