The Dallas Stars will be without defenceman John Klingberg and goaltender Ben Bishop when they face the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday evening. The two were announced as unfit to play shortly before the game began.
Pregame lineup news ⬇
▪ John Klingberg and Ben Bishop are unfit to play vs. Colorado
▪ Anton Khudobin to start in net with Jake Oettinger as backup
▪ Thomas Harley will make his NHL debut pic.twitter.com/vlY5fu5V4U
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 5, 2020
Dallas Stars without John Klingberg and Ben Bishop
Klingberg was in the midst of a frustrating year but he was still one of Dallas’ most productive defenders in 2019-20. The 27-year-old had six goals and 32 points in 58 games. This has been his worst offensive season to date but Klingberg was still second among Stars defenders in points behind only Miro Heiskanen. Klingberg was also tops among defencemen in average power play time at 2:32.
Bishop was having an excellent year as the primary Dallas netminder. The 33-year-old started 43 games before the pause with a .920 save percentage and 2.5 goals-against-average. Both of those numbers are roughly similar to his career averages of .921 and 2.32, respectively. Bishop has remained one of the league’s most dependable goalies despite his age; he was second in Vezina Trophy voting in 2018-19.
What This Means for the Future
Bishop’s absence is far more critical for the matchup against Colorado. The team will rely on Anton Khudobin as the starter for the game. Khudobin has been great this season with a save percentage of .930 and 2.22 goals-against but the Avalanche are fully healthy and one of the league’s most dangerous squads. He also does not have Bishop’s postseason experience. Jake Oettinger will support him if things go poorly.
The Stars would also prefer to have Klingberg in the lineup but they can handle his absence more easily. Heiskanen will handle more of the power play duties than usual and the team has promoted top defensive prospect Thomas Harley. Harley was a first-round selection in the 2019 Draft but he has done enough to earn his NHL debut. This game will impact Dallas’ ultimate playoff standings but the team will hopefully have both players back for its next round-robin game.