Dallas Stars Morning Skate Update: Antti Niemi Starts vs Philadelphia Flyers
It seems that Antti Niemi will get the start tonight while the rest of the lineup is unchanged from Saturday's 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers.
Lindy Ruff has been very coy about who would start in goal tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, citing a schedule they have -- that he's going to keep in his head.
That might explain why both goaltenders were still out on the ice when the starter typically comes off early at morning skate today. However, given Kari Lehtonen's astoundingly terrible 1-10-3 record versus the Flyers, it's likely to be Antti Niemi tonight. He was talking with goaltender coach Jeff Reese and Mike Heika posits that he'll be the starter tonight:
Both goalies still on ice. Niemi talking a lot with Jeff Reese and looks like starter vs.Philly.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) October 20, 2015
Lines didn't change much from the Stars lineup against the Florida Panthers:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Patrick Sharp
Vernon Fiddler - Jason Spezza - Valeri Nichushkin
Mattias Janmark - Cody Eakin - Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel - Radek Faksa - Colton Sceviour
Defensive pairings also remain unchanged. It seemed that this game would be the prime spot to get Patrik Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak's first game of the season under the belts, but with the team on a three game winning streak, it seems the "don't fix it if it isn't broke" is the guiding line today.
Alex Goligoski - John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya - Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka - Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth - Jamie Oleskiak
Puck drop is at 6:30 PM CST and the game is being broadcast on NBCSN. That means no Razor and Strader on the call tonight, so tune into The Ticket or dallasstars.com to listen to their call on the radio if you so wish. Or you can listen to the national broadcast and tell me your over/under on the number of times John Klingman or Dominic Roussel make an appearance tonight.
Other notes of interest....
The common narrative about hockey below the Mason-Dixon line is the quality of ice. It seems that the Dallas Stars do not have the worst ice, according to a sampling of players polled by Puck Daddy:
Yes indeed, the Florida Panthers and their muggy humidity have produced the worst ice in the NHL. - Players Poll: Worst Home Ice
The Stars didn't even receive a single vote!
Puck Daddy wasn't finished with the Dallas Stars gems today, though, as three Stars players received at least one vote as most underrated. Two of them are surprising, but one most definitely isn't.
Tied for third place was Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, whom NHL players believe you might have missed winning the scoring race last season; and Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks, who basically should have his name atop any "most underrated" player poll. -Players Poll: Most Underrated
Click on the link to see who else on the Stars was voted as underrated, and tell us if you guessed them before cheating.