Monday, October 14, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars at Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
1-1-0-0, 2 pts
#11 Western Conference
atOklahoma City Barons
1-3-0-0, 2 pts
#14 Western Conference
October 15th at 7:00 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

The wait is over. After seasonus interruptus in just the first week of the 2013-14 campaign, Texas sets its sights on the club that knocked them out of the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs: the Oklahoma City Barons. The Barons have had some rough times over the first week or so of the season, taking until their fourth game of the year to earn points but losing by only one goal in each loss. They finally broke through on Sunday against Iowa after dropping two against Charlotte at home and one in Iowa.

Gone from the roster is the rock in net for OKC, Yann Danis, and in his place, perhaps is a rock that you might be familiar with: Richard Bachman. Bachman was signed over the summer by Edmonton as depth goaltending and with his name penciled in for the starting role in Oklahoma. It's early in the season, but Bachman has been in net for those three aforementioned losses. However, in those games, he had a 2.36 GAA and .920 SV%. Olivier Roy has the only other start, a 4-2 win.

The Stars just missed having another former player on the other side of the ice as Philip Larsen was called up to Edmonton this weekend. The young Dane is the Barons' leading scorer among defensemen early in the season with 1-1-2 in 2 GP. Derek Nesbitt is a force to watch out for on the front lines. Always a scoring threat, Nesbitt leads the Barons in points early with two goals and an assist.

Departed names include former Star Garrett Stafford, Mark Arcobello, Toni Rajala, Teemu Hartikainen, Jonathan Cheechoo, Philippe Cornet and Josh Green.

On the Stars' side, Texas coach Willie Desjardins has some late line juggling to do to fit in some new assignments. Chris Mueller and Aaron Rome will pop into the top of the lineup somewhere, pushing others out. Rome will certainly get a larger role in the AHL than he does in the NHL as he is here to condition and get back to game speed. It wouldn't be surprising to see one or more defensemen from Texas head to Boise for a short time with Texas now carrying nine.

With Jack Campbell in Dallas, expect to see Cristopher Nilstorp in net tonight. Texas plays a three-in-three this weekend though, so Josh Robinson could get his first AHL start within the week depending on the condition of Dallas starter Kari Lehtonen.

Stars injury/call up report:
Campbell (call up)
Smith (injured, likely)

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

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