Fans of Sean Avery's other employer are really looking forward to the lone matchup between the teams as it marks his first game back in the Big D since they unceremoniously dumped him. Or if you look at it from another point of view, the first game back since he 'ruined' the stellar reputation of their sunbelt, skate-in-the-crease franchise by trying to make one of their matchups actually exciting by taunting a member of the opposition with the inflammatory slander of "sloppy seconds".
Familiar Foes: How familiar can they be when we hardly face them? Brendan Morrow still wears the captain's C for the Stars, who are now without Mike Modano. Weird, ain't it? Modano was there forever, and somehow did not see it fit to properly retire in black, green and gold. As Mr. Willa Ford has headed to Detroit, he has left the team's offense in the hands of Brad Richards - he of the trade rumours to New York - as well as Swedish sniper Loui Eriksson and Mike Ribeiro. Jamie Benn and James Neal are youngsters who have worked out for them, Fabian 'Barnstormer' Brunnstrom has been a bust. They still have the second best agitator in the league in Steve Ott and the Big D defense is anchored by the caged wonder of Stephane Robidas and Latvian rock Karlis Skrastins. The rest of their blueline is homegrown: Matt Niskanen, Nick Grossman, Mark Fistric and Trevor Daley.
N00bz: No more Marty Turco to man the net, the Stars brought in Kari Lehtonen of all people to take his place late last season. They signed Andrew Raycroft (the Boston bust) to back him up and Adam Burish to help Ott out with the harassment, while leaving the fighting to Krys Barch - a goon we haven't really seen in NY.
Last Year: Wednesday, January 6th, 5-2 Ranger win.
This Year: Friday, January 7th in Dallas.
What They Mean To Blue: While Marc Crawford may lead a significantly different team than the one Sean left, they are still certain to come after Avery at some point. We get to see if the Rangers have his back better than the Stars ever did.