Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thoughts on Texas Stars Opening Weekend; Labrie to Idaho

Hubert Labrie in Idaho (Credit: Idaho Steelheads)

Before thoughts on the weekend, just a quick note that Hubert Labrie has been assigned to the Idaho Steelheads today. He will travel with the team to Colorado for their game against the Eagles Wednesday night.

First and foremost, four points in two games is a good weekend for any team. And even though it's early, getting four points against divisional opponents matters just that much more. I had some thoughts on the weekend that didn't make the two postgame articles:
  • Alex Chiasson, who was big in the final few games of the 2011-12 season for Texas, had a quiet weekend. Working on a line with veterans Toby Petersen and Francis Wathier, Chiasson had no points and was even with only two shots on net. I didn't notice anything particularly out of place with Chiasson, but then again, I also didn't notice him that much in general. If that makes sense...

  • Goaltending was solid this weekend. Nilstorp was a minute away from a shutout and Jack Campbell should have earned a star for his performance in Sunday's game, despite three goals against. In general, it looks like the compete level in net will be high between these two tenders, something that raises the overall play of both. Remember when Krahn and Climie were both vying for starts in season one? Both were legit AHL starters trying to prove their worth, and that's what Texas has again this season.

  • Cam Barker did have the goal that started the comeback on Sunday, but he also took some poorly timed penalties in the game as well. Obviously, having him on point on the power play is the right call as well. He had a good movement out there and a great shot.

  • Cody Eakin was special this weekend for Texas, picking up three points and a plus-3 rating overall in two games. The shot he took to tie things up shorthanded in the Charlotte game was a wicked snipe. If he plays like that on a consistent basis, the Stars just might have a goal scorer to give Matt Fraser a run for his money.

  • Matt Fraser had no points with seven shots on goal this weekend. The team's leading goal scorer from last year is probably feeling pressure to produce just within himself. He had an opportunity in the Charlotte game to pair with Travis Morin and Mike Hedden, two players he played with last season as well. That should raise his comfort level and the goals will come in time.

  • Slighty lighter crowd (5,072) than in previous home opener years, which both broke 6200. The crowd was raucous anyways, and the players noticed.

  • Taylor Vause factored into the second game on the weekend and had a really great showing. He was strong on the forecheck and seemed to be in the right places. Coach Desjardins clearly showed his confidence in the young forward by placing him in the shootout lineup. Vause is making it very hard for Desjardins to scratch him this weekend with his play.

2 comments:

  1. All great points. Any thoughts on Barkers play other than the bad penalties and the partial redemption with the goal?

    I was suprised by the lower attendance as well, maybe it was just a late Sunday game issue. We'll see this saturday

    -phil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's clear that he's a cut above the typical PTO, but he doesn't look like a #3 overall pick still. Then again, that was the knock against him in all his previous stops. Expectations are tricky.

      I think the lateness of the Sunday game contributed to the attendance as well.

      Delete

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