The Dallas Stars – down a half-dozen high-end forwards and still, somehow, holding seven of a possible 12 points to date – are doing their best to simplify their act as they hit the road for eight of their next 10 games.
Head coach Lindy Ruff says he’s telling his players to do only one thing: the job they practice every day.
"We're going to try to remain consistent with our play," Ruff said of a one-game-at-a-time approach. "If we trust doing certain things right, it creates speed and it creates opportunities."
The Stars can use all the extra confidence they can steal, because they still don’t have definitive ETAs for most of their walking wounded, including Jason Spezza, Jiri Hudler, Aleš Hemský and Patrick Sharp. Even the Ironman himself, Jamie Benn, needed a maintenance day yesterday:
"You've missed all of training camp, and you get in high-intensity games, and you torque it more than you would in any practices," Ruff said. "It's a balancing act. We don't want to aggravate what he's got going on, but at the same time, we need to elevate play."
There’s much more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
If you didn’t get enough Patrik Laine and Dustin Byfuglien on Tuesday night in Dallas, the Stars take on the Jets again tonight in Winnipeg. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Central time. [NHL]
Are the Jets suffering from a bad run of puck luck? Arctic Ice Hockey’s HappyCaraT looks at their PDO and suggests their fortunes may be due to change.
Elsewhere, Heika wrote about the high-stakes game of Tetris Lindy Ruff is playing on the fly as he works to keep the Stars winning now. [SportsDayDFW]
The past couple of days have been quite a ride for Justin Dowling. Read more about his AHL career and his NHL debut.
In case you’re keeping score, Devin Shore is having a pretty good run, too.
Keep 'em coming. Devin Shore is tied for 3rd in NHL rookie scoring with 6 points. pic.twitter.com/KGHDo6Gubw— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 26, 2016
Tyler Seguin praised the players who have stepped in and helped carry the Stars during their injury-riddled opening month.
"You gotta give a lot of credit to some of these guys that have stepped in." pic.twitter.com/hrENCWKg3A— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 26, 2016
And Mark Stepneski offered practice updates via @StarsInsideEdge:
Spezza doubtful for tomorrow. Hudler still not ready. Maintenance for Jamie Benn, Klingberg, and Eaves.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 26, 2016
Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms) hasn't started skating yet but he was on the ice shooting the puck around today.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 26, 2016
No timetable on Cody Eakin (knee), but he has done some skating. "He's a ways away," Lindy Ruff said.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) October 26, 2016
The good wishes for Dave Strader keep rolling in.
The Shea Weber-P.K. Subban trade hasn’t been talked to death yet. Greg Wyshynski can tell you why.
Are the Oilers really for real, really, finally? Maybe: They’ve won six of their first seven games for the first time since 1986-87.
The Oilers are off to their best start since the Gretzky era https://t.co/T5GHetUjHY— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) October 27, 2016
Just in time for Halloween, Seattle’s zombie hopes for an NHL franchise (and the return of the Supersonics) have roared back to life, as a team of investors offers private financing for a new arena. [KING 5 News]
Because there’s never too much information on the danger level of shots on goal, here’s a handy breakdown by team for the 2016-17 season to date.
Through the first two weeks of the season, this is how each team's shots against break down into danger tiers by percentage pic.twitter.com/lkipmDRtuc— Ian Fleming (@imfleming16) October 27, 2016
I’m just gonna leave this here. #perspective
NHL average SV% so far this year is just .905, a 10 point drop from last season.— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) October 26, 2016
Ken Campbell says to enjoy this sudden spate of scoring while it lasts, because it won’t. [The Hockey News]
With starting netminder Jonathan Quick out for three months and backup Jeff Zatkoff down with a groin injury of his own, the Kings have signed former Star Anders Lindbäck to a PTO. [Los Angeles Times]
Finally: Justin Dowling just wants to thank the world for sharing his first NHL game with him. Stop by and wish him the best for tonight, too.