After taking Sunday off, the Dallas Stars were back on the ice in Frisco Monday morning for the first of four days of practice before they take off for a three-game road trip that begins Friday in Winnipeg.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he’ll use the practice time this week to work on certain parts of the team’s game.
“There are areas of the game we want to focus in on each day,” Ruff said. “Today was more working on the offensive zone stuff and conditioning. We’ll have a special teams day. We’ll focus in on four-on-four. We’ll try to go through the areas of the game that will help keep us sharp.”
Ruff said there were a lot of good things to take out of the Stars’ first weekend of regular season action, but he thinks play in the offensive zone is one area where there can be some improvement.
“I still think we need to get better in the offensive zone, a little bit better with the puck possession. The focus on that was at the head of all our drills today,” said Ruff. “The more time we can spend in the offensive zone the less time we’ll spend in our own.”
Along with the work on the ice, the Stars also did some off-ice work on the conditioning front.
“Today was a day we wanted to work hard on the ice, and off the ice get a really good workout in,” said Ruff. “If you can use those breaks to put a little extra in the tank it helps you down the road.”
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“It’s a little difficult because you play a couple games and you want to get after it. If you were talking to us in January or February, guys would take the four days off. We’ve been practicing for so long, and once you get into games you want to get a little momentum and into a rhythm and this throws it off a little bit. We’ll use it to work in on things we need to and just be ready for Friday.”
Stars practice lineup
There were no changes in the lineup on Monday. The Stars used the same line combinations and defense pairings from Saturday’s game. Here’s how they lined up Monday.
Jamie Benn-Tyler-Seguin-Erik Cole
Ray Whitney-Cody Eakin-Alex Chiasson
Shawn Horcoff-Vernon Fiddler-Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel-Rich Peverley-Ryan Garbutt
Lane MacDermid-Chris Mueller
Alex Goligoski-Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon-Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley-Jordie Benn
Aaron Rome (injured)-Kevin Connauton
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.