Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Brenden Morrow producing since return from injury
By Mark Stepneski
FRISCO -- That time off to heal up from some injuries is paying dividends for Stars captain Brenden Morrow.
Since returning to action after sitting out for two weeks, Morrow has registered four goals and three assists in six games. In his 20 games before the time off, he had three goals and six assists.
“Pucks are going in for me and I am getting more opportunities. The body is feeling better and I’ve got a little bit more jump,” said Morrow. “I am getting to the areas I want to a little quicker.”
In late November, Stars coach Glen Gulutzan said they were going to give Morrow some time to get healthy since he was dealing with knee, elbow and back issues. The Stars wanted Morrow to get back to 100 percent.
“When he was sitting out this is what we wanted to transpire today – we’ve got a healthy captain back,” Gulutzan said. “We kind of stumbled around without him and in the beginning he wasn’t playing full capacity, he was 70 percent. To have him back and playing his game has been a huge lift for our group.”
Morrow said feeling better is part of the reason for his recent run. Things are clicking right now with linemates Mike Ribeiro and Steve Ott as well. That line was put together the last game before Morrow went out of the lineup and was back together when he returned.
“I think there’s a little bit of an element with Otter being in there,” Morrow said. “He gets in hard on the forecheck and turns pucks over. I am able to stay a little higher and get to an area where Ribby can get a pass to me. Before maybe I was doing some of the work in the corners and not looking for the pass so much.”
And right now everything is adding up to a nice run for the Stars captain, who will enter Wednesday’s game on a three-game goal scoring streak.
“I’m getting back to being comfortable again,” he said. “I wasn’t real happy with the results I was getting, but the results are starting to come and I am feeling confident again. Slowly but surely, things are feeling better and getting back.”
Burish set to return
Stars forward Adam Burish will return to the lineup Wednesday after missing the last 15 games with a broken hand.
"I am ready to go. Felt good today. I saw the doctor last night, so everything checked out,” Burish said after Tuesday’s practice in Frisco. “I'm excited. Practicing is fun, hanging out with the guys in the locker room again is fun. It feels like the first game of the season again.”
Burish is expected to play on the fourth line in Wednesday’s game.
“He’s excited and we’re excited to have him back,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “When you get a guy that plays with that much passion, it’s nice to have in the lineup.”
Burish was injured in the November 15 game against Florida when a puck shot by Brenden Morrow hit him in the hand.
Stars will continue to roll with Bachman
Richard Bachman will make his sixth straight start in Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Bachman is 4-1-0 with a 2.25 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in six appearances since being called up from the AHL due to an injury to Kari Lehtonen.
Bachman is coming off a solid 25-save performance against Anaheim Monday. It was a good bounce back performance for Bachman, who gave up six goals on 31 shots in Friday’s loss to New Jersey.
I think as a young guy trying to get his foot in the NHL and establish himself, I think it’s important to have that kind of game,” said Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. “I had him in Austin and if he had a subpar game he always bounced back. He’s a real resilient guy. He’s a battler and that’s his strength. “
Said Bachman: “You never want to wait too long after a loss to get back out there. That Jersey game didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to, but I just tried to take some of the positives, move forward and not look back on that. I just wanted to get back out there and do the same thing I’ve been doing.”
And what he’s been doing is winning games for the Stars, and that’s why Gulutzan is continuing to roll with him right now.
"We're winning hockey games and at the end of the day that's what we're about here,” Gulutzan said. “We're trying to get wins and he's providing us with those."