You know that old line about "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Well, apparently Lindy Ruff was not convinced that the Stars were exactly "fixed" last night, except in maybe the really old-timey sense, like "I'll fix you good!" Because these were your practice lines at Staples Center on Wednesday, per Mike "the Heik" Heika:
Jamie Benn-Jason Spezza-Tyler Seguin
Antoine Roussel-Cody Eakin-Ryan Garbutt
Curtis McKenzie-Vernon Fiddler-Patrick Eaves
Erik Cole-Shawn Horcoff-Ales Hemsky(Colton Sceviour)
Eakin is battling a complicated upper body injury that has kept him out for three games, but he is itching to get back in the lineup. The problem is that if he doesn’t get full healing from the injury in his chest, it could become a nagging issue that keeps coming up.
"We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow," Ruff said. "I don’t want a setback. We don’t need him playing one game and then coming out again."
Ruff said that if Eakin can’t play, he might go back to having Spezza and Seguin on different lines. [DMN]
There's more in there about the defense pairings, which were also shuffled, so give it a look. But let's get back to the forwards, because we have some serious work to do.
Look, we all get it. Spezza and Hemsky (or Nichuskin) were supposed to be part of line 1B, behind the awesome 1A of Seguin, Benn and Nichuskin (or Hemsky). Thus far, the second line has only been a 1B in the sense of being an obscure apartment number that you can't find because the complex is old and you can't find a map to save your life, so how on earth are you going to be able to pick up that girl on time for your date? What an awful way to begin, wandering around this courtyard without a soul to be found who might point you to apartment 1B, and you're trying to get close enough to check numbers on doors, but not so close that you creep out the people living in those other apartments who watch as you slowly, hesitantly sidle up to their doors before failing to knock as you realize it was actually 7B on that door, so where the [swears] is 1B. Oh man oh man oh man, she's probably sitting there at her door, just waiting for you to knock so she can pretend to "just a second" and grab her purse from another room so it looks like she wasn't waiting around forever for you, which of course she was. That kind of a 1B is what the second line has been.
So in lieu of finding their 1B, the Stars are "cursed" with Spezza, Benn and Seguin holding down the fort. We can debate how great/disappointing/confident/naive this line deployment is, but that has been done, done and done. No, we have more important business to conduct today. And I need your help.
The Superline. The Three Amigos. The "GOALIES, RUN FOR YOU LIFE" line. All of these nicknames have been bandied about, but I think we can do better. In fact, I demand that we do better. While I can't legally forbid you from using whatever term you want for these guys (thanks Obama), it is time that we went all Seguin Donut Counter on this issue and decided what to call these guys. So let's put our thinking caps on--there ya go, don't forget to buckle the chin strap, kiddo--and spit out your best suggestion in the comments, Tweeter, Youtubes, Spacenook, whatever you have. I have a couple ideas, but they are awful, so please do better. I'm not going to outright blame the seven game skid on our failure to come up with a wicked term for that monster of a line, but I'm also going to blame it on that and just not tell you, because I am a good secret keeper.
Here are two of my suggestions just to get the ball rolling.
Terrible option #1: 91+90+14=195. Interstate 195 in Rhode Island is occasionally referred to as the East Providence Expressway according to Wikipedia. East Providence Expressway=EPE. Hence, the EPE Three. It's fun to say either way, because either it all rhymes, or it's like someone shrieking, "EPE! Seguin's line is going to score a million goals on us, oh no!"
Terrible option #2: Seguin, Benn and Spezza's ages are 22, 25, 31 respectively. One of those is a prime number and two are not prime numbers, so you have the Sometimes Prime Line. This one can last for at least one more year, as Seguin will enter a prime number age when Spezza turns 32.
Actually, these might be the best suggestions I've seen so far.
I'm heading to the game tonight. I'll be wearing a Neal Broten North Stars jersey in the expensive seats in section PR something because I save up my money and spend it wisely on things like Neal Broten North Stars jerseys.
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Thursday Links are below. There, you found them! Where would you be without me?
Brian Compton dishes some love to Mike Modano in anticipation of his Hall of Fame induction. (Modano's induction, not Compton's.) [Stars]
Here's what I think is a more accurate assessment of the Sergei/Travis trade. "Mutually beneficial." [The Hockey Writers]
NHL.com did some "in-depth" reporting on the Gonchar trade, too. [NHL]
The Sporting News is here to remind you that one game doesn't fix everything, just like a seven game skid doesn't break everything. In November, at least. [Sporting News]
Mike Heika has a great take on the game last night in addition to some nice observations on Sergei Gonchar. [DMN]
Bad news for Chicago: Daniel Carcillo is nearly ready to take up a roster spot again. [CSN Chicago]
Speaking of, check out Ben Smith's interaction with Ben Bishop last night. Not sure what you call this, but goaltender interference probably isn't it. [SB Nation]
Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin are both out with what has been diagnosed as a viral glandular infection. Not just any viral glandular infection though: It's the Mumps. Yes, the Mumps. I am capitalizing it because I just can't help it. I have too many punchlines to choose just one right now. It's like the AMPM of hockey news. [CBS Sports]
Connor McDavid will be out 5-6 weeks with his broken pinky finger. But if you think a broken pinky finger is going to prevent him from earning glory for Canada at the World Juniors, well, I have a very reasonably priced box of donuts to sell you this morning. I just baked them fresh. They're great! I am saying that it might prevent him from playing in the World Juniors, in case that wasn't clear. [NHL.com]
Finally, check out this great 30 for 30 short on John Wensink, an enforcer with the Bruins way back in the day. It's auto-playing, so I'll spare you the annoyance of trying to find the embedded video that just started blaring through your work computer. [Grantland]