The Mavericks, and especially their feeble offense, received some good news this week when Zach Lehrke returned to the team.
Lehrke had announced just before the season that he was quitting hockey due to a medical condition that causes severe, painful cramping, often during and after practices and games. But after missing seven weeks and 10 games, he decided he could fight through the pain and perhaps help out his team.
Coach Mike Hastings welcomed Lehrke back, as long as he was committed for the rest of the season.
"There's no going back anymore," Lehrke said.
Hastings and Lehrke said they're taking things day to day and neither would speculate on whether or not he'll have a spot in the lineup this weekend at Bowling Green. But if he's in good condition, I see no reason why he couldn't step in and help this team, especially with its thin lineup.
This weekend is the start of an important stretch of four conference series in as many weeks and a chance for the Mavericks to right their ship a bit. Lehrke, who was so strong on the power play last year and had 25 points last year, could make a difference. It will also help to get Zach Stepan back from injury. He's expected to skate on Wednesday.