Gameday Preview: Stars v. Houston Aeros

Texas Stars
19-18-1-2, 41 pts
#12 Western Conference
v.Houston Aeros
21-9-3-7, 52 pts
#4 Western Conference
January 21st at 7:00 PM
Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Houston and Texas meet in Cedar Park for the 8th of 12 meetings on the season this evening. Texas is looking to make it three in a row after defeating the Wolves and Rivermen already this week. Houston is coming off an overtime loss at home against San Antonio. For a bit of comparison, Houston is currently tied for its longest losing streak of the year at all of two games. If Texas beats them tonight, it will be their longest losing streak of the season at three.

Despite the feeling that many of the games have had, Texas is actually hanging pretty tough with the Aeros in the seaosn series. The Stars are 3-4-0-0 against the defending Western Conference champs. Meanwhile, Houston has been ravaged by injuries to their parent club recently. If you combine this with the Wild's sputtering offense, it's been a revolving door of call-ups as Mike Yeo tries to find the right combination of players to right the ship. From The Third Intermission:
Just in from St. to board the Wild's Wild Transaction Train are Matt Kassian, Jed Ortmeyer, Chad Rau, and Nate Prosser. Returning to Houston on the Wild's Wild Transaction Train are Casey Wellman and David McIntyre.

Frankly, from the way the Wild have been playing, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Wild just send all of their NHLers to Houston and call up the entire Aeros squad. It's not like the AHL guys could do any worse in the NHL at the moment, right?
Houston just signed Chris Clackson today as well, since they played last night's game with just 17 skaters (typical is 18).

Overall, this is a good opportunity for a team that is on a roll to beat up on a good team that is struggling with unforeseen circumstances. Coach Pyle wants to play the same way that they did last night against Peoria, hard-nosed hockey and sticking up for each other.

Stars injury/call up report:
Larsen, Vincour (callup)
Sawada, Tousignant (injury)

Blog (official): Pilot to Gunner
Blog (unofficial): The Third Intermission
Twitter: @Houston_Aeros
Twitter: @aero_joe (play-by-play)