Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
33-15-4-4, 74 pts
#1 Western Conference
v.Oklahoma City Barons
25-20-2-5, 57 pts
#11 Western Conference
March 2nd at 7:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

After two regulation losses in a row for the first time since November, the Stars are certainly not happy with themselves. But then again, as Francis Wathier said of the Stars' early February losses to Hamilton and Rockford, "It's not a panic button."

It really is a testament to the success of the team that fans and the team itself can get so down about two back-to-back regulation losses. The fact that the team hasn't done it since November speaks volumes about their play this season.

Overall, last night's contest was an uneven feeling match. Texas's young defense caught up with them. Jacob Johnston got burned twice in the first period alone, yielding two quality chances for the Wolves. Rookie William Wrenn was minus-1 on the Archibald goal. While the Stars need to get players like Sloan, Fortunus and Nemeth back, right now that's just not a possibility. Coach Desjardins said most of the players out with injuries should be back in the next two weeks. Until then, Texas is going to be very happy to be on this extended home stand. Without travel days, some of the newer Texas Stars will have a chance to settle in and get practice and video time with the coaching staff and their new club. Given what Coach Desjardins has done with the systems this season, that should yield results. However, there is still a question mark of whether any results will show up tonight against OKC.

The Barons have not played since beating Texas at home on Tuesday. They come into the Cedar Park Center out of playoff contention and hungry for two points, just as any club, and using Texas as a solid measuring stick of their progress.

On the Barons side, note that goalie Yann Danis is not with the Barons currently. He sat the bench in the Dallas Stars loss to the Oilers on Thursday with Khabibulin injured. Niko Hovinen and Olivier Roy are the OKC goalie duo.

Stars injury/call up report:
R. Smith, Roussel, Benn, Oleksiak (call up)
Glennie, Nemeth, Sloan, Chiasson, Fortunus, Gazdic (injured)

Website: okcbarons.com
Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey
Twitter: @OKCBaronsHockey

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