FRISCO, Texas — Cody Eakin has had a frustrating season.
In fact, frustrating might be a massive understatement.
The Dallas Stars center was injured on the first day of training camp in Cedar Park and didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 17.
He then struggled to find his game for about a month while he was slightly hampered by a knee brace. The second game after he took off the knee brace he was able to skate full speed again, and he unfortunately proved that when he leveled New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist while penalty killing and was subsequently suspended four games.
Seven games after serving that suspension Eakin is still looking for his first goal this season. He has just two assists in 21 games, and it’s reached a point where patience is running thin amongst Stars fans for the 25-year-old.
But there are signs Eakin is trending in the right direction. In a 5-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday Eakin had a pair of quality scoring chances, including a gaping net missed when a puck jumped off his stick.
“Cody has really played well,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said on Friday. “He’s a little snake bit when it comes to scoring, but when you see him tracking back and taking pucks away, he’s creating two or three chances a game, you know his game is where we need it.”
Eakin has a similar diagnosis of his game.
“It’s has been like that. Just a little bit off putting the puck in the net,” Eakin said. “If you’re getting the chances your doing something right. Sooner or later it will start going in, just keep skating and working for those opportunities.”
While the results haven’t been there, Eakin said he’s feeling better and he’s back to game speed. He’s also working at putting a difficult 2016 behind him.
“I’ve been feeling good and I’m skating well,” Eakin said. “When I’m doing that I’m creating opportunities and chance, and forcing turnovers. That’s kind of my game and it feels good to be back to that speed.”