Across the last three weeks, each Stars practice or morning skate has lacked suspense. There was no more line-juggling to watch or no seventh defenseman to wonder about, and instead coach Jim Montgomery settled into a consistent mix of players.
It's been something that's been missing for most of the season, as Montgomery tinkered and tweaked the lines to try to maximize performance and account for injuries. At one point, Montgomery used a different mix of forwards in 18 straight games. In the last seven games, he's made one change to his lines, and that was due to an injury to Jason Dickinson.
In those seven games, the Stars are 5-1-1.
The main switch for Montgomery was moving Jamie Benn onto a line with Radek Faksa and Blake Comeau, taking Benn away from Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov and replacing him with Mattias Janmark. The first game with the new lines was Jan. 19 against Winnipeg, when the Stars were trying to snap a four-game losing streak.
"I was talking with Jim Nill, and we were struggling at that time," Montgomery said last week. "Jim said, 'Why don't we try Jamie Benn at left wing with Faksy?' I wanted to move Jamie somewhere, I just didn't know where. It was great because it gave a purpose to all those three to shut down the [Mark] Scheifele line."