CHARLOTTETOWN, Prince Edward Island -- The Stars practiced Sunday morning at the Charlottetown Civic Centre, where the team will scrimmage tonight (6 p.m. Atlantic Time/4 p.m. Central Time).
The practices were shorter today, less than an hour for each group. Again, the focus was on what Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan likes to call the backbone or spine of the team’s game. On Saturday defensive zone play took center stage and Sunday it was the two other key areas.
“We just wanted to go through some of our forecheck and our tracking,” Gulutzan said. “We had about 50 minutes to get through it and I thought the guys did a real good job.”
Sunday’s scrimmage will be a good test to see how the of what Gulutzan and his staff have stressed in the first two days of practices.
“We’ll be looking at the three backbones of our team and then two other little things we’ve put into play that we want emphasize this year – having a good net presence and being able to put pucks into space and create some speed,” Gulutzan said. “We want to make sure we are looking for those thing, but the spine is the most important thing.”
Assistant coach coach Paul Jerrard and Stu Barnes will coach one of the teams tonight and Texas Stars coach Jeff Pyle and Texas assistant Jeff Truitt will coach the other. Gulutzan will watch from upstairs at the Civic Centre.
“It’s probably the only time I can get kind of get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on,” said Gulutzan.
Desjardins away on family matter
Stars associate coach Willie Desjardins did not come to Prince Edward Island with the team this weekend to a death in the family. He is expected to join the team once it returns to Frisco on Wednesday, a team official said.
Sunday’s practice lineup
Sunday’s practice lineup looked pretty much the same as Saturday’s. Defenseman Alex Theriau switched groups, but for the most part the lines and the defensive combinations stayed the same.