Saturday, September 19, 2015

Training Camp Day 2: Goalie Competition is Strong

Antti Niemi (Credit: Christina Shapiro/Dallas Stars)
Day 2 proved that Dallas is ready to fix whatever might have ailed them last season in the goaltending department. The day's events were headlined by a three-period scrimmage that featured Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi starting against each other. While the final score of the game was 4-2, the most important number was zero. Between the two starting goalies, zero goals were scored. Lehtonen and Niemi each had sparkling saves to keep their respective sheets clean. All the goals in the contest were scored against John Muse or Philippe Desrosiers.

Kari Lehtonen, playing for Green, stopped all 14 shots he faced; Antti Niemi stopped all 10.

Last year's Dallas Stars scored a lot of goals, but they let in even more. Jim Nill nabbed Antti Niemi on draft day in a trade with the San Jose Sharks to shore up the position.

"I loved the goalies," said Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff. "Both our starters looked good. They've got a tremendous attitude. They like each other, and they've been pushing each other and working hard for the start of the season. They've both been sharp."

From a Texas Stars perspective, Coach Ruff is high on Jack Campbell's potential for this season, one where he is expected to be the starter for the AHL club throughout the year.

"So far so good. Jack has tremendous skill, but sometimes he gets caught up doing a little too much. We're trying to get him a little calmer. Playing night in night out should help him because he really hasn't had that opportunity yet."

In the scrimmage, lines were pretty fluid, but here's where they started in the first period.

Green Lines (Group C):
Valeri Nichuskin-Jason Spezza-Colton Sceviour
Curtis McKenzie-Radek Faksa-Cole Ully
Brett Pollock-Travis Morin-Gemel Smith
Cory Kane

Jordie Benn-John Klingberg
Ludwig Bystrom-Stephen Johns
Patrik Nemeth-Matt Mangene

Antti Niemi
John Muse

White Lines (Group A):
Brendan Ranford-Cody Eakin-Patrick Eaves
Brenden Troock-Jason Dickinson-Mattias Janmark
Derek Hulak-Devin Shore-Taylor Peters

Alex Goligoski-Jyrki Jokipakka
Julius Honka-Mattias Backman
Alex Peters-Jesse Blacker

Kari Lehtonen
Philippe Desrosiers

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