The Dallas Stars decided to healthy scratch young defenseman John Klingberg for the second time this month.
The 24-year-old Klingberg was not listed on the team’s roster for their game against the Detroit Red Wings and team spokesman later confirmed to Puck Daddy that Klingberg was indeed a healthy scratch for the game.
“He’s had a struggle,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday before the game. “He’s really been up and down this year. It’s not because of his try — because sometimes he tries to do too much. His work ethic inside the game, for me, is always tremendous. It’s just sometimes the risk he puts in the game at different times — even (Monday) night, he gave up an unbelievable 2-on-1 with five minutes left that probably would have eliminated us from coming back in the game. Those are the type of risk situations he has to eliminate from his game.”
On Nov. 21, the Stars scratched Klingberg for a game against the Minnesota Wild after he missed a team meeting.
Following that situation, Klingberg apologized to his teammates and reportedly said, “There are no excuses, I overslept. I told my teammates I’m sorry, it’s not going to happen again.”
After a breakthrough year in 2015-16 that saw Klingberg notch 58 points in 76 games, he has struggled this year with two goals and nine assists in 22 games. His puck possession numbers have also dropped considerably. This season, he’s held a 46.91 5-on-5 adjusted CF%, down from, 55.81 last season.
In 2015-16, Klingberg held a plus-5.32 adjusted 5-on-5 CF% Rel vs. a minus-1.21 this season.
“I’ve been through this so many times in my career,” Klingberg said about his struggles in a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News. “I have a good game, and everybody says I’m here (hand high). Then, I make a few mistakes and everybody says I’m here (hand low). I have found a way to get through all of that.”
Added Klingberg in the same story, “I know the system and I know what to do, and I’m going to play with confidence.
“That’s how I look at this. I know what to do, and I’m going to do it.”
The Red Wings beat Dallas 3-1, which dropped the Stars to 9-9-6 on the season.
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