Saturday Practice Update

Saturday, 11.2.2013 / 2:14 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
Share with your Friends

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 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47


J. Benn 53 28 31 15 59
T. Seguin 53 28 28 10 56
J. Klingberg 53 8 35 14 43
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 53 16 24 -1 40
C. Eakin 53 10 13 1 23
A. Goligoski 53 3 20 17 23
M. Janmark 53 10 9 13 19
A. Roussel 51 8 10 5 18
V. Nichushkin 50 6 12 7 18
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 13 5 0 .907 2.82 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.

Corporate Partnerships | Contact UsPrivacy Policy | AdChoices | Job Opportunities | Terms of Use | Site Map | Find us on Google+