Just because everything can't be all good in Dallas Stars land this season, Saturday's convincing win over the Montreal Canadiens was slightly marred by the healthy scratch of offseason signing Ales Hemskey.
It was Hemsky's second healthy scratch of the season, though this one came as it seemed like he finally found a little bit of a groove offensively. It was obvious that the coaching staff was unhappy with him about something, though, as he was skated very hard at the end of the morning skate.
Lindy Ruff's quote on the matter wasn't all that reassuring either.
"Coach’s decision. That’s all. You hope from that experience that the player learns. He had a tough last game and we are in a position now where we have to play the hardest most willing competitors. Those are hard decisions. I know it’s tough but the guys that are playing the hardest will play. It may (be) a different guy on a different night but they are going to play."
There's either a fairly damning implication in that quote or a coach trying to motivate a guy through the media (or both). Some players respond well to button pushes, or perhaps there are either off-ice or more subtle on-ice things going on that haven't been made public with regards to work ethic. But they are very strong words.
Coaches in any sport can sometimes be baffling creatures, but back when I was a daily hack who made my living sorting out what was going on for a given team, I learned that they don't make decisions without some sort of underlying rationale. It may not be rationale that I agreed with, but it was always there. I figure that's the case with this decision as well.
Regardless, I believe it's the first happy Sunday morning in Stars world of this season. Let's celebrate with some links, shall we?
- A 5-on-3 goal AND a power play goal? Good games from Trevor Daley and Ryan Garbutt? Holding a team to under 20 shots? Winning on a freaking Saturday? I smell opposite day! [DallasNews.com]
- Ruff "pretty well liked everything" about that game, which is fair. Even the slightly scrambly start to the third period (which you knew was coming given how poorly Montreal had played to that point) was contained rather quickly. [DallasStars.com]
- The Stars can't win on the road but are consistently picking up points at home now. I don't get this season. [Fox Sports Southwest]
- What's the best team for a struggling team to play? Another struggling team. The Canadiens have lost six of their last seven and are unhappy with their own lack of discipline on Saturday night. [Montreal Gazette]
- Have I mentioned I always enjoy the EOTP highlights of a game? [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
- I was all set to write how the hockey fans of Boston just aren't over the Tyler Seguin trade even now, going as far as to get cranky about his new website. But it all came around in the end. [Boston.com]
- Athletes aren't paid to be smart about anything except their given sport, but this faux pas from Jonathan Bernier is certainly worthy of a good laugh anyway. [Puck Daddy]
- Speaking of the Maple Leafs, our old buddy Stephane Robidas may be in a bit of hot water after an elbowing penalty in his team's win over the Canucks. [Winnipeg Free Press]
- Corey Perry was initially optimistic about his knee injury, but he will miss today's game against Winnipeg and be re-evaluated once the Ducks return to Anaheim. [NHL.com]
- Martin Brodeur came in for the Blues in relief on Saturday and ended up picking up his first win with the club. That will never stop being weird. [CBS Sports]
- Leaving y'all with a screenshot instead of a video today. Happy Sunday morning, NHL!