Friday, October 30, 2015

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Bakersfield Condors

Texas Stars
5-2-0-1, 11 pts
#4 Pacific Division
v.Bakersfield Condors
2-3-0-1, 5 pts
#7 Pacific Division
October 30th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

The Bakersfield Condors are a very familiar opponent for the Texas Stars. Even if the names are different, the Condors are the Edmonton Oilers' farm team and that means they share much of the same player roster as the Oklahoma City Barons have had for the past several years. After double-digit numbers of games against them nearly every season since inception, Texas knows this team well.

The Condors were one of the ECHL markets promoted to the AHL this season in the westward shift. Tonight's game is one of eight against the Condors for Texas, split evenly home and away of course.

The Barons Condors are technically in last place in the division, but that shouldn't fool you. At 2-3-0-1, they're one game from even and two games from being right behind the Stars. Familiar names dot the lineup with Brad Hunt, Matthew Ford and Andrew Miller leading the early scoring. Iiro Pakarinen will not be joining the team in Cedar Park as he is currently skating in the NHL. He was a rookie dynamo for the Barons last year and started the season with 1-2=3 in 4 GP. Another big name that won't be joining the Condors in Texas is Darnell Nurse, who got the call to the NHL and is acclimating himself quite well according to media reports. There is some honest doubt about whether he'll even come back to the AHL at this point.

One player to watch for is Leon Draisaitl. It's his first year in the AHL but he is not a rookie. After being drafted 3rd overall in 2014, he was pulled into the NHL for 37 games, burning a year of his contract. Midseason the Oil decided to send him back to the WHL, where he won the Memorial Cup MVP with Kelowna. It was a tough blunder for a team that has had issues managing super star top picks. Now he's biding his time in the AHL, at 1-1=2 in 5 GP with a minus-5 rating. (Updated: Leon Draisaitl was called up to Edmonton yesterday and found the net twice in the Oilers' win over Montreal.)

Laurent Brossoit has taken the lion's share of work in the net early in the season with 4 GP and both of the team's wins (both shutouts).

For the Stars, this is the start of a 5 game homestand that they will seek to use to bolster their record. A hot start of 4-0 has cooled off to 1-2-0-1 in the second set of four games. In looking at the opponents, Texas should work its hardest to walk away with four points this weekend because the remainder of the homestand is not very kind. San Antonio visits for a pair (#2 Pacific) and then Stockton again (#5 Pacific but with great goaltending).

Stars injury/call up report:
Campbell, McKenzie, Faksa (call up)

Condors Web Resources:
Website: bakersfieldcondors.com
Blog (Official): Inside the Condors
Twitter: @Condors
Twitter: @CondorsHolty (PBP)

2 comments:

  1. Draisaitl was called up yesterday. He had two goals including the game winner against Montreal last night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the catch. I wrote this before the callup...

      Delete

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