Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Toronto Marlies, Game 6

Texas Stars
38-24-8-6, 90 pts, 0.592
#2 Pacific Division
atToronto Marlies
40-28-4-4, 90 pts, 0.579
#1 North Division
June 12th at 6:00 PM
Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON

Toronto leads 3-2
(credit: Toronto Marlies)
It has been well documented that in the previous twenty instances where there has been a 2-2 tie in the Calder Cup Final, the loser of game 5 has only gone on to win the series once. Head coach Derek Laxdal bristles at the notion that the trend would have any bearing on his team's current predicament.

"[Toronto] won the first game of the series, we won the second," he said after the loss in game 5. "They won the third, we won the [fourth]. They won the fifth, our goal is to try to win the sixth and the seventh. Plain and simple."

The Stars have to at least be confident that they have as good of a chance as anyone in taking two games north of the border. Both games 1 and 2 were won by one goal, resulting in an even split. Texas has had a way of bouncing back from tough losses all season. The beatdown they received on Saturday should make for a far more competitive game 6.

"The big thing for us is we need to work a little harder to draw some penalties, to score some goals on the power play. When the refs aren’t making calls we’re going to have to draw on some of that leadership to move forward and just play through it. We definitely have to find some [secondary scoring] in the next game for sure. We need some of our second, third line--Remi Elie, [Jason Dickinson]--some guys like that step up and score some goals."

Finding themselves in unfamiliar territory this postseason, the Stars are staring down the potential end of their magical season. "It’s a different task for us. We’re still paying until they tell us we can’t play anymore. We’re not going to change who we are and change our game plan."

For Laxdal, much of that game plan includes looking internally to the resiliency of a proven team. He and his club also draw motivation from the outside perception that they are overmatched.

"I have a lot of confidence in that group in the dressing room. Only two teams left playing hockey right now, and we’re one of them. Going into Toronto, there’s no pressure. We’re the underdogs, we’re not supposed to win, according to the media. So we’re going to try to prove some people wrong. That’s our goal. I believe in our group 100%. Our goal is to win Tuesday and try and get it to a game 7."

The puck drops at 6:00 PM CDT.

Stars Injury Report
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