The Dallas Stars might not know exactly when they will start their second-round series against the St. Louis Blues yet, but they returned to the practice ice after a day off today to start their preparation.
Injured forward Tyler Seguin has not yet started skating and is not expected to skate in the next few days. Cody Eakin also missed the on-ice portion of practice, but Ruff said that was just a maintenance day and Eakin should be back tomorrow.
With Eakin out, here's what the Stars forward lines looked like at practice:
Valeri Nichushkin - Jamie Benn - Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Patrick Eaves
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Ales Hemsky
Travis Moen - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour
Jamie Benn back at center is an interesting potential wrinkle the Stars could throw at the St. Louis Blues (and one that could put him head to head with mortal enemy David Backes at times). Even with a healthy Seguin, Benn has sometimes taken center responsibilities depending on how the line rotated at that point. If the line stays together past today's practice, the most interesting question would be how Valeri Nichushkin deals with some of the tougher defensive assignments that group would draw.
It's also notable that the Stars coaching staff really does like the combination of Roussel, Faksa and Hemsky. Even though the group got running around a little late in Game 6, they were a very strong defensive asset, and it does make sense to let them to continue to develop chemistry.
The Stars still have nine healthy defensemen skating, and the look was the same as it was for Game 6 in Minnesota. People may not be happy with the eye test for the pairing of Alex Goligoski and John Klingberg top pairing, but they continue to put up very solid underlying numbers to the point that there is a good argument not to change things as well.
Back to Seguin for a second - this is the time of year that teams get very cagey about injuries, so it's not necessarily surprising the Stars are being less than forthcoming.
Here is Lindy Ruff talking about the health status of his team as well as watching Monday's Game 7. It also features a lurking Mike Heika on the edge of the media scrum:
The schedule is allegedly coming some time today. When it break's, we'll let you know.