The Dallas Stars are 12-3-0 to start the the 2015-16 season, and fans are still getting churned up over the line blender. Lindy Ruff has rolled more combos than an octopus at a Yahtzee tournament, and the fact that it's working (so far) matters very little to those who'd like to see the Stars' forward lines settling into consistency and chemistry.
Is it safe to say at this point that the standings don't lie? Maybe, maybe not, but Ruff points out to Mike Heika that he doesn't ruffle for no reason at all:
"I've been forced into line changes almost every game because of injuries," Ruff said. "When I pre-scout, the lines are never the same with any of the other teams. It's not different for them. There's always a couple of guys who stay together, but the lines change a lot out there."
The Stars' head coach has a pretty straightforward explanation for his method, too.
"I've been trying to get into a situation where if something isn't working, we're not going to stay with it," Ruff said. "It's so hard to score, so I'm trying to create a little bit of motivation by moving people in and around. I want to go with the guys that I feel that are going the best in the game, even if I have to put them at the wing."
Ruff tells more, and Jason Spezza provides his two cents, at Heika's place. [SportsDayDFW]
It's official: The Stars are off to the best start in franchise history. Mark Stepneski talked to Patrick Sharp and Tyler Seguin for his recap on yesterday's milestone win over the Detroit Red Wings. [Stars Inside Edge]
Thank you for noticing, @NHL. We thought so, too.
Meanwhile, Heika has also posted the Stars' November report card. Even after their record-setting start, they have room to improve, he says – and demonstrates by giving the four players he ranks the highest an A-minus. [SportsDayDFW]
And yet more from Mike: a short piece on Mattias Janmark's first game against the team that drafted him. [SportsDayDFW]
Razor salutes the Stars' reinvigorated penalty kill and points out that Kari Lehtonen is undefeated on the road so far this season.
Which present-day NHL'ers are most likely to make it into the Hockey Hall of Fame? Stephen Burtch has used a model called the Probit Regression to make a case for 11 current players, including former Stars draft pick Jarome Iginla and former Star Jaromir Jagr. (Oh, math: What can't you do?) [Sportsnet]
Duncan Keith is back on the ice and practicing with the 'Hawks after his knee surgery. He's still on LTIR and has "no timetable" for his return. [CBS Sports]
Elsewhere, Jordin Tootoo has accused Alexandre Burrows of throwing "classless" slurs about Tootoo's personal life and family while both were in the penalty box during the New Jersey Devils' 4-3 OT victory over the Vancouver Canucks. [The Star-Ledger]
In women's hockey, Hilary Knight scored the GWG in OT as Team USA beat Team Canada to win the 4 Nations Cup. [The Hockey News]
Sergei Fedorov is getting inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame today. He has also just – as in, over the weekend – found out that Alex Ovechkin was his fan growing up. [Puck Daddy]
Courtesy of Freelancer 799 and AlmightyMP: What's up with the Flint Firebirds? The OHL team for which Stars prospect Alex Peters plays had just – as in, moments before – won in OT over the Oshawa Generals when its owner fired the entire coaching staff, whereupon all 24 players marched to the front office to turn in their jerseys in protest. It seems the owner thought a 17-year-old rookie, who coincidentally is his own son, wasn't getting enough playing time. Now his son has joined the walkout. This will almost certainly make for an awkward Thanksgiving. [MLive]
Just heard Flint Firebirds come from behind against defending memorial cup champions, Oshawa tonight. Down 3-1. Come back & win 4-3 in OT...— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) November 9, 2015
..Coaches fired immediately after game. Entire team, all 24 Guys storm upstairs to front office, throw jersey on ground, quit and walk out— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) November 9, 2015
Finally: Devin Shore's alma mater, the University of Maine, lost a pretty chippy game to Boston College yesterday. How chippy was it? So chippy that officials handed out 13 penalties for a fight that broke out behind the Black Bears' net – including a 10-minute misconduct to goalie Rob McGovern, who served his own time and spent the last 3:45 in the box, feeling shame, probably. The sequence starts at 1:40, and it's pretty much downhill from there. [Puck Daddy]