Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars v. Charlotte Checkers

Texas Stars
36-16-3-5, 80 pts
#1 Western Conference
v.Charlotte Checkers
29-27-1-2, 61 pts
#10 Western Conference
March 12th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

It still remains to be seen what personnel the Dallas Stars will make available to the Texas Stars for tonight's game against Charlotte.

Yesterday's recall of Chris Mueller and Colton Sceviour left the Texas Stars with just 11 forwards. Texas announced the signing of ATO center Chris Culligan yesterday to bring them up to 12. It is still unclear if tonight will be Culligan's professional debut. Other options could include the return of either Sceviour or Mueller to Cedar Park or the recall of a forward from Idaho, likely Taylor Vause. Vause has three goals and two assists in three games back in the ECHL since his reassignment there. The Steelheads are in southern California for a game tonight against the Ontario Reign. That's a relatively easy trip if it's what they need.

Texas' last outing could be described as surgical: one goal in each period, including one on the power play, and none against. From the otherside, it must have been demoralizing. The Checkers are fighting for their playoff lives and are five point behind the 8th place Admirals, who happen to have a game in hand. There are just 17 games remaining on their schedule to elevate themselves past OKC, San Antonio, Milwaukee and Utica (!) for a chance at the Calder Cup. Expect everything the Checkers have in this one.

Lines are obviously quite fluid, but if nothing changes I would go with:
McKenzie-Morin-Glennie
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Ranford-Jeffrey-Stransky
Henderson-Peters-Culligan
Other options include just playing Henderson and Peters on the 4th line and skating seven D. If Button were one of the D, he'd probably get the look at forward.

Mueller is back in the lineup so I expect lines to be:
McKenzie-Morin-Mueller
Hedden-Dowling-Ritchie
Ranford-Jeffrey-Glennie
Henderson-Culligan-Stransky
Taylor Peters is a healthy scratch.

Stars injury/call up report:
Mueller, Sceviour (callup)
Petersen (injury)

Website: gocheckers.com
Checkers Social Media: Social Media
Blog (unofficial): Chasing Checkers
Twitter: @checkershockey
Twitter: @mikelappan (PR)
Twitter: @PaulBranecky

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