Thursday, February 25, 2016

Brett Ritchie Named Lone Star Grille/100 Degree Hockey Player of the Week

(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
Each week, we name the Lone Star Grille/100 Degree Hockey Player of the Week. Lone Star Grille offers happy hour weekdays from 4-7 PM just minutes from the Cedar Park Center. The new Higher Ground Bar at the Grille is a smoke-free bar open 6 PM to 2 AM Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Redeem your game ticket for reverse happy hour from 10-12 PM with $2 off specialty cocktails, $4.00 house wine and $2.50 domestic longnecks.

Coming off a short week, it's Brett Ritchie earning his first player of the week honors here on the site. Over the course of the week, Ritchie was even in two games with a three assists. I mention the even rating as he was even in both games, including a 4-1 loss the Stars suffered in Ontario on Friday.

We'll even give Ritchie partial credit for the four point effort he had against San Diego 8 days ago. With a goal and six assists in the last three games, Ritchie is averaging better than a point per game in the month of February. That's the type of tear he needs to be on in order to get himself back to Dallas, where many assumed he would start the season. A preseason injury halted those plans. Now he is clawing his way back to try and make it into the NHL again. For a scorer like Ritchie, a wrist injury is a tough one to recover from.

With Jason Dickinson, Brendan Ranford and Curtis McKenzie all also making legitimate cases for the next callup, Ritchie's path is going to be very much based on what he's done lately.

"It's a good problem to have," Stars general manager Jim Nill told the Dallas Morning News when Ritchie came off IR in December. "You always want that competition to move up. I think that makes everyone work harder. And then you want a strong affiliate where these players can make each other better on the ice."

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