Dallas Stars Daily Links: Lindy Ruff Talks Defense, Valeri Nichushkin's Slow Start

Stars coach Lindy Ruff had plenty to say following Monday's practice. Plus, what went down during the season's first few days, and a look at teenagers in the NHL.

Following the Dallas Stars' practice on Monday, coach Lindy Ruff dished on the state of the defense, Mattias Janmark's strong showing, and the slow start for Valeri Nichushkin. Val's difficulties could, Mike Heika noted, potentially result in his being scratched for tonight's game against Edmonton.

"Val has really been struggling. I've been trying to help him by shifting him around," Ruff said. "He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn't seem real comfortable at left right now. His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker."

Ruff said he could reduce his minutes or even scratch Nichushkin.

"There's two ways to get through it _ you either sit on the outside and take a look, and sometimes that helps you, or sometimes players can play through it."

Ruff also didn't pull any punches when talking about the defensive effort in the team's loss to the Avalanche on Saturday, saying he was "embarrassed the way we defended."

"Defend with passion. We've been working hard at that, blocking shots and getting people in the right places," he said when asked what the team was working on after a 6-3 loss in Colorado . "I didn't fully expect us to be 100 percent solid, we have some players who aren't quite up and running, but you have a responsibility to be in a certain place on the ice, to take away a certain lane, and you just have to do your job. We had some missed assignments, and those assignments hurt us."

Heika also mentioned that Antti Niemi practiced late, making it look like Kari Lehtonen will be the starter for tonight's game. For other practice updates, head on over to the link. [DMN]


I hope everyone had a lovely Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday. On tap tonight, the Stars take on the Oilers at 7:30 p.m. at the AAC. If you're looking for extra motivation to get a ticket, here you go:

Mike Heika held his weekly Stars chat, which was full of plenty of insight and a reminder that we have to wait at least three games before panicking about the defense. [DMN]

On Monday, Wild assistant coach and former Stars defenseman Darryl Sydor pled guilty to second-degree drunken driving. [Star Tribune]

If you want to catch up on what happened in Week 1 of the 2015-16 season, Steve Dangle has you covered. Here's the update for the Stars:


The good news is that Antti Niemi was one of the league's leading scorers after the Stars' first game. The bad news is that eight members of the Avalanche tied or passed him after the Stars' second game.

There's more on everyone else at the link. [Sportsnet]

Tonight's tilt against the Oilers made Sports Illustrated's list of games you should be watching this week. [SI]

Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about Ryan Garbutt's journey from Brown University to the CHL to the NHL. Of note—Garbutt said he used to make an extra effort to be noticed during games against the Blackhawks. [Sun-Times]

Word on the street is that the Bruins are quietly testing the trade waters for Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand. [CSN New England]

Meanwhile, back in the Central Division, the Blackhawks are "actively seeking" some help on the blue line. [Second City Hockey]

Meet the NHL's three Stars of the Week. Sadly, no Dallas Stars made the cut.

Over at Puck Daddy, a look at teenagers in the NHL. [Puck Daddy]

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk spoke out for the first time since undergoing a liver transplant in May. [Ottawa Sun]

And finally, that Jack Eichel kid seems to be doing just fine the NHL.