Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
28-13-2-3, 61 pts
#2 Western Conference
v.Oklahoma City Barons
17-22-1-5, 40 pts
#14 Western Conference
February 2nd at 1:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Less than 24 hours after dominating the third-place Toronto Marlies by a 6-0 score, the Stars will welcome fourteenth-place OKC to the Cedar Park Center for a day game. As Admiral Ackbar might say, it's a trap.

Yes, the Barons are not a good team by the numbers. Here's a good example: Linus Omark hasn't played a game in a Barons jersey in six weeks and he is still the club's leading scorer. Here's another: the Barons have the worst goals against in the league at 3.44 per game. That doesn't combine well with the Stars' near league leading goals for (3.67). Only Binghamton is better at 3.69 per game.

However, these two teams play each other a lot and sometimes weird things happen with teams that play a lot. The Stars are also coming off a big win. It has a similar feel to the game earlier in the year in Charlotte when they won 7-1 on Friday and dropped an early game 6-1 the next day. The Stars are aware of it, for sure. Curtis McKenzie emphasized it last night in postgame. Charlotte is in their memory.

One thing the Stars might want to be aware of is the recent assignment of noted Star-killer Mark Arcobello to the Barons this week. Arcobello has spent the entire season in the NHL with Edmonton after putting up six goals and two assists in the playoffs last year against Texas.

Not to be understated, the Texas Stars can get to first place today with a win. Grand Rapids does not play until Wednesday. Texas plays twice between now and then. If they can win both today and Tuesday against OKC, they can put up to a three point cushion between themselves and the Griffins.

Other notes:
  • The Barons have had eight goaltenders play for them this season but only Richard Bachman has played double-digit games.
  • Tend the Farm has been tracking the number of transactions that the Barons have had so far this season. Former Star Austin Fyten 'won' the race to be the 100th transaction of the season, an ignominious award to be sure.
Stars injury/call up report:
Petersen, Nemeth, Campbell, Vause (injury)

Website: okcbarons.com
Blog: Tend the Farm
Twitter: @OKCBaronsHockey

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