Dallas Stars Morning Skate: Cody Eakin To Left Wing, Ales Hemsky Remains on Top Line
Just a quick afternoon update today as the Dallas Stars get ready to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday evening for an early 6 p.m. CST start.
"I think it's a lot of little things," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff on what has changed for the Stars lately. "I think some of it has been discipline, not taking a lot of penalties. I think we've been a lot better in shot lanes and keeping pucks from getting there and then part of it is we've had the puck more in the offensive zone, which leads to more zone time."
"We've cleaned up our game, a lot less turnovers," Ruff continued "I think that we've turned the corner a little bit when it comes to that, but it's trying to do it game in and game out and get that consistency."
Ruff's team is riding a four-game winning streak and coming off a nice comeback win in Edmonton, and he has once again shuffled his lines a bit as he continues to fight to find the consistency he wants. What's interesting is that Travis Morin has now staked his position on the third line and has done well there so far, and now will have Cody Eakin on his wing as Jason Spezza moves back to the second line.
Most importantly -- Ales Hemsky will at least start the game on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel - Jason Spezza - Erik Cole
Cody Eakin - Travis Morin - Ryan Garbutt
Shawn Horcoff - Vernon Fiddler - Colton Sceviour
"He's had probably one Grade-A opportunity every game," Ruff said in regards to Travis Morin. "He's played well defensively, which has allowed him to play in some key situations even late in the game. I've liked the way he's skated. Second power play, he's done some good work. I'd just like to see him finish a couple of his opportunities."
Morin has been playing mostly with Erik Cole, who now slides up to the second line and to his more effective position at right wing.
On defense, the pairs will stay essentially the same they have the past four games or so, with Kari Lehtonen back in net.