With four days of practice between games, the Stars have been focusing on different areas of their game this week. On Wednesday they spent part of practice on special teams.
The power play hasn’t clicked in the first two games, failing to score on five opportunities and generating just one shot on goal.
“We had a little trouble on entries. We had some tough decisions with the puck inside the zone where instead of some easy plays we made quick plays that didn’t show a lot of patience,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “I thought the second game we had a couple good looks, we had an empty net to shoot it in off the one power play. But not enough zone time and some of that was once we got in the zone, some of the decisions we made with the puck.”
Asked what the Stars can do to improve it, Ruff had this to say.
“We went over it, practiced it the last couple days and we’ll spend a little bit more time,” Ruff said. “I think it is just realizing where your outs are and making those quick outs and if pressure is coming, knowing where those outs are.”
These were the power units the Stars ran in Wednesday’s practice:
Alex Chiasson-Tyler Seguin-Rich Peverley-Jamie Benn-Sergei Gonchar
Ray Whitney-Shawn Horcoff-Valeri Nichushkin-Erik Cole-Alex Goligoski
With a lot of special teams in Wednesday’s practice the Stars didn’t run much in the way of line combinations, but Ruff said he is still considering moving Rich Peverley up to the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
“We used that in yesterday’s practice. I think it kind of balances the size out on the lines,” Ruff said. “We talked about it again today and we’ll talk about it again tomorrow morning, but I think it’s a look we are going to take a peek at.”
Ellis expected to get a start this weekend
The Stars will play back-to-back games at Winnipeg and Minnesota this weekend and while Ruff said he doesn’t like to discuss who will start in goal, he did say backup Dan Ellis is expected to start one of the two games.
“Normally that is the one thing I don’t share, but I do have a plan,” Ruff said. “I’ll share that Dan is going to play (one of the two).”
Stars ready to get going
The Stars will have one more day of practice in Frisco on Thursday before heading off to Winnipeg, where they’ll begin their three-game road trip on Friday. But they are ready to get going on what will be their first extended road trip of the season.
“We’re just excited to get back on the road again,” said defenseman Trevor Daley. “A lot of us haven’t been on the road together or haven’t spent the night in the hotel in a while. I think we are just excited to get on the road.”
Asked if he was ready to get out on the road, Ruff drew laughs from the media with his response.
“I’m ready. I’m tired of seeing you guys,” Ruff said. “It’s been a long week.”
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