Rich Peverley has been one of the more consistent players on a Stars team that has grown notorious for its lack of consistency. So, why is it that we find the two way player moving up and down the line up and seeming to never play with the same forward group twice?
Perhaps it speaks to his versatility that head coach Lindy Ruff feels like his presence on any given line is going to make it better. Or perhaps like much of the Stars bottom three lines, the search for depth scoring is ongoing. With Whitney and Chiasson partnering up again, the second line of Whitney, Eakin and Chiasson seemed to be a lock on the depth chart. With Chiasson's torrid pace cooling off drastically and Whitney not scoring his second and third goals of the season until the month of December the depth chart fell into disarray.
Who was the 4th line? who was the 2nd? 3rd? No one really knew and on any given night we heard the color analysts naming different lines different things. Which is fine if its because you have an overabundance of talent and true scoring depth. But when it's because your forth line is playing better than the 2nd line and thus getting their ice time then it is a bit disheartening.
And in that tangled web of lines we found Peverley swinging from one line to the next as Lindy Ruff searched for the answer to the depth scoring woes.
Enter Colton Sceviour. The rookie who has to this point played 4 games with the big club this season and only 6 total over his career. A player with a scoring pedigree, showing his prowess by leading the AHL in scoring. A player near the top of the Stars prospect charts for the past few years. A player who continues the tradition started by Alex Chiasson the season prior by starting his campaign with torrential goal scoring.
Three goals in four games, two of which have primary assists by Rich Peverley and now the line of Peverley, Sceviour and Cole look to be a force. This surge of offense bodes well for Peverley's place on the depth chart. But more importantly it bodes well for the Dallas Stars as a whole. Solidifying a line outside of the Seguin trio allows the other remaining groups to settle in and perhaps gives Nill a true look at what he has and what he needs once chemistry is established or perhaps fails to show up.
Of course there are questions. For instance can Sceviour succeed at being consistent where Chiasson has begun to falter (keep in mind Chiasson is still tied for third in scoring for the Stars with 18 points)? Is the Peverley/Sceviour connection a flash in the pan? And perhaps the most important question, what happens to Sceviour when Fiddler innevitably comes back?
I personally think Sceviour has played his way onto the team and made it all but impossible to send him back down. With Jeffrey as a healthy scratch, it looks as though someone who was a permanent fixture on the team is now going to be returning to Austin with a heavy heart. Perhaps Garbutt's inability to stay out of the penalty box of late has earned him a spot on the bus to South Texas? Maybe claiming Dustin Jeffrey off of waivers from the Penguins was a bad idea no matter how high the scouting staff was on him? Either way, it is unlikely with the defensive injuries that the Stars keep all of them.
We will probably find out the answer to this problem this Saturday, as Fiddler should be ready to join the team on the ice against the Sharks.