The Dallas Stars faced an unusual situation heading into this season, as Jamie Benn switched back from center to wing and vice versa for Tyler Seguin. It makes sense, as both were returning to what seemed like their natural positions.
They might switch again after Sunday’s game, however, as Seguin was absolutely dismal in the dot, going a 1-13 against the Ottawa Senators. Stars head coach Lindy Ruff told the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa that the 21-year-old really needs to fight more to win such battles.
“Compete has to be lot stronger. Scratch [your] nose on ice if you have to,” Ruff said. “It’s a form of competing. Get mad. Get mad.”
Ruff experimented with splitting Benn, 24, and Seguin up but decided to bring them back together because of those faceoff struggles.
It’s not just a one night thing, either. Seguin’s done a lot right in becoming a marquee guy in Dallas, but his faceoff winning percentage is at a squalid 37.
Benn, on the other hand, has just 10 fewer faceoff wins (51 to Seguin’s 61) despite taking 85 fewer draws. Benn’s currently winning 63.8 percent, which is admittedly a huge jump – in a small sample size – from the 46.1 percent rate from last season. (Granted, he was adjusting to a move to center, so maybe he’s getting a little better in that area, too?)
Is it enough of a problem for Ruff to play Benn at center and Seguin back at the wing? Or at least during the faceoff? That’s for Ruff to decide.
One cannot help but wonder if it’s just an area of weakness for Seguin, though.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?