Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
36-24-8-5, 85 pts, 0.582
#4 Pacific Division
v.Grand Rapids Griffins
40-25-1-7, 88 pts, 0.603
#3 Central Division
April 11th at 7:30 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

With playoffs secured for both clubs, Grand Rapids and Texas look to round out their season series in Cedar Park this evening.

Texas will be getting ready for the playoffs with some new additions to the lineup. Remi Elie was assigned yesterday, and Dillon Heatherington and Mike McKenna returned on Sunday. With all three getting mixed levels of action over the past week, you can expect them to get game time this week, starting tonight, to become acclimated again.

(Credit: Texas Stars)
Grand Rapids comes in with wins in seven of their last 10. They dropped contests against the top team in each division, Chicago and Tucson, both on the road. All things considered, they're on a good streak right now.

Texas has some gaps that they need to fix up before the playoffs begin. A match against Grand Rapids will give them a taste of what they can expect in the postseason. Notably, the penalty kill could use continued improvement. Consistently, Texas has ranked in the bottom five of the league on the PK all season. It's unlikely that the Stars can get far in the playoffs without a stark turnaround in that statistic.

One item to watch tonight will be the potential inclusion of Tony Calderone in the lineup. The forward joins Texas fresh off his collegiate career at Michigan. With ATOs Robbie Payne and Joel L'Esperance already in the mix, it will be a battle to see who among those players gets the call while the Stars also add top line forwards like Elie back to the lineup as well.

Stars injury/call up report:
None.

Website: griffinshockey.com
Twitter: @GriffinsHockey
Blog: Griffins Hockey on MLive.com

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