Per several reports, veteran defender Sergei Gonchar will be out for almost two weeks after sustaining a puck to the face in the second period of the contest against the Sharks. Gonchar’s absence doesn’t only leave a void to fill in the Stars’ blue line, it’s also a problem that’s becoming more and more normal for the team.
With Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas already out – Robidas, in fact, won’t return until late in the game if he can recover quickly – the loss of Gonchar further depletes the Stars’ depth at the defensive line. The Russian defender was on a hot streak – seven points in his last six games – and his veteran leadership will surely be missed on a team that has several young players on the defensive side of the puck.
Head Coach Lindy Ruff isn’t too worried about Gonchar’s injury and he said that he will be fine “in a couple of weeks and that the injury isn’t as serious as expected”, but his words should be taken with a grain of salt. Gonchar apparently suffered concussion symptoms and if that’s the case, he could be out for a longer period of time; that would only hurt the team’s chances as the regular season continues.
The Stars already announced that no call-up will be made from AHL’s affiliate Texas Stars, so players like Alex Goligoski and Brenden Dillon will have to step their game up until the more-seasoned players can return. It will be a tough challenge, but sadly for the team, they have no other chance in the meantime.