Friday, October 22, 2010
Friday practice update
By Mark Stepneski
A few notes from Friday afternoon's practice in Frisco.
Tom Wandell was at center today with Jamie Benn and Steve Ott on the wings. It was a move coach Marc Crawford made during last night's game.
"He (Benn) played great at center in the first period and in the second period it was almost easier for him at wing," Crawford said. "Stu Barnes told me it is so much easier to play wing than center because there is way more thinking at center. When he told me that I said that makes sense, so let's ease Jamie back in. We love Jamie at center. We liked the way he played last night."
How ever they line up, Crawford really liked the trio of Benn, Wandell and Ott.
"All of them were skating last night. All of them were on the puck," he said. "It really takes so much pressure off the Ribeiro line and the Richards line when you get another line giving us offensive production."
Goaltender Kari Lehtonen didn't practice today. He worked out off the ice. Crawford said Lehtonen will make his seventh straight start of the season Saturday night when the Stars host Nashville to open a six-game homestand.
Crawford said the Stars' schedule early in the season is allowing the team to ride Lehtonen, who is off to a strong start with a 5-1-0 record, 2.60 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.
"We don't have a strenuous schedule," Crawford said. "We only had the back-to-back at the start and four days off after. Andrew Raycroft has worked really hard. We will eventually get him in and he will be a big part of our club this year, but we are going to ride the hot goaltending here. Our schedule allows us to do it."
Here was Friday's practice lineup: