Roster Watch: Stars Walk Away from Wild Week
Two close call wins see the Stars escape last week with 4 of a possible 6 points. It would have been nice to see the boys take care of business in regulation, but at this point, I'll take what I can get. See who helped, who hurt, and who was along for the ride in this week's roster watch.
They won more than they lost. That’s a good thing. They did so by getting scoring from a variety of different places, and actually scattered in some effective goaltending. Not that it was all positive. This week the Stars left plenty of questions out on the ice, but at least they won. I’ll cling to that right about now.
John Klingberg (3 GP / 50 Scoring Chances For / 3 A) – A point-per-game this week for Klingberg. The young defender was on the ice for more Stars goals than any other player (5), and sure did seem to get the better of Aaron Ekblad.
Patrick Eaves (3 GP / 1 G / 6 H) – Respectable physicality and a goal from the recently-returned Eaves this week. Given his body of work, he seems an odd fit for top line duty, but it’s sort of working, which I’ll take at this point.
Alex Goligoski (3 GP / 1 G / 61 CF%) – Goose bounced back this week in a big way. His unit outscored the opposition (+1 goal differential), he blocked a boatload of shots (7), and drew the Stars level with Florida Thursday night. With Trevor Daley on the shelf, Goligoski’s role on the defense becomes even more important moving forward.
Brett Ritchie (3 GP / 1 G / 10 H) – What’s the best way for a young player to get into a team that traded away Eric Cole? Well, being the good parts of Eric Cole is as good a place to start as any. Ritchie was a productive wrecking ball this week, which is enough to get Stars fans salivating over his future.
Shawn Horcoff (3 GP / 1 G / 1 A) – Two points in just over 13 minutes a night for the steady vet. Visions of draft picks might have danced in the heads of the Wait Until Next Year crowd, but this space is glad Horcoff stuck around.
Patrik Nemeth (2 GP / 14:12 ATOI / 7 H) – First week back means Nemeth is up. I don’t care that he looked rusty and young, or that he got turnstiled for a goal against in Florida. Next week, I’ll care. For now, I’m going to celebrate a very promising player’s healthy return from a very scary injury.
Cody Eakin (3 GP / 10 H / 2 Pts) – A goal, an assist, and a whole lot of mayhem out of Eakin this week. The Ginga Ninja also won 58% of his faceoffs, and was fourth amongst Stars forwards in defensive zone starts (40.9 ZSO%). Wonderful stuff.
Curtis McKenzie (3 GP / 1 G / 1 Fight) – McKenzie did the honors against Kulikov in Florida. Honestly, I was much more interested in his goal. Like Sceviour, McKenzie is a guy sitting on an opportunity to contribute right now.
Vernon Fiddler (3 GP / 1 G / 39.4 ZSO%) – Life on the dot got a little bit rough (47.9 FOW%), but otherwise Fiddler put in a solid shift. Another guy I’m glad stuck around past the trade deadline.
Jhonas Enroth (2 GP / 1 W / 3 GA) – Do you know how happy I am to finally place a goaltender in the Up category? Of course you do, the Stars are your favorite team too. Enroth was stellar in relief against the Panthers, in particular during an overtime in which the Stars tried desperately to throw the game away.
Jason Spezza (3 GP / 0 Pts / 90.3 PDO) – The no points thing is kind of a big deal, what with Spezza being the first line center and all. The fact his PDO is brutal, and that he generated the fourth most scoring chances on the team (43) offsets the lack of tangible results somewhat. Not enough, though, not this time of year.
Jamie Benn (3 GP / 1 A / 67.8 CF%) – All that stuff I said about Spezza? Just copy/paste it here. Benn is passing the eye test in a big way. He just had a slow week, is all. It’ll get better.
Jordie Benn (3 GP / -3.8 Scoring Chances For Relative% / 9 H) – Back up over 20 minutes a night, and it felt like his play suffered just a little bit. Jordie Benn is at his best quietly filling important minutes, but Daley’s injury might force him to play a bit more in the coming weeks. This is a very good time for Benn the Elder to make his case.
Ales Hemsky (3 GP / 84.9 PDO / 12 SOG) – Led the team in shots on goal, but the veteran forward is another high profile member of the Zero Points Club. I don’t want to look too far past Hemsky’s much-improved play, as of late, but he just didn’t have it this week.
Antoine Roussel (3 GP / 0 G / 2 H) – Two goals since January 17th. I think I might have mentioned that last week, but it’s worth mentioning again. For all that he contributes to the team’s overall energy; something is off about Roussel’s game lately.
Colton Sceviour (3 GP / 0 Pts / 9:48 ATOI) – The shootout winner in Florida was a tasty bit of skill. It was also just about the sum-total of Sceviour’s contributions this week. This is my dilemma: if he’s a bottom half forward, that’s not a terrible week, but if he’s a guy we want sniffing the scoring lines, something has to give. The Committee is Pro-Sceviour, so he’s down this week.
Jyrki Jokipakka (3 GP / 46 CF% / -2 Goal Diff) – Things did not go well this week for Jokipakka. Maybe it was due to the overall defensive turmoil, but he never seemed to settle into any kind of rhythm. Life without Daley is going to be an interesting test for the young defender.
Kari Lehtonen (2 GP / 1 W / Pulled Once) – I want to give Kari a serious pass for the Islanders game (.946 Sv%), but highs haven’t been the problem this year. He’s had plenty of vintage starts scattered throughout the season. Lehtonen’s problem is the muck in between. Like the collapse (.786) against Florida. Maybe I’m just angry, but he stays down until he can string quality starts together.
Jason Demers (3 GP / 8 H / -3 Goal Diff) – Just as Demers was starting to draw some quiet praise; he stumbled just a little bit. The fact he generated ten more scoring chances than he surrendered (35 to 25) tells us a story about the play behind him. Based on recent play he gets to spend the week in limbo.
Ryan Garbutt (3 GP / 0 G / 9 SOG) – The legs were there this week. Garbutt did well putting himself in shooting positions, just not so well putting those shots behind goalies. He didn’t take any penalties, though, and kept up the physicality (4 H). It’ll work.
On the Shelf