Saturday Practice Update

Saturday, 11.2.2013 / 2:14 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Saturday Practice Update

Stars coach Lindy Ruff rolled out some new line combinations at Saturday morning’s practice in Frisco. Whether you’ll see those combinations in Sunday’s game against the Ottawa Senators is still to be determined.

At Saturday’s practice, Tyler Seguin centered Ray Whitney and Alex Chiasson. Cody Eakin had Jamie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin on his wings. Ruff said he’s still mulling over his options, which means we’ll find out what he decides just prior to Sunday afternoon’s game.

“Our road record hasn’t been good, and it’s a look today that we’ll discuss on our plane ride,” Ruff said after Saturday’s practice. “The only thing you can do is give guys a different look, take a look at it in practice and see what you think. We may make one or two more adjustments before tomorrow. It wasn’t that we did a lot of line rush stuff today, it was a little bit of special teams and zone time to get a feel. I can tell you that the way if we play the way we did through the second and third, the lines looked fine last night. But if we start the way we did the other night I don’t think it has anything to do with the way we put the lines together.”

Ruff juggled his lines Friday night after the Stars got off to a slow start, using several different combinations.

“Lindy’s a guy that makes adjustments as he sees fit, whether it is in practice or in games,” Seguin said. “Last game I played with (Erik) Cole on my right, Whitney, Val and finished with Pevs (Rich Peverley). You’ve just got to go out there and do your job and trust that the guy next to you is doing his.”

Seguin said the Stars are leaning a little too much on goaltender Kari Lehtonen right now, and need to start getting more contributions throughout the lineup.

“I just feel we’re leaving Lehts out there to dry a little bit. I know he loves being the main guy and taking control of games, but you need other guys to step up,” he said. “In this league, there are some games you need to have all four lines rolling. Those are the games that are team wins. You watch the Boston-Pittsburgh game the other night, that’s where we need to get – full playoff hockey, four lines rolling, everyone forechecking, going crazy and different guys stepping up at different times.”

Garbutt ready to return

On Friday night Stars forward Ryan Garbutt served the final game of his five game suspension for charging Anaheim forward Dustin Penner on Oct. 20. Garbutt is eligible to return for Sunday’s game against Ottawa.

“I am anxious to get back in there,” Garbutt said. “I am glad we had a bunch of games in a row so it went by a little bit faster. I am definitely looking forward to getting back in there.”

Garbutt might have had his best game of the season in that game against Anaheim. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Garbutt is an effecitve role player for the Stars.

“He’s got good speed and he’s a good role player for us. Again, he has to stay out of the penalty box,” Ruff said. “His penalty killing to that point was good. We’ve been using three sets and he’s become a good role guy for us in that sense and his speed is something that can really back teams off. On the road, you need all four lines, you need your role guys and he is one guy that can help.”

Gonchar faces former teammates in Ottawa

Sunday’s game in Ottawa will be a homecoming of sorts for Sergei Gonchar, who played the previous three seasons with the Senators. Playing against a former team is nothing new to Gonchar, who has done it a few times in his career.

“Obviously, it is very unusual the first time,” Gonchar said. “It’s your teammates you just played with, your friends that you made over the last three years. It’s going to be unusual at first, but it’s part of the business and you have to adjust so we can move forward.”

Gonchar got off to a sluggish start this season, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff likes what he has seen from Gonchar since he has been paired with Trevor Daley.

“If you look at Sergei’s play the last four or five games, it seems like he is finding some rhythm, I think he has some chemistry,” Ruff said. “I think breaking the (Gonchar-Alex Goligoski) pair up, it may be as simple as breaking them up. It wasn’t a good pair, it wasn’t going good for them. I think Goose’s game has really come along, too.”

“It was a slow start. We didn’t play as well as expected, me included,” said Gonchar. “It seems like lately we’ve been playing better. If we play for 60 minutes like we did in the third (Friday night) then we are going to win some hockey games. It’s just a matter of putting those things together and being consistent, I think that is what we are missing.”


“On the offensive side, we’ve got to get more guys kicking goals in. We need Val (Nichushkin). Val has had some great opportunities, but you can’t stand here and talk about great opportunities because they don’t count. We need (Rich) Peverley scoring, we need Val scoring. I think when that happens our game will look a lot better.”
-Stars coach Lindy Ruff following Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Colorado

Stars practice lineup

Ray WhitneyTyler SeguinAlex Chiasson
Jamie Benn
Cody EakinValeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel
Vernon FiddlerRich Peverley
Ryan Garbutt
Shawn HorcoffErik Cole
Lane MacDermid

Brenden DillonStephane Robidas
Trevor Daley
Sergei Gonchar
Alex Goligoski
Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton

Kari Lehtonen
Dan Ellis

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29 is the official Web site of DSE Hockey Club, L.P.  The Stars name and logos are registered trademarks of the NHL and the Stars. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 DSE Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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