Friday, March 6, 2015

Dogged by Slow Start, Texas Drops Another OT Contest at Home

Iowa goalie John Curry steals a game for the Wild
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
After a five day layoff, the Stars came out flat against the Wild tonight at home and ultimately succumbed to Iowa's opportunistic offense and stellar goaltending in their league-worst 13th OT loss of the year.

"It's our third game in a row here that we weren't good enough," said Coach Derek Laxdal, recalling last weekend's pair of losses to Rockford. "You can't have a good road trip and come home and be stale."

Captain Maxime Fortunus, playing in his first game since February 8th, continued, "I didn't think we had a good start. That didn't help our team. We need to play a full sixty minutes and have pressure every shift."

Iowa collected the first goal on a turnover at the Stars' blue line. Olivier Archambault scored his third of the year short side on Jussi Rynnas. From there, Texas really controlled the game but couldn't break through. Iowa goalie John Curry had a phenomenal game for the Wild, stopping 34 of 35.

The Stars' bottom six stood out on the evening, generating really solid scoring chances at the end of the first and second periods.

"Their game was simple: working and hounding the puck," said Laxdal. "They won battles and got in position. You create that offensive energy, it forces the other team to defend and sap their energy."

Rookie Branden Troock returned from injury and collected three shots on net, earning himself some power play time in the third period as Laxdal tried to spark the man advantage.

Ultimately it was the power play that helped to set up the Stars' only goal of the night. Just after a minor expired, Texas captain Fortunus rifled a shot from the point that was tipped by Derek Hulak past Curry for the 1-1 tie. With four minutes left in the third, the Stars had life.

Overtime came for Texas and many fans resigned themselves to the single point. Texas holds the league's worst overtime record at 2-13 in the frame. This evening's game was no different. Right off the drop, the Wild scored off a dump-in that was collected by Tyler Graovac. Coach Laxdal thought the dump should have been called an icing, as a tie is supposed to go to the defender. His plea was rejected, and the goal stood.

Fortunus concluded, "It's hard when you look at the standings and see all the points we've lost. We've been working on OT in practice. Our overtime has got to be a lot of possession and movement, and that's what will make it successful."

The Stars have four days off before their next game Wednesday against Lake Erie. They won't practice Saturday but will hit the ice for an intense practice on Sunday, according to Laxdal.

Tonight's lines:
Ranford-Dowling-Smith
Hulak-Morin-Rallo
Stransky-Faille-Henderson
Troock-Root-Peters

Gaunce-Oleksiak
Meech-Fortunus
Honka-Mangene

Rynnas

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
McKenzie, Ritchie (call up)
Wrenn, Valentine (scratch)
Glennie, Faksa (injury)

Tonight's attendance was 5,556.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Iowa - March 6 2015

9 comments:

  1. Not much to add to this one. Many more of these efforts and the playoffs will not include Texas.

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  2. Been hard to watch this year. Laxdal just doesn't have the team playing an inspired brand of hockey. I feel he has completely failed in his first year here. No excuse for where this team is at right now.

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  3. Hard to point to the "key" failure. Dallas is the biggest problem, though, IMO. Texas needs it's own GM, they can't "use" Scott White with Dallas. Hire someone else who's primary concern is Texas and not Texas just being a footnote in Northland Properties. Texas has been treated this year like the organization has no need for it (Texas) to succeed. It's one thing to sacrifice a team for the NHL team to be successful but Dallas sucks, sucks even more than last year. I hate to harp on it but it's relevant, Dallas has no recent history of being ran well and Jim Nill has a poor history of AHL success. It was a bad deal from the start for Texas.

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  5. Yes, I too have found it difficult to watch this year. This team looks like the 2011-2012 Texas Stars. I noticed it when we started dumping the puck into the opposing team's zone and it went on from there. You could say this team is losing because we have a new team, as that happens every season. I contend that we still have half of last year's team. You could blame the front office, but our 2014-2015 had the same front office. As I have followed the Stars over the years, I find it is the coaching staff that determines how we lose or win. With these last few games, I can only blame Laxdal.

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    1. Our 2014-15 team didn't have the same front office. Yes it was Scott White but be realistic, he is concerned with Dallas now and not Texas. Last year we had a GM, this year we don't.

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  6. I am not going to blame this proven coach with a LONG record of success. We are getting killed in overtime. We are 2-14 in overtime now. If we could just be .500 in overtime, that is a 6-point swing, then we are looking at playoffs.

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    1. That's great. I will however blame the coach. He has failed in his responsibilities and I can't wait for this staff to be gone. The style that we play this year is extremely different than last year and we are far less successful. Even some of the same great players from last year are not having much success.

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