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.