Patrick Eaves doesn’t really endorse the plan he’s using this year, he just knows it’s necessary.
After suffering a foot injury early in the season, Eaves has missed most practices and morning skates. The 32-year-old winger has thrived under the adjusted schedule and is second on the Stars in goals at 13 this season. But Eaves said he would prefer to be practicing.
“I don’t know if it’s helped,” he said. “It’s helped me play games, and that’s what matters.”
Eaves has battled injuries throughout his career, including a concussion that kept him out for a year. He has suffered all manner of injury from being hit by the puck while camping out in front of the net. That’s how this foot injury occurred. Because the injury isn’t getting much better, the plan to save Eaves for games makes sense.
“I think with what’s been bothering him, it’s the only thing we could do,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “As a team, we only practiced twice in that stretch in November, so it was either skate him between or skate game day, so I think everybody for the most part tried to keep the energy where we needed it to be.”
Eaves was on the practice ice once this week, but just to break in a new pair of skates. But he said he is working out whenever the rest of the team is practicing.
“It’s not like I’m just sitting around doing nothing,” he said.
And with all of the injuries the Stars have battled through with their forwards, Ruff said it has been good to have an effective Eaves ready for the games.
“I think if you look at his numbers, he’s done a good job when it comes to finishing off plays,” Ruff said. “And at the same time, he’s been dealing with discomfort while playing, so Patrick’s done a good job for us.”