Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky probably won't be ready for the first few preseason games, at least according to the plan put forward by Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill, but the pair of Top 6 forwards took another step forward in their recovery from offseason hip surgery on Monday as they skated in the team's scrimmage.
It was the first scrimmage for either player this training camp - they were both held out of Sunday's Green on White affair - and they helped lead Team Green to a 7-6 victory over Team White, which featured players like Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp.
There were lots of goal scorers in the afternoon session, including Benn, Seguin, Vernon Fiddler, Jason Spezza, Jason Demers and two from Cole Ully and Travis Morin.
Given that, it's not surprising that the goaltending numbers were not great (I'd say concerning, but just like with line combinations, it's really easy to read too much into any given day). Antti Niemi let in four goals on the first seven shots he faced and finished his half of the scrimmage with seven saves on 11 shots while Jack Campbell wasn't much better with 12 saves on 16 shots.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff called the scrimmage loose but attributed that to being several days into camp more than any other specific factor:
"Loose today compared to the previous days," Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said. "You get to third and fourth day of camp, and it seems the scrimmage becomes a little bit more about trying to score. I really thought tremendous speed — speed that you can’t defend against — but I thought we did somethings with the puck that I didn’t like."
Two of the late goals came as the team again spent some time working on 3-on-3 scenarios, including Spezza from Benn and John Klingberg and Demers from Seguin. Defensemen activating may be key in these extra sessions, as Jyrki Jokipakka showed yesterday.
In the fun department, Seguin apparently took a field trip to the other team's bench to sit next to his usual partner in hockey crime:
not your team, bud. pic.twitter.com/HGKmo3RgXO— emily nielsen (@eknielsen) September 21, 2015
Quite coincidentally, the Stars posted an interview with new goalie coach Jeff Reese, who talks with Josh Bogorad about his philosophy for using the goalies this year: