The Dallas Stars opened training camp with a practice mentality on Friday.
In the past, Dallas had opened training camp with more scrimmages and game situations. On Friday, the team focussed on drills — several in their own defensive zone — and the players were put through an exhaustive workout.
“The setup is already different,” Tyler Seguin said. “My first year at training camp the first four days I scrimmaged, the fifth day I played an exhibition game. And then the sixth day I had a practice. This year, two summers later, I’m practicing today and practicing tomorrow.”
Seguin was part of the second group to practice Friday.
Training Camp was divided into three practice groups, and Stars coach Lindy Ruff said he was happy with what he saw in each session.
“I thought Day 1 was real good,” Ruff said. “We had some system stuff, some real good compete. It was a hard day.”
Battle drills: Players were tested in one-on-one battle drills Friday.
One particularly intriguing matchup was between Jamie Oleksiak and Antoine Roussel.
The traditionally pesky Roussel set the tone in the drill, but Oleksiak played with more edge than he’s typically shown. And when you’re 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, an aggressive edge is a scary thing.
Veteran status: Thanks to some consistent additions by Dallas general manager Jim Nill, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza already carry veteran status with the Stars.
Seguin has been part of the team for three years, while Spezza is entering his second season.
Both said it’s exciting to be part of the culture change in Dallas.
“We’ve made ourselves better everywhere, with that the expectations go up,” Spezza said. “We’re optimistic coming into this season. I think we have more of an identity of what we need to do as a team.”
Good in green: Free agent signing Johnny Oduya said it felt good to start his first training camp with Dallas.
“It feels good,” Oduya said. “It’s always a little nervous the first day. Feels like the first day of school. It’s a lot of fun.”
Benn feels good: Stars captain Jamie Benn said his surgically-repaired hip felt fine during the first day of training camp.
“You know what? I felt pretty good,” Benn said. “I put in a lot of hard work this summer. Just working with the trainers and trying to get back into practice shape, game shape. I thought Day 1 went pretty well.”
Benn didn’t look hesitant or cautious on the ice and he said he’s still on track for opening night of the season.
Janmark dinged up: Mattias Janmark took a puck to the face Friday and momentarily left the ice.
The Swede later returned and didn’t have any ill-impacts of the event.
Lines: Ruff said training camp lines are usually just that, training camp lines.
But, he did say he’d like to see Johnny Oduya with Jason Demers as a defense pairing, while he likes John Klingberg with Alex Goligoski.
Here are the full lines from today, thanks to Mark Stepneski for typing them up:
Here were the lines and defense pairings during day one of Stars camp: pic.twitter.com/MdDxChQQlb
— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) September 18, 2015
Texas Stars impress: It’s the first day of camp, but likely Texas Stars Jack Campbell, Derek Hulak, and Brendan Ranford impressed on Day 1.
Dave O’Rourke tracked Campbell and Hulak’s progress statistically:
@seanshapiro Completely agree Hulak was 11/14 for shooting and Campbell stopped 86 of 97 shots that were on Goal. JC was amazing
— Dave ORourke (@DaveORourke21) September 18, 2015