Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gameday Preview: Stars at Chicago Wolves, Game 7

Texas Stars
46-27-3-4, 99 pts
#2 West Division
atChicago Wolves
49-24-1-6, 105 pts
#1 West Division
Series tied 3-3

May 11th at 7:00 PM
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL

The Texas Stars and the Chicago Wolves faceoff tonight in a 'one game playoff' to decide who will face Hamilton in the West Conference finals. This game seven is the first in the Texas Stars history. The Chicago Wolves just came off a seven game series against the Milwaukee Admirals, who took them to the brink before falling in #7.

The big story here is clearly the injury to Brent Krahn. There is no indication at this point as to the severity or nature of his injury other than it was somehow head related. Many, including Wolves fans, are pointing to a play at the net just before the Stars took their first penalty of the night in the game where Andrew Hutchinson hooked Nathan Oystrick at the net. On the play, some part of Oystrick's body made contact with Krahn's head and forced it into the post. Fans in the offensive zone indicated that Krahn did not seem the same from that point to when he removed himself from the game.

No matter what, we know that Krahn will not play in Game 7 tonight. Matt Climie will get his first playoff start of the year, backed up by Richard Bachman. Bachman, who was pulled from a game recently due to injury, backed up Rejean Beauchemin on Saturday in Idaho's win over Stockton. Coach Laxdal indicated he was "day-to-day" with his injury, the nature of which was also unknown to the general public.

On the Wolves side, Drew MacIntyre, who had a strong outing in Game 6, may well get the start. Peter Mannino had started all the prior games for the Wolves but got pulled in Game 5 in Texas, which the Stars won 5-3. It remains to be seen if MacIntyre's performance from Sunday is repeatable. He had been less than memorable in all of his previous relief appearances throughout the playoffs. Now though, he stands at #2 in the playoffs with a 1.84 GAA and .914 SV%. Which one is the real Drew MacIntyre?

The formula for Texas is simple when you write it down, but hard to execute. First, limit the 'dumb' penalties. With the Chicago PP kicking in at 31.4%, those are not good odds. And for goodness sake, put a man on Anthony Stewart. The forward has 9 goals in the playoffs and 6 power play tallies. But even if the Stars go 100% on the PK, each unnecessary penalty is two unnecessary minutes spent in the Stars defensive zone. This limits shots, which limits goals. The Stars also need Jamie Benn to step up again. His breakout game was Game 5, but he was almost unnoticeable in Game 6. Big time players step up in big time games, so let's see it, Jamie. Finally, the Stars have to make sure that this game doesn't become a track meet. Chicago has a faster pace to their game that will kill the Stars, who have a more defensive and slower paced game.

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn (head)

Website: chicagowolves.com
Blog (official): UnMic'd with Jason Shaver
Blog (unofficial): Call of the Wild
Message Board: Wolves Forum
Twitter: @Chicago_Wolves

6 comments:

  1. "He had been less than memorable in all of his previous relief appearances throughout the playoffs"

    Playoffs? Actually, go for the entire season... every game against the Admirals in relief he gave up at least 2 goals. Basically, he's just awful if he isn't starting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Coach Don Lever said on Sunday evening that Drew MacIntyre will have the start tonight.

    The Chicago media wasn't igoring Brent Krahn's injury, we were relying on the reports from the Texas Stars, as was the Stars' announcer. The initial reports at the end of the first period were that Krahn's hand was damaged when a skate cut it. That was changed to a hit in the head in the second period.

    Following the game, the Texas Coach said Krahn had been taken to the hospital, but the team didn't know what the issue was.

    What are we supposed to report in those circumstances? Supposition? We're not defending Chicago, we're trying to understand how a healthy man suddenly had to stop playing. Obviously the Stars didn't know, during the game, the situation with Krahn.

    I confess I haven't seen Wolfkeeper's video yet.

    We'll be live-blogging the game again tonight. We should have updates of the periods within ten minutes of the close of each period.

    The Stars take to the ice for the morning practice in about an hour. We do not expect Krahn to dress for that practice, but will report in our blog what we know then.

    Good luck guys.

    Patrick
    Call of the Wild

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Stars have to stay out of the box and find a way to stop Stewart. Winning on the road is hard, especially when their fan is yelling at you ;-). No need to make it harder on yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a light crowd here tonight. Still they are trying to keep the volumn up. Climie looks confused at times. But I like the way Texas is playing. They'll make a good game of it if they can continue with this level of energy for the last 20 minutes of play.

    ReplyDelete
  5. WOW OT. The Stars outshot the Wolves 15-4 in the third frame. Wish you were here.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Remember to keep it civil. I have had to disable anonymous commenting due to the overwhelming amount of spam we have been receiving. Using a single account will help us identify replies and build a Texas Stars community.