After seeing their first four games postponed due to the many cases of COVID-19 within the formation, the Stars should finally be able to start their season on Friday, in Dallas, against the Nashville Predators.
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“I can’t wait to get started,” defenseman Miro Heiskanen said in an interview posted by NHL.com. This is what everyone expects. It was a long wait, all the other teams have been playing for a while. I’m excited to start, just like the rest of the club. ”
The Stars were scheduled to begin their regular schedule Jan. 14 against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center, before six of their players and two of their staff tested positive for COVID-19. Eventually, 17 Stars players contracted the virus.
“We have to get the machine going,” said Stars general manager Jim Nill. Like all the other teams, we can’t wait. You come to training camp and you want to start the season, and everyone is working towards that goal. ”
“All of a sudden the virus hit us, hard and fast. We did not expect the virus to spread so quickly, with the consequences we know. We’re starting to see a lot of our players come back so I think the guys are looking forward to playing. ”
The Stars were able to resume training on January 12. Last weekend it was Heiskanen, defenseman Esa Lindell, forward Jason Dickinson and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to return to practice.
The majority of those who have contracted the virus should be available for the game against the Predators.
Drive out the rust
Nill hopes her roster won’t be too rusty, after she played her last game on Sept. 28, in the sixth and final game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We have enough experience to know that this is probably the biggest question mark. The other teams have already got rid of the rust. They started to establish their rhythm. They have played one, two or three games, when we will start from zero. But the coaches did a great job preparing the players. It is what it is. There will be different circumstances and we will have to adapt to them. ”
The Stars will face the Predators again on Sunday before hosting the Detroit Red Wings.