Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Lake Erie Monsters

Texas Stars
29-35-2-2, 62 pts
#15 Western Conference
v.Lake Erie Monsters
33-27-3-7, 76 pts
#10 Western Conference
March 31st at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX


Don't forget the Defending Big D/100 Degree Hockey Dallas Stars Watch Party after the game tonight at Buffalo Wild Wings. Details here.

On the face of it, things look pretty good for the Lake Erie Monsters coming into the weekend. The Monsters need nine of their remaining twelve points to reasonably clinch a playoff spot. That's a tall order for a team that's at a .543 win percentage on the year. Lake Erie knows what's on the line though, so they will bring everything they've got this weekend. They snapped a six game losing streak with a shootout win over Houston on Thursday.

For the rest of the preview though, I wanted to concentrate on how I learned more about Jack Campbell in 30 seconds off the ice on Thursday night than I've learned about him in 240 minutes on the ice.

Campbell, if you'll remember, stopped 19 shots in the first and had a 2-1 lead after 40 on Thursday. I asked about whether he prefers to see a lot of shots. Watch his response.



Did you catch it? I'm sure you did. It's at the thirty-six second mark. Campbell loses his train of thought and, with a deep sigh, apologizes and explains, "Sorry, it's just really tough to lose."

That 'heart-on-your-sleeve' emotion has been missing at times for Texas this season. The obssessive driving impulse to win has been hit or miss. Coach Pyle has harped on it. Sometimes it's one group of guys, the next night it's a different group of guys. That play your heart out, leave it all on the ice style of hockey from all 19 guys for all 60 minutes was hit or miss this season at best.

Texas's newest goaltender has been a top player at every level he's been at. He won gold for the USA in the 2010 World Junior Championships and was named 2011 Best Goaltender while carrying the team to a bronze finish.

In the body language and voice inflection of that thirty second answer, Texas fans should have learned all they need to know about Campbell for the next 15 days. This kid is hungry to win and will not settle for finishing this (or any) season with a whimper.

Stars injury/call up report:
Benn, Vincour (call up)
Schultz, Tousignant (injury)

Website: lakeeriemonsters.com/
Blog (unofficial): Cleveland Plain Dealer
Twitter: @monstershockey

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