43-22-5-6, 97 pts
#1 Western Conference
|Oklahoma City Barons
40-25-2-9, 91 pts
#5 Western Conference
Series tied 0-0
May 9th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
Texas enters the second round for just the second time in their franchise history. In their first season, the second round saw them take on a thrilling seven game series against the Chicago Wolves, which ended with this fun bit of nostalgia.
The Barons are also entering their second ever second round series. They defeated San Antonio last year en route to the Western Conference finals and a loss to the Toronto Marlies.
These two teams are quite familiar with each other, playing 12 games this season and 32 overall since the Barons joined the league.
“Because we play them a lot every year, it can get real chippy,” Barons' forward Teemu Hartikainen told NewsOK.com in an interview this week.
That familiarity is there both on the ice and off, as Matt Fraser reminded us last weekend. His comment that the teams would be familiar with the hotels, among other things, is a reminder that the desire to be comfortable in your environment is definitely important. It's uncertain which team that favors more. Overall, Texas had a superior road record (25-9-3-1) to the Barons (18-14-0-6). However, the home play for Texas (18-13-2-5) wasn't as hot as OKC (22-11-2-3).
In the same interview, head coach Todd Nelson went on to compliment the Stars overall play.
"[Texas is] the No. 1 seed for a reason. They have all the parts. They have great goaltending. Their defensemen are strong. Their forwards have skill and grit. They're a complete team. But we've been playing good hockey. It should be a great series."
I previewed many of those elements yesterday in this space if you'd like to read up some more.
Overall in the series, I think the Stars have some danger of losing one at home. They also could drop one on the road. Therefore, I think Texas will get the series win in six games, closing things out at home on May 20th.
Stars injury/call up report:
Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey