Friday, October 17, 2014

Gameday Preview: Stars at Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
1-0-0-0, 2 pts
#5 Western Conference
atOklahoma City Barons
0-0-1-0, 1 pt
#12 Western Conference
October 17th at 7:00 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Admittedly, there isn't a lot of data on either side of this matchup right now. The Barons and Stars have each only played one game on the season. Already though, issues at the NHL level for both clubs have affected the lineups.

In Texas, Curtis McKenzie will miss this weekend's slate of games after being called up to fill a hole vacated by Valeri Nichushkin's injury. In Oklahoma City, stalwart crease crusader Richard Bachman has already been recalled to the Oilers after injury to Viktor Fasth this week. Bachman started the Barons' only game of the season so far, an overtime loss in which he allowed three goals in 63 minutes of work. It will now fall to either Laurent Brossoit or Frans Tuohimaa to take on Texas tonight. The guess would be Brossoit from me.

Following Coach Laxdal's decision from last game to start Jussi Rynnas, that means Jack Campbell will start tonight. Laxdal said that the Stars would start each goalie once in the first two games. Campbell's most recent action in OKC was an OT win in Game 2 of the first round of last year's playoffs.

On the Barons side, their leading scoring is someone Texas fans are already at least a little familiar with. Iiro Pakarinen is a rookie who joined the Oilers this summer on a free agent deal. He was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2011 draft by Florida but never signed a contract and was free to go anywhere this year. He chose the Oil and is currently the leading scorer on their AHL team with a goal and an assist. Texas fans will also remember him as the one who scored the OT game winner in the Stars' first preseason game this year. According to Elite Prospects, that wrist shot is one of his strengths and he will be using it against the Stars 12 games this season.

Elsewhere on the Barons roster, there have been some changes too. Former Dallas Star Jason Williams was signed as a veteran forward. His best AHL year was 2011-12 with WBS, where he scored 13 goals and 29 assists in 59 games. Mark Arcobello is centering the third line in Edmonton, so Texas will not see him this go-around. You never know though in the future. Former Stars Austin Fyten and Philip Larsen have both moved on. Trusty blue liner Taylor Fedun has also moved on, now playing in the Sharks org.

If you want the full 411 on all of this stuff, you really ought to read Tend the Farm. I especially recommend their 2014-15 season preview.

Stars injury/call up report:
McKenzie (call up)

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

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