The Dallas Stars know what went wrong in Phoenix Thursday night in an ugly loss 6-3 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. The turnovers and the decisions spoke for themselves. It was a "burn the tape" game- Well, almost...
"If you make an individual mistake, they know who made the mistake," Ruff said of the team's Friday examination of the defeat. "They don't need me to say that with video. When it comes to the structure of our game, that's what we want to deal with, where the pieces have to be in place."
Against the Boston Bruins tonight the structure of their game may get a little tweak in those doing the executing.
Per dallasstars.com and the Dallas Morning News, Lindy Ruff ran lines in practice a little differently Friday morning-
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Ales Hemsky
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin - Patrick Sharp
Valeri Nichushkin - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour/Radek Faksa
Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Jason Demers
Ruff mentioned that Hemsky with his top guys was a look he would like to try some time, but don't be surprised if something that more closely resembles the conigurations of recent games take shape before puck drop.
One new wrinkle that maybe around to stick in the short term could be Jason Demers with Patrik Nemeth. Ruff went with that to try to settle his group down as things got worse in Glendale Thursday- To little avail, but this looks like something they may want to try going forward.
Ruff was not shy about the entire group on the back end Thursday night after the eyeball test and stat-sheet pointed to one individual in particular.
"It was more than just Demers," Ruff told media. "As a group we weren't very good. I can use the Klingberg play, it didn't go in the back of the net, but it could have easily. That represented our defense corps."
Antti Niemi gave up five in the loss and when he was not under siege with his mates, his mates left him alone with the opposition. Niemi's had little work going back 14 days now- Just three starts, including getting chased by the Hawks in the first period and now that in the desert. We'll see if Kari Lehtonen is back in, but either way, it's been a while since you could say Niemi was up and running.
The Bruins come in fresh off a loss to the Predators Thursday night, getting out-scored 2-0 depite out-shooting their hosts 29-24. Over all, though, the Bruins have been mighty, going 10-5-1 since mid January and they sit second in their division behind the Panthers.
They took three of their first five games on this monster of a road trip, including contests in Minnesota and Winnipeg. Their first thee outings on the trip saw them score 15 times, then just twice in the 120 minutes since. Which team will the Stars get tonight?
One thing that's not been clicking so well? Their power play. NESN put these notes together on one heck of a bad streak due to end at any moment-
- In its last 36 games, including Thursday's 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators. Julien's squad has managed just 14 power-play goals.
- Four of those came in one game, a 7-3 beatdown of the Ottawa Senators back on Dec. 29. Since then, they've converted on just 9.7 percent of their power-play opportunities â the worst mark in the NHL.
- The Bruins scored multiple power-play goals in five different games before the start of December. They've done so just once since.
- Boston has yet to record a power-play goal on its current six-game road trip (0-for-19 over five games) and has gone without one in 14 of its last 16 contests. [NESN]
That's pretty bad. The Stars need to avoid being the team that sees that unit that scored 22 times in their first 22 games return to their former glory.
Dallas beat the Bruins 5-3 in early November thanks to a game-winner from Tyler Seguin and a 36 save performance by Kari Lehtonen as Boston dominated the Stars 39-19 in shots on goal.
Their lineup, or something close to it-