Add Mattias Janmark to the list of injured Dallas Stars. Janmark, who appeared to be in the lineup for Wednesday night's preseason game in Colorado didn't play, and then didn't take the ice for practice Thursday morning in Frisco.
"He's going to miss today, and we'll have an update later," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said when asked about Janmark's status. "[It's] injury related."
Just moments after Ruff gave that update, Janmark, who was apparently injured in Wednesday's pregame skate, was seen at the Stars practice facility on crutches. As of Thursday afternoon, there was no further update.
Janmark joins a long list of Stars players battling injuries in training camp. Ruff said some on the list are making progress.
"Everybody is better, I can tell you that," Ruff said. "It's a process. [Cody] Eakin (knee) is a long ways away. But the other guys - [Devin] Shore (ankle), [Ales] Hemsky (groin] and [Tyler] Seguin (heel) - all those guys are getting better. Every day they are getting closer. I can see light at the end of the tunnel."
Ruff pleased with defensive effort
Two games into preseason play, Stars coach Lindy Ruff likes his team's defensive play. The Stars have allowed just 44 shots on goal over the first two games and have held the opposition to eight shots or fewer in five of the six periods played.
"We played a good defensive game last night. We doubled them up on shot attempts. Little bit of misfortune in the third period, but we didn't give up much," Ruff said of the 4-2 loss in Colorado. "I really like the way we've played away from the puck. Defensively, there haven't been a lot of shifts where we've been stuck in our own end or given up multiple chances. Defending-wise we've done a very nice job the first two games. The games are going to get tougher, but at the same time our lineup will get stronger, so all that should even out."
The Stars ranked tenth in the NHL last season in shots against at 28.9 per game. But they ranked 20th in goals against at 2.78 per game and Ruff would like to get that number down.
"We trimmed it by ten percent last year and would like to get another ten percent off without hurting our offense," Ruff said.
Klingberg looking to take on more this season
Stars defenseman John Klingberg ranked second on the Stars last season in total ice time, even-strength ice time and power-play ice time. But he was barely on the radar when it came to penalty-kill ice time, and he'd like that to change this season.
"I want to take one more step [this season], and I want to play those minutes on the PK, too," Klingberg said. "We've got bigger bodies, stronger bodies and I think it's better right now on the PK, but that is something I want to work with and progress my minutes there."
Klingberg played a lot of penalty kill in his final year in Sweden. Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he could see Klingberg in a PK role with the Stars.
"He's got quickness, he's got a great stick," Ruff said. "Defensively his smarts. There are a lot of players like him that do kill. He is aware of where the other team's strengths are coming from on the power play."
Ruff said Klingberg might have been an option on the penalty kill in his first two seasons in Dallas, but the Stars didn't want to throw too much ice time at him right off the bat.
Stars sign young defenseman
The Stars added to their prospect pool, signing defenseman Ondrej Vala to a three-year entry-level contract. Vala, who plays for Kamloops in the Western Hockey League, was a free agent invite with the Stars at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, where he had one assist, a plus-one rating and nine shots on goal in four games.
"Ondrej has shown a combination of size and physicality along with the ability to play a defensively responsible game at the junior hockey level," Stars GM Jim Nill said in a release. "He was part of our team this year at the Traverse City Tournament and we look forward to his continued development playing for Don Hay and the coaching staff in Kamloops."
The 18-year-old, who is from Czech Republic, is 6-4, 210 pounds and shoots left. He registered 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists) in 72 games with Kamloops last season. He has no points in two games with the Blazers so far this season.