- Mark Stepneski, ESPNDallas.com
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Morrow played in just 57 games this season and registered 11 goals, the second lowest total in his NHL career. He missed 25 games due to injuries, primarily back and neck issues. It wasn’t what he expected after he registered a career-high 33 goals in 2010-11.
“It’s the toughest one I’ve had,” Morrow said. “Any year the team doesn’t make the playoffs is frustrating and disappointing, but to have the season I had right from the start of the year, with that knee injury in the first exhibition game in Montreal, it just added up and added up. I’ll wipe this one clean and start fresh next year.”
Morrow played through the back and neck issues for a good part of the season, but sat out a couple weeks in November and December, and then was out for more than a month just after the All-Star break.
After that last time on the shelf, Morrow returned for the final 14 games of the season and he felt better. He wasn’t 100 percent and his playing time was scaled back, but he believes that an offseason of rest and conditioning will have him ready for next season.
"The back didn't seem to really be a problem. It was more the disk in the neck that were bothersome,” Morrow said of the final part of the season. “The good news is that every doctor I saw – three or four of them – all had the same opinion, which is the neck isn't going to be a problem. It just needs some rest, and settle those disks down before I get started for another grind."
You have to wonder if Morrow’ style of play has taken a toll over the years and if he’ll have to alter his physical style moving forward, but the Dallas captain said it’s not an issue.
“I think I’ve already been leaning in that direction the last few years,” he said “I don’t think your instincts are ever going to change. You’re still going to finish checks when your instincts tell you to, but I don’t think I am as physical or run around with the aggression I did when I was 20. Everyone’s game evolves and mine has kind of gone in that direction.”
And he said he thinks he can still be an effective goal scorer where he does his best scoring, within ten feet of the goal and in.
“I am not going to shy away from those areas,” he said. “I know that’s probably attributed to a lot of the problems I’ve been having, but I know why I am in the league, too. That’s where I am going to be. I'm actually comfortable saying that how much better I felt the last two weeks of the season compared to what I was dealing with before. I don't think health is going to be an issue."
FRISCO -- Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow admits 2011-12 wasn’t his season, and he simply wants to put it behind him and set his sights on 2012-13.