Just when the Dallas Stars have a chance to get a run going, they end up short another player. This time, Jason Spezza will be out for the next couple of weeks with an upper-body injury, and Lindy Ruff will be shuffling lines once again.
Mike Heika writes about the possible permutations:
The guess is the veteran bench boss simply slides Brett Ritchie up to the right wing in Spezza's spot with Antoine Roussel and Tyler Seguin so as to protect the consistency that has been bubbling over the past five games. If Curtis McKenzie takes Ritchie's place on the fourth line, this alignment would allow the lines of Jamie Benn-Cody Eakin-Patrick Eaves and Devin Shore-Radek Faksa-Patrick Sharp to remain together.
Ruff says he’d like to keep from ruffling as much as he can:
"I think consistency has come with healthier bodies in the lineup, those healthier bodies starting to find their form," Ruff said. "When you look at Sharp, look at Faksa getting back in, I think putting those pieces back in, we look like a quick team again."
There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]
As his former team comes to town, Sharpie talks with CSN Chicago about his struggles with injury and his commitment to the Stars.
Meanwhile, he and fellow Star Johnny Oduya, along with former Star Trevor Daley, have made Blake Schuster’s list of ex-Hawks the team could use the most right now. [Second City Hockey]
Jamie and Jordie Benn have taken their brother act into local schools:
McKenzie, who became friends with the late Brendan Burke when they both attended Miami University of Ohio, says it’s “a great honor” to be the Stars’ ambassador to the NHL’s LGBTQ awareness program for Hockey Is For Everyone Month. [SportsDayDFW]
Mac-Z and Adam Cracknell toured 30 Rock during the recent road trip to New York City:
The Phil Kessel Groundhog Day jokes may be over for the year, but Sportsnet still found room for him in the four things they learned this week.
Elsewhere, Ken Hitchcock’s ouster and a possible Kevin Shattenkirk trade make Scott Cullen’s top 10 storylines of the week. [TSN]
The Stars still have a shot at the playoffs, which is why they need to trade Kari Lehtonen for Marc-André Fleury now, says Ryan Kennedy. [The Hockey News]
And Mike Johnston reveals his 2016-17 All-Healthy Scratch team. [Sportsnet]
The Texas Stars lost a close contest to the San Antonio Rampage in new netminder Justin Peters’ debut.
The T-Stars have re-assigned goalie Landon Bow to the Idaho Steelheads.
...and the Steelheads have shifted their four-deep netminder backlog by loaning Philippe Desrosiers to another ECHL team, the Norfolk Admirals.
Stephen Meserve has returned from a road trip to Boise with lots of material, including this profile of coach and GM Neil Graham.
Finally: A round of applause for longtime Texas Star Max Fortunus, who with the Iowa Wild just played his 800th career AHL game. Congratulations, sir.