Defenseman Alex Goligoski, who was a healthy scratch in last night’s 5-1 victory over Calgary, skated on the fourth defensive pair in Friday’s practice in Frisco, but Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Goligoski will be back in the lineup in the next game or two.
“It’s something we are going to talk about. We are going to get Goose back in, whether it is tomorrow or the next game, but he is going to go back in,” Ruff said.
Kevin Connauton took Goligoski’s spot in the lineup Thursday, playing on a pair with Sergei Gonchar. It was the first NHL game for Connauton, who played 16:05, was a plus-two and had four blocked shots.
“Kevin did an OK job for his first game. I thought he had some nerves early on,” Ruff said. “I didn’t think he quite skated as well as I saw him skate in the preseason, but I think all that you can package into the first game and say you got it under your belt and we’ll go from here.”
When Goligoski does come back in, Ruff said he’ll shuffle things around on defense. He said he won’t go back to a pairing of Goligoski and Gonchar.
“No, we’ve talked about having that pair together and it’s something that hasn’t been working,” Ruff said. “We’d have to break up one of the other pairs.”
The other pairs that would need to be broken up are Brenden Dillon-Stephane Robidas or Trevor Daley-Jordie Benn.
This isn’t the first time Goligoski , who has no points and a minus-10 rating in 8 games this season, has been a healthy scratch for the Stars. He was scratched for a game in Edmonton last season, and bounced back with 9 assists over the next 12 games.
“You just come out and keep trying to work hard and play good,” Goligoski said after Friday’s practice in Frisco. “If you want to take a positive out of it, you rest up a bit, watch a game and get back to what makes you successful. You kind of reset mentally too.”
Garbutt back at practice
Forward Ryan Garbutt was back at practice for the first time since the NHL suspended him five games for charging Anaheim’s Dustin Penner in Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Ducks.
The NHL handed down the suspension Wednesday after an in-person hearing with Garbutt in New York.
“It was good. I was glad I went there for the meeting. I had a good talk with (NHL Director of Player Safety) Brendan Shanahan,” Garbutt said. “I definitely accept the penalty that I got, and I hope that Dustin Penner is feeling better.”
Penner is out with concussion symptoms. Garbutt served the first game of his suspension on Thursday and will be eligible to return for the Nov. 3 game against Ottawa.
The Stars forward said he’ll take lessons from the suspension and make a few adjustments, but he still expects to play the game fast and hard.
“I think I’ll have to make small adjustments. I can’t change the player I am out there,” he said. “I am going to play the game fast and things happen fast out there. You don’t want to see guys get hurt. I might have to change a couple things.”
Rome, Glennie assigned to AHL
The Stars Friday assigned defenseman Aaron Rome to the Texas Stars of the AHL. Rome cleared waivers on Thursday.
The Stars also activated forward Scott Glennie from injured non-roster and assigned him to the Texas Stars. Glennie suffered a knee injury during Dallas’ training camp.
Quotable: Lindy Ruff on addressing hits to the head
“There’s no condoning or defending the Garbutt hit. I told him after the game, you are going to get suspended for it. There are some that can be accidental, maybe a guy is bent over at the last second. But it is clearly stated that it is your responsibility. He came from a long ways away. He said, ‘Well, I hit him with my head.’ Well, it’s still a blow to the head. Those are the situations we want to stay away from. It’s something we’ve talked about as a team. Obviously, we don’t want to lose any more personnel. We don’t want to lose any key personnel. You turn the highlights on every night and you see someone going into the boards and I think you’ve got to err on the side of caution because the more of these that happen, the history is, the penalties get more severe. “
Stars practice lineup
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney – Cody Eakin – Alex Chiasson
Valeri Nichushkin – Shawn Horcoff – Erik Cole
Lane MacDermid – Vernon Fiddler – Antoine Roussel
Ryan Garbutt (suspended)
Brenden Dillon – Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley – Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton – Sergei Gonchar
Aaron Rome – Alex Goligoski
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.