The Dallas Stars were down 3-0 in their series against Vegas. They faced getting swept and facing the same fate as Carolina at the hands of Florida. But they’ve mounted an impressive two-win comeback effort and return to Dallas for Game 6 with confidence building and their captain Jamie Benn returning.
Jamie Benn was ejected from Game 3 and served a two-game suspension for cross-checking Mark Stone in the head. It was a reckless and thoughtless play from the captain and the suspension was warranted. Now with his impending return, someone else has to come out of the lineup.
I won’t even entertain the thought of keeping Jamie Benn out of Game 6. Pete DeBoer simply will not do that and I think everyone on that team would still run through a wall for him.
Prior to Game 5, the easy healthy scratch option would point to Ty Dellandrea. Based on DeBoer’s previous decisions, including scratching him for games 1 and 2 of this series, he would take out this younger player. But after his commanding and game-winning effort from Game 5, it seems ridiculous to even think to take Dellandrea out.
The reasoning for keeping him in the lineup goes even beyond the two goals from Saturday night. His face also drew the overtime penalty in Game 4 which led to the Pavelski power play winner. The key to Dellandrea’s style is the vigor he plays with. Dellandrea didn’t let up on the gas after scoring his first goal and that helped lead to his second goal. The Stars can’t sit back for one second as they’re constantly facing elimination.
The main choices to scratch then are Fredrik Olofsson and Mason Marchment. It’s a small sample size but in his two games, Olofsson has made his name known. He has had impressive chances in both games and is injecting energy into an effective fourth line.
Marchment’s play has been disappointing and riddled with noticeable mistakes in this series. His production is lacking as well. He has gone the last six games without a point.
Marchment is currently on a line with Wyatt Johnston and Tyler Seguin. Scratching him creates a natural gap for Jamie Benn to fill in. He regularly plays on a line with Johnston and has historic chemistry with Seguin which could be a sensible swap for DeBoer to choose.