The Dallas Stars have failed to get to three goals in 10 of their first 17 contests this season, so work continues by the coaching staff to achieve balance and spark a more dangerous looking lineup.
The only thing Lindy Ruff hasn't done yet, after trying Benn and Seguin apart for a game, is split up the trio of Cody Eakin, Ray Whitney and Alex Chiasson, but now there's evidence that it could possibly be on the horizon.
For today, at least, they look like a group segregated largely (apart from Antoine Roussel) by age. From the venerable Mr. Heika...
Stars lines this morning in Frisco: Benn-Seguin-Nichushkin, Whitney-Fiddler-Peverley, Garbutt-Eakin-Chiasson, Roussel-Horcoff-Cole.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) November 11, 2013
So it's possible Nichushkin, who has bounced from the third line, to the fourth, to the first, back to the third and the first and then the fourth- never the second, mind you - could be back with Seguin and Benn in Edmonton on Wednesday.
Then Mark Stepneski has this quote from Ruff, which is a tough one to parse:
"We were in yesterday and looked at the 5-on-5 play and the 5-on-5 production, and even Whitney, Eakin and Chiasson," Ruff said. "They had a set goal off a breakout in Montreal and even Whits goal [Ottawa] Eakin wasn't on the ice. Chaser has had some great opportunities, but hasn't finished."
Both goals he's referencing were (looong) shots from distance so it's hard to tell what the take-away is supposed to be. Ruff entrusted the Eakin trio with watching Toews and Hossa, to the Stars' detriment, for much of the game Saturday night and the speed of the Blackhawks appeared too much for certain individuals.
In the end it's a line that was as present for the nice run of points before Saturday as it was for bad on Saturday, and Ruff likes to experiment in practice, so this may not mean much and Whitney could be back with those guys. He expressed a desire to balance and get more depth scoring.
Erik Cole, by the way, skated 5:11 in 8 shifts Saturday night (and just 6:03 in Boston). Antoine Roussel: just 6:18. The balance we saw in the early going for this team is disappearing as Ruff deploys his troops in the way he believes he must to get wins.
Tomorrow is designated as a special teams day (and the power play needs it, of course) so we won't get another word on possible lines again until morning skate in Alberta Wednesday.
Jim Nill was rumored to be in the back today perfecting a Rich Peverley cloning machine.
More from Defending Big D:
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- Dallas Stars Prospect Update: Dickinson, Payne, Troock And Ully Have Three Point Weeks
- Dallas Stars Daily Links: Looking Past The "Loss" And Seeing The Gain
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