Blistering Seguin Stays Up, Will Any Other Stars Join Him?
This past week was characterized by a Jekyll & Hyde two game set. Are the Stars the sleeping juggernaut that rolled Montreal? Are they the tepid mess that wilted against Winnipeg? Let's sort through the parts and see what we can learn about the whole.
Small weeks are always weird. Two games is just too little time to get a strong sense of what’s happening. On the one hand, Montreal might have been the Stars best, most complete game in months. On the other, they came back out against Winnipeg and fell apart. Optimism? Recency Bias? How on earth can we even begin to sort this squad out?
Tyler Seguin (2 GP / 3 G / 4 Pts) – I joked on the podcast that Seguin’s tattoos were specially calibrated to confuse opposing players. The only thing more ridiculous than that claim is his actual level of play.
Alex Goligoski (2 GP / 4 H / 3 BLK) – Full disclosure: I know nothing (like I needed to tell you that), but the SHG against sure looked like a guy fighting through some kind of injury. Despite maintenance days, and clearly being less than his best, Goligoski continues to be a rare bright spot on the struggling backline.
John Klingberg (2 GP / 0 Pts / 6 SOG) – Sound the alarm! Klingberg has now gone four games without a point, and dipped below 20 minutes against both Montreal and Winnipeg. He’s still the future, and he’s still playing fine. I would like to see a little less risk (3 hits and 5 blocks in 2 games) until he can bulk up.
Curtis McKenzie (2 GP / 4 SOG / 13:06 ATOI) – Got back into the lineup this past week, and saw a little jump in his usage. Garbutt’s suspension should yield further ice time opportunities, but Hemsky will be back at some point. Production will be required at some point if McKenzie is going to stake out a serious role.
Colton Sceviour (2 GP / 3 SOG / 0 Pts) – Big kid minutes this past week for Sceviour. Colton topped two minutes in powerplay time both games, and 16 minutes overall. No production, though, and if you’re running with the top 6, it’s all about production.
Erik Cole (2 GP / 0 Pts / 0 SOG) – Cole topped 15 minutes TOI against Winnipeg, topped two minutes on the powerplay in both games, and still failed to record a single shot on net. A for effort?
Cody Eakin (2 GP / 1 PPG / 45% FOW) – Briefly returned to the spot we’d all expected him to play (pivot between Roussel and Garbutt). The good: he’s still contributing with the extra skater. The bad: he’s still getting abused on the dot.
Vernon Fiddler (2 GP / 1 H / 10:50 ATOI) – Slipped into depth player minutes this week. Vern himself is still doing a lot of the little things well, it’s just hard to consider him Up when he’s struggling to get on the ice.
Ryan Garbutt (2 GP / 1 Suspension / 1 G) – It’s almost worse that Garbutt was so very good against Montreal. Isn’t it?
Ales Hemsky (0 GP) – Scratched two games running, and three times this season. Not a good week.
Jyrki Jokipakka (0 GP) – Couldn’t get a game this week. Maybe that changes next week with Oleksiak heading back to Cedar Park.
Kari Lehtonen (2 GP / 4 GA / .8824 Sv%) – Everything his team needed him to be against Montreal, an ice-berg against Winnipeg. Injury? Fatigue? Frustration? It’s clear something has Kari well off his typical levels of performance.
Jamie Oleksiak (2 GP / 4 H / 11:02 ATOI) – Oleksiak fell below 10 minutes versus the Jets (8:58) and promptly got a bus ticket to Cedar Park. Will we look back on this as a speed bump, or as a seriously missed opportunity? There are NHL roster spots available on this defense right now.
Jason Spezza (2 GP / 1 A / 3 SOG) – To be fair, Spezza won 58% of his faceoffs during last week’s games. That would be great if he were a third liner, or if it came with significant offensive production. It didn’t, so he doesn’t slip out of the doghouse.
Jussi Rynnas (1 GP / 2 GA / .867 Sv%) – Came on in relief against Winnipeg and made certain there would be no Stars comeback. Two games is a tiny sample, but playing like he is, there’s some chance Rynnas will struggle to get more time.
Antoine Roussel (2 GP / 4 SOG / :30 PPTOI) – Roussel has a pair of goals in his last 13 games. The forward is currently on pace for a 38 point season. Add it to the list of disappointments for Stars fans this season.
In the Middle
Jamie Benn (2 GP / 3 A / 5 H) – The physicality has increased, but Jamie seems to have regressed offensively. Beyond ensuring linemate Tyler Seguin has a steady supply of pucks to shoot, Jamie is struggling to make an impact.
Jordie Benn (2 GP / +1 / 1 A) – Prior to Montreal, Jordie hadn’t finished with a positive rating since November 6th. That’s an ignominious streak, but hey, it’s broken now.
Trevor Daley (2 GP / 1 A / 11:04 PPTOI) – Daley has had rougher weeks. It was also nice to see a little production with the man advantage. Let’s not get too excited, though.
Jason Demers (2 GP / 1 A / 3 H) – A lot like Daley’s week. Not as bad as the one before it, but not quite enough to change a seasonal trend. He does seem to be getting steadier each game he plays with his new team.
Shawn Horcoff (2 GP / 8:14 ATOI / 1 H) – Horcoff spent the week battling illness, which clearly limited his involvement on the ice.
On the Shelf