With the long layoff, here are some things that are bouncing around my head.
- The Stars are really on a tear. That much is obvious. Just one month ago on November 10th, Texas was #15 in the West. Now they stand at #6. Texas is 9-3-2-1 in that span, a .700 points percentage.
- Number six is great, but it might not last. The Stars don't play this week until Friday. Lake Erie and OKC have games during that layoff (and not against each other). Wins by those clubs could push Texas to eighth by Friday.
- In conversations about who would be lost if the lockout ended tomorrow, a few names always pop up. Cody Eakin is at the top of the list, followed shortly by Tomas Vincour and Brenden Dillon. Why not Colton Sceviour? In just sixteen games, he has 6-7-13 for a .81 Pts/Gm rating. That's the best on the team. Tomas Vincour has been in something of a funk recently, moving down to the fourth line over the past few games. Could Sceviour potentially usurp "Vincour's" spot in the NHL upon the resumption of NHL hockey?
- No word today from practice on Alex Chiasson. The Stars will travel to Seattle on Thursday. Chiasson will have time to recover, if he can, before that next game. Austin Smith is likely to join the team in Abbotsford if Chiasson can't go. Without Smith, the Stars would have no healthy scratches. Other Stars forwards in Idaho include Mathieu Tousignant.
- Don't look now, but San Antonio is hot on the heels of the Texas Stars. Thanks to a 4-0 week by their goaltender, Jacob Markstrom, the Rampage are just four points behind Texas and two behind OKC.
- Also, Texas is ahead of OKC, who are out of the playoffs as of today. Scoring goals is fun, but defense is important, too. OKC allows three per game on average, 13th worst in the league.
- I've mentioned it before in a gameday preview, but Charlotte is really having a time. After jumping out of the gate, they are 3-6-0-1 in their last ten. They still lead the South Division, but they only have a one point lead over both Texas and Houston. With the right combination of losses, Texas would hold the #3 spot in the Western Conference by the end of the night Friday.
Finally, here's something fun. Reilly Smith talks to me about his bet with Mike Hedden on who would be the first to score this season: