After getting two days off, the Dallas Stars were back on the ice for practice in Frisco Tuesday morning. The Stars got the time off after a stretch that saw them play nine games in 15 days following the NHL’s holiday break.
“It was good,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said of the time off. “We played a lot of hockey, and it was good to get two days. We came back this morning with a little bit more energy, little bit more jump. I think it does a lot in the long run.”
The Stars, who didn’t have much opportunity to practice during the 15-day stretch, were on the ice for about an hour Tuesday morning for what was termed a hard-working session.
“It was a typical practice day,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We tried to get a real good work day in, and I think we got that accomplished.”
Said Benn: “It’s about putting in good hard work. We haven’t had much time to practice in a while. These are three good days to pay attention to details and get back to playing our system well. Just get back to working hard.”
The Stars will practice again Wednesday morning in Frisco and then head to California, where they’ll practice Thursday before opening their three-game road trip Friday night in Anaheim.
“We are going to try to keep it consistent to when we’ve got a normal schedule. Today was a real good work day; tomorrow will be a hands and special teams day,” Ruff said. “[Traveling Wednesday] is going to give us a little time to catch up with the time difference. We’ll practice out there [Thursday], and we’ll probably replicate our practice here out there.”
The Stars will play the Ducks, Sharks and Kings during the upcoming trip as they try to get back on track. The Stars have hit their first slump of the season, going 3-4-2 since the holiday break and 1-3-1 over their past five games.
“We knew we were going to go through the ups and downs. We knew this was coming,” Benn said. “You are not going to cruise through a whole 82-game schedule pretty easy. It’s good to face this adversity. It’s nice to get a few days and get these practices going again.”
Stars defenseman Jordie Benn and right wing Ales Hemsky, who both have been out with injury, practiced Tuesday and appear ready to return.
Benn has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury. Hemsky has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury.
“Both guys are doing well, and both had a full practice. I would anticipate both guys playing,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.
Here was how the Stars lined up in Tuesday’s practice. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were back together on the top line along with Patrick Sharp. Ales Hemsky skated on the second line with Jason Spezza and Mattias Janmark. Jordie Benn was back in his usual spot on the third defense pair with Jyrki Jokipakka as his partner.
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Patrick Sharp
Mattias Janmark – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Antoine Roussel – Cody Eakin – Valeri Nichushkin
Travis Moen – Vernon Fiddler – Patrick Eaves/Colton Sceviour
Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny Oduya – Jason Demers
Jyrki Jokipakka – Jordie Benn
Patrik Nemeth – Jamie Oleksiak
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.