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Ruff’s advice to Seguin on faceoff struggles: ‘Get mad’

Nov 3, 2013, 7:27 PM EDT

seguincolbornegetty Getty Images

The Dallas Stars faced an unusual situation heading into this season, as Jamie Benn switched back from center to wing and vice versa for Tyler Seguin. It makes sense, as both were returning to what seemed like their natural positions.

They might switch again after Sunday’s game, however, as Seguin was absolutely dismal in the dot, going a 1-13 against the Ottawa Senators. Stars head coach Lindy Ruff told the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa that the 21-year-old really needs to fight more to win such battles.

“Compete has to be lot stronger. Scratch [your] nose on ice if you have to,” Ruff said. “It’s a form of competing. Get mad. Get mad.”

Ruff experimented with splitting Benn, 24, and Seguin up but decided to bring them back together because of those faceoff struggles.

It’s not just a one night thing, either. Seguin’s done a lot right in becoming a marquee guy in Dallas, but his faceoff winning percentage is at a squalid 37.

Benn, on the other hand, has just 10 fewer faceoff wins (51 to Seguin’s 61) despite taking 85 fewer draws. Benn’s currently winning 63.8 percent, which is admittedly a huge jump – in a small sample size – from the 46.1 percent rate from last season. (Granted, he was adjusting to a move to center, so maybe he’s getting a little better in that area, too?)

Is it enough of a problem for Ruff to play Benn at center and Seguin back at the wing? Or at least during the faceoff? That’s for Ruff to decide.

One cannot help but wonder if it’s just an area of weakness for Seguin, though.

  1. thailer35 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Stars head coach Darryl Sutter, huh?

    • esracerx46 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      In all fairness, that does sound like something Sutter would say. “Get Mad” its that easy.

      • imleftcoast - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        Spoken like a guy who never played center. Watch some tape of guys who are good – there’s timing, positioning and how you hold the stick. Getting mad would just get you thrown out a lot.

    • thesportsjudge - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      Amazing isn’t it thailer35?

    • James O'Brien - Nov 3, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Fixed, thanks.

  2. esracerx46 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Squalid…hey I learned a new word. Isn’t Seguin’s faceoffs part of the reason he was relegated to the third line. And wasn’t his compete level part of the reason the Bruins shipped him out?

    • 19to77 - Nov 3, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Eh. Not so much his faceoffs as his point production. His faceoff talent was almost irrelevant in Boston because he was mostly on the Bergeron line and that guy basically never loses a draw. Definitely compete level though. He’s way too talented and was playing with too much talent around him to excuse his inconsistency. He just plain didn’t work hard enough to earn his place there.

    • hockeyflow33 - Nov 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

      No, other than a handful of games he never played center

  3. spitfisher - Nov 3, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Here we go Dallas, Tyler stage 2

  4. AppealToReason - Nov 3, 2013 at 11:59 PM

    A lot of young guys struggle with faceoffs. Usually why so many young centres get relegated to the wing early in their careers and end up staying there.

  5. hazlydose - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Very few young centers come into the league and are faceoff specialists. Its just part of the learning curve for the position.

  6. skr213 - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I love Ruff as a coach, but “get mad” is not coaching for better faceoffs. He might want to actually, ya know, give some instructions and pointers.

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