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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Lindy Ruff Has Faith in Ales Hemsky

Ales Hemsky hasn't had the start Dallas had hoped for, but with 2.9 years remaining on his contract, it's hard to think he won't figure things out. Links are present for stories about Jack Eichel's American idol and Gavin Cleaver's delight in Jamie Oleksiak's height.

Negative. It didn't go in.
Negative. It didn't go in.
Bruce Bennett

Ales Hemsky's season started with an odd set of expectations: that he would produce, but produce alongside even better players.  The "Supernova" power play was supposed to set up him to set everyone else up for goals, goals and that one last goal that you lost in the couch cushions that is now covered in lint or hair.  All of the goals were going to happen, and Hemsky was expected to be involved in many of those, albeit as a secondary or even tertiary piece more often than not.

Well, the Supernova lasted about five minutes, which is longer or shorter than supernovas usually last, depending on what they actually are.  Some kind of light chicken gravy, I think?  Regardless, the best chance for Hemsky to pile up points this year was always going to be while playing with Jason Spezza, and it was hoped that this could happen at both even strength and the power play.  Well, fast forward to now.  It's been eons since Hemsky has seen Spezza, Benn or Seguin, and we're all wondering what happened.  Here's a theory: Nichushkin got injured and Ruff got desperate and, shocker, there weren't many other high-caliber players left for Hemsky to dish the puck to when all was said and done.

In fact, the top scorers remaining (outside of the Pitbull Line, which seems to be staying intact indefinitely) are Erik Cole and Colton Sceviour (when #22 isn't being scratched in favor of Eaves).  Cole has scored in two games, but Hemsky hasn't been much involved in that.  Colton Sceviour is coming off of major shoulder surgery over the summer, and he has yet to get going--despite some intermittent time with the big boys, I might add.  McKenzie looked pretty decent while he was up, but he's still going to be seeing the press box or Cedar Park most of the time once Val returns

However, it sounds like there is another reason Hemsky hasn't been piling up the points so far this year.  From Mark Stepneski:

"I felt good the past few games, but still not getting points. I’ve been getting some chances. I’ve felt more comfortable," [Hemsky] said. "You just have to focus on your game and not to think about it. You just have to focus on playing good defense and the points will come."

Ruff knows the points will come, as well. The Dallas coach pointed out that Hemsky was slowed by an injury earlier in the season. Hemsky said he’s getting up to speed now.

"I had a little bit of a problem after the first game and finally now I can skate," Hemsky said. "I had a problem and couldn’t skate too much, but now I am better."  [Stars]

If indeed Hemsky had what I would guess to be a groin pull, it would somewhat explain why he hasn't quite managed to put points (plural) on the board so far this year.  That one little twinge, that slight hesitation when starting from a dead stop or crossing over can make you lose your focus/determination/[check sports sites for a third generic term of grit] for that one crucial moment.  And by the way, he's also had to get acquainted with feeding the puck to unfamiliar players like Eaves and Fiddler as he fights his way through the slump.

That New Jersey game showed that he has another gear, so let's hope we start to see it more often.  The diagnosis for Hemsky's slow start is being made and altered every game, but the fact of the matter is that he's going to have to figure something out on his own.  We know that he won't be getting another chance to kick-start his offense with Spezza any time soon, so let's see if #83 can start doing some playmaking of the highest grade this weekend.  And let's also hope that the players on the ice with him can finish the job.

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Thursday Links have arrived, and they are starving for some EYEBALLS (to read them).  #creepyhalloweenprefaces

If you don't think anything has really changed, check this out: Rolling Stone writing about the Dallas Stars. I don't even know, man. I don't even know. They even used the phrase "fire-engine hockey," which, if you think about it, doesn't really make a ton of sense, even though you know what it connotes. [Rolling Stone]

Lindy Ruff has no intentions of doing either of two things: Traveling with only 12 forwards this weekend and breaking up the One Really Good Line.  [DMN]

Everyone's favorite English Stars fan is back with another, erm, colorful, shall we say, piece on Godzilla and the Stars. An Arrested Development reference has also earned Mr. Cleaver three Schrute bucks. How many dollars' worth is that?  [Dallas Observer]

Reflecting on St. Louis, Mike Heika observes that the Stars have not yet figured out how to use their weapons to greatest effect just yet.  [DMN]

John Moore of the New York Rangers has been suspended five games for his headshot on Wild Erik Haula. Just imagine how many games he would have gotten if he were a repeat offender! Wait.  [Minnesota Star-Tribune]

Mike Smith isn't having an ideal start to the season, sporting an .858 save percentage in six games. The Coyotes are still in his corner, though. They have to be -- he can't play the puck in there.  [Puck Daddy]

Some people think Alex Ovechkin needs to be "more of a team player." Can't say I would have the guts to start telling a 50-goal scorer how to play, personally.  [SportsNet]

In light of Torey Krug's broken finger, Boston has recalled a certain Joe Morrow. This is Morrow's second recall of the year, but he has yet to dress for a game. By all appearances, this is Boston desperate to showcase all four players they received for Seguin in a single game. And by all logic, Seguin may well still outscore them all.  [Bruins.com]

ESPN anchor John Buccigross profiled Jack Eichel, and it is a very solid read. Who does Eichel look up to?  "I like looking at Mike Modano," said Eichel, referring to the first overall pick in 1988. "Him being an American, and his career speaks for itself." Love this kid already, even if he doesn't get picked first.  [ESPN]

And here is just the best GIF ever from the Kings/Flyers game Tuesday night after an OT goal was waved off. Drew Doughty absolutely wins the exchange with Brayden Schenn, although the goal would eventually be awarded upon "further review." Enjoy: