By Will Martin
In light of the current state of affairs in DC, it occurred to me that sometimes all you need to get the action moving, the blood flowing, success in your favor is something akin to a jump start. Friday night in Winnipeg the following epiphany came to this writer.
If only Jamie Benn played for Winnipeg you know what the theme tune would be. Channel that inner Elton John and of course you remember a classic from 1975. Of course this would also apply if Jamie Benn were to have an epic game/night in Winnipeg.
Of course this could also be a theme tune in Dallas each time Jamie gets into a skateaway and a score. Keep that in your memory bank as I prepare to throw another term out to add to the lexicon of vernacular.
SEGUINomics! When a player has such a magnitude of aptitude for his team in a game he’s good for an automatic four points somehow, someway, someday, this day.
Since his acquisition from the Bruins in July everything that has been espoused about the 21-year old has been as good as advertised. He will only get better alongside Jamie Benn and Rich Peverly as his linemates. Two goals and two assists for Mr. Seguin in a 4-1 Stars win Friday night over the Jets.
“Great start,” Seguin said of the Stars’ effort, which came after a six-day break in the schedule. “I think we were really excited to play. It felt like we had had two or three training camps thus far.”
Alex Chiasson made it nine goals in ten games when he began the scoring at 9:32 of period one on a backhander assisted by Sergei Gonchar and Tyler Seguin. Chiasson found the net while on the second line with Cody Eakin and Ray Whitney. A nice mix of young and old.
“For [Seguin’s] confidence to get on the board with a couple of goals, for [Benn] to grab one, and I think that [Peverley] on the right side did a nice job, that line had to have a really good feeling by the end of the night,” Stars Coach Lindy Ruff said.
The only drawback to Friday night’s 4-1 win over the Jets was a lower body injury to Kari Lehtonen. He is now on injured reserve. Dan Ellis filled in early in the second period after what looked like a pad save by Lehtonen may have been the injury culprit. Jack Campbell will now get the backup duties with Ellis in the lead.
Back to Tyler Seguin. His performace Friday night reminded me of a performance these eyes witnessed in person 2/29/08 when newbie Brad Richards came to the Stars and knocked out a five point performance with a goal and four assists. Also in 2006 or ’07 I recall Fabian Brunnstrom having himself a hatrick and a four point game. Games like these are indeed memorable and fun to watch.
For Lindy Ruff obviously no concerns over having had six days off.
“[The break is] something that we talked about,” Ruff said. “We had to stay sharp all week, and we covered almost every aspect of the game. I thought that the first couple of shifts were rusty, but after that we started to skate well.
“I always think that big layoffs are an unknown,” Ruff continued. “I’d like to stand here and [say] that I knew that we were going to be ready. But you never know. You try to do the right things. You try to put in the compete drills to simulate some game stuff.”
Dan Ellis and Kari Lehtonen would stop a combined 43 of 44 shots in the 4-1 victory to improve to 2-1. With the loss Winnipeg fell to 2-3.
Saturday night in Minnesota was another matter entirely in this back-to-back as the Wild would light the lamp on the very first shift 12 seconds in. This led to a night of playing catchup to no avail thus falling 5-1 to the Wild.
Starter Dan Ellis offered the following.
“Whenever you are playing that second night of a back-to-back you want to calm the game down early and when the first shot goes in as a knuckle-puck, it’s not the way you want to start it,” said Ellis.
Matt Cooke and Justin Fontaine found the net for Minnesota in the first ten minutes and the footing was off all evening for the Stars.
“We gave them a two goal lead,” Alex Goligoski said. “Sloppy plays and we really never got going after that. We got outplayed all over the rink. It was a tough night.”
Defensive turnovers and being outshot 36-19 is not a good recipe for winning. Stars now fall to 2-2.
“We had players that need to play better. Obviously our defense didn’t play well tonight,” Lindy Ruff said. “We had a couple of guys that were pretty good, but I thought four of the six struggled moving the puck. The strength of the way we are built is we have to move pucks. When we don’t make plays coming out of our own end it obviously makes it tough to get through the neutral zone.”
Note: Justin Fontaine’s goal 12 seconds into Saturday’s game was the second quickest goal scored against the Stars franchise. Buffalo’s Rick Martin scored the quickest, tallying at the 11 second mark on October 14, 1979.
The Weekend Lineup was as follows:
Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney-Cody Eakin-Alex Chiasson
Antoine Roussel-Shawn Horcoff-Erik Cole
Ryan Garbutt-Vernon-Fiddler-Valeri Nichushkin
Alex Goligoski-Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon-Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley-Jordie Benn
Dan Ellis (starter)
Campbell now the backup to Ellis as Kari Lehtonen goes on the IR (Injured Reserve) retroactive to October 11th.
The Stars also activated defenseman Aaron Romenfrom injured reserve and assigned him to the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment. In addition, forward Chris Mueller was assigned to Texas.
Dallas (2-2) now enjoys two off days while preparing for the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night. An 8pm puck drop before taking on the San Jose Sharks with that new kid phenom getting a lot of buzz lately-Tomas Hertl with five goals in three games and a 5-0 Sharks team making waves in the NHL.
And so, in closing I say to you fine folks the term SEGUINomincs can have double meaning. When all cylinders are on and everything is clicking, your team is good for four goals and a win. If SEGUINomics is off kilter and the defenders are caught of guard you’re bound to lose by four. And there you have it!