Dallas Stars Morning Skate: Lindy Ruff Won't Reveal Starting Goalie, Curtis McKenzie In For Game 3
The only thing we know for sure is that the Dallas Stars will put a Finn in net tonight for Game 3 against the St. Louis Blues.
First it was Antti Niemi coming off the ice first. Then it was Lindy Ruff saying Kari Lehtonen should play in Game 3.
But then it was the Lindy Ruff all Dallas Stars fans know well, telling the media assembled at morning skate that, well, let's let his words speak for themselves:
Now Ruff says "I'm not telling you who's starting, so don't ask." #stlblues #stars re ... goalie— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) May 3, 2016
That's the Lindy we all know and love.
Of course, a great strength of a two-headed starting goalie monster is that it can add difficultly to an opponent's scouting report, and the Stars have no duty to make things easier on the St. Louis Blues by telling them which goalie will start in net in Game 3. Lehtonen and Niemi are very different player profiles, and there's a case to be made for both of them after Game 2.
And of course, not knowing a starting goaltender until game time is nothing new. This is a regular occurrence in the regular season late in the year and especially on the back-end of back-to-backs where the morning skate is highly optional, if it happens at all. So despite Mark Spector not being pleased for the gambler's out there, this is simply par for the course on a two-goalie team.
What Ruff did reveal is that Curtis McKenzie will definitely be in the lineup tonight, likely in place of Valeri Nichushkin, who skated late along with Brett Ritchie, Patrik Nemeth, Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak. Kari Lehtonen also skated late, so take that as you will.
Ruff also provided updates on Patrick Eaves and Tyler Seguin, who did not fly with the team to St. Louis for tonight's game.
Lindy Ruff provides updates on Tyler Seguin, Patrick Eaves: pic.twitter.com/3GNoz5KxAd— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) May 3, 2016
That's some pretty expected news. Seguin hadn't skated since Game 2, and Jim Nill had already said he'd be at least 4-5 days away once he started skating. That timeline would put him back for Game 5 at the very earliest. Ruff did say both players are skating again today in Dallas.
The Stars also didn't do real line rushes, though they did do some power play work with Ales Hemsky jumping up on the first unit with John Klingberg, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza and Cody Eakin. The second unit featured Kris Russell, Jason Demers, Mattias Janmark, Radek Faksa and Patrick Sharp.
Alex Goligoski was a full participant and appeared to be skating well after taking a puck to the knee in overtime on Sunday, but the team also didn't run any real defensive pairings to get a read on.