Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gameday Preview: Stars at Hamilton Bulldogs, Game 7

Texas Stars
46-27-3-4, 99 pts
#2 West Division
atHamilton Bulldogs
52-17-3-8, 115 pts
#1 North Division
Series tied 3-3

May 26th at 6:30 PM
Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, ON

And so again, the Texas Stars will put their playoff life on the line in a Game 7. Texas's second Game 7 in as many series will be for a spot in the Calder Cup final against the East Conference Champion, Hershey Bears.

With the defeat of the Montreal Canadiens in this year's Eastern Conference Finals in the NHL, Hamilton will get some top-flight players back in the lineup. P.K. Subban and Ben Maxwell will be in the lineup for the Dogs tonight. Subban was an All-Star this year and got an extended call-up to the eighth-seeded Canadiens for their unlikely playoff run to the ECF. "[Subban and Maxwell] are great players, and I'm sure they're going to help their team," added center Aaron Gagnon. "But our game doesn't change going in." Some have noted that Subban's likelihood to step up on the rush might leave some offensive opportunities for the Stars on odd-man rushes. It seems Subban did this in the final Canadiens game, and it led to a Flyers goal.

Coach Gulutzan firmly stated, "[Game 6] was our best start of the series." Texas took early shots and came out on fire, but Hamilton scored first. Gulutzan noted that Texas hasn't scored the first goal in a game since Game 4 of the Chicago series. That sounds hard to believe, but it's true. Travis Morin's goal in the May 5th game in Cedar Park was the last time that Texas drew first blood. And yet in the games since, Texas is 5-4. "I think we have to come in Wednesday night and look for that first one and don't look back," said Gagnon.

With 51 saves on 53 shots in Game 6, Matt Climie is hitting on all cylinders at just the right time. "Sometimes it takes a guy some time to get going," concluded Coach Gulutzan. This is Matt's series, and he has very much proven his worth here in the net for the Stars. Hopefully the Stars can minimize the shots on Climie so that tonight isn't a 50+ shot night. As Coach Gulutzan quipped, getting shots on goal is about the "law of averages". That works both ways.

Coach added that he had one adjustment he wanted to make but otherwise would keep an even keel going into Game 7. I am assuming that it has something to do with the usage of Chupp in the lineup or perhaps Wilson will be healthy. At this point, Gulutzan admits, "I don't have any tricks up my sleeve".

"It's gonna be a battle of wills. Game 7 usually is."

Stars injury/call up report:
Krahn (concussion, gametime decision)
Wilson (unspecified, day-to-day)

Website: hamiltonbulldogs.com
Twitter: @dogsplaybyplay

2 comments:

  1. Great preview Stephen, love all the quotes. It's a good thing I don't bite my nails, they'd all be gone already and there's still 9 hours til puck drop!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great preview! Can't wait for the game tonight. My hockey peeps and I are going to Contenders to watch the crap internet video feed (easier for us to get to than the CPC). Where y'all going to watch it at?

    --Chris M.

    ReplyDelete

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