Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Call Ups: Not the Best 'First' NHL Goal...

With the Texas Stars on break for Christmas, let's talk about Texas Stars calls up in the past few days. Injuries to Mark Fistric and Trevor Daley brought two of our Texas Stars defensemen up to the big leagues.

Maxime Fortunus played in his first NHL game last Saturday against Detroit. That is one heck of a team to play in your first game. Luckily for Max, the Red Wings have been a little injury ridden of late. Fortunus had a great game but his effort didn't show up on the scoresheet, at least not next to his name. His defensive partner, Karlis Skrastins, arguably one of the most defensive of defensemen, scored 2 goals and an assist in the game. When you give a guy like Skrastins, who is normally mopping up the mistakes of our younger D men in our zone, a chance to shoot on goal you know it's a good day. Glad to see that his talent is being appreciated outside of the Cedar Park Center. (Side note: Skrastins had a 100% shooting percentage in the Detroit game)

Fortunus had a decent game against the Sharks. Most notably, he did a great job of not getting flustered and clearing the puck cleanly when he got stuck on the ice after a long shift. The only AHL guy most people will remember from the Sharks game was not named Fortunus, however...

Ivan Vishnevskiy had a bit of a rough game. I'm not sure if most Dallas fans would have even noticed his presence if it wasn't for this...



What a tough way to get your 'first' goal in the NHL. Regardless, the coaches showed some confidence in him by putting him right back in for the next face-off. "Vish" also dropped in on the power play for 3:27 to replace Niskanen, who sat for this game. A lot is left to be said before we make up our mind on Vish as a player in the NHL.

With both Fistric and Daley out until after Christmas, we should see at least one of the these guys in the Blue Jackets game on Wednesday night. The Tuesday practice had Vish, Niskanen, and Woywitka alternating on the third D pair. I'll guess Woywitka with Vish. Nisky has been spotty recently and I think Crawford really needs to push him by benching him for a few games.

We'll see tomorrow.

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