43-22-5-6, 97 pts
#1 Western Conference
|at||Oklahoma City Barons|
40-25-2-9, 91 pts
#5 Western Conference
OKC leads 3-1
May 16th at 7:00 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
It's down to this. Forty-three wins and ninety-seven points in the regular season. First seed in the West. Coach of the year. Plus-109 overall as a team. 235 goals. Tonight, none of that matters. Like that scene in "Rocky", Texas only has to do one thing: win.
It's beside the point that they also have to win on Monday and Tuesday now as well, because all that matters today is winning tonight, Thursday. If they don't, it's all for naught and the season will be quite a disappointment.
Coach Desjardins shuffled the lineup last night and it worked for a while. The first goal came with Justin Dowling out centering Reilly Smith and Brett Ritchie. Later, he shuffled power play lines, putting Petersen out with Ritchie and Hedden.
Texas just seemed to have the wind knocked out of them by the third goal. They were being outshot 12-1 halfawy through the third and were outshot 18-5 overall in the period, despite a power play and some 6-on-5 time.
Does Desjardins change up his lineup? Maybe. I don't think that Nilstorp sits. He has been a rock in the playoffs but is getting hung out to dry by his defensemen. Anything that Nilstorp has, he has. Anything that generates a rebound is fair game for a Barons' skater. Too many goals came off the rebound last night for Texas' defense to feel comfortable with the game.
What else can be said? Win or go home. It's that simple.
Stars injury/call up report:
Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey