, Milwaukee, WI
Texas hits the open road for a five-game set away from the comforts of the Cedar Park Center tonight in Milwaukee. The Admirals and Stars last faced off in the opening round of the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs. Texas defeated Milwaukee three games to one. The storyline of the series was definitely the fantastic goalie play from the Swedes, Magnus Hellberg of Milwaukee and Cristopher Nilstorp of Texas.
(Credit: Josh Rasmussen/Texas Stars)
Milwaukee is starting the season with an exceptionally light schedule. They will be playing just their fifth game of the season against the Stars. That's just five games in the three weeks since the season started. They have not played since last Saturday's OT loss to the Wolves, which was also the home opener. They have actually found themselves in extra time in three of four games.
The Admirals actually have roster very similar to their 2012-13 squad. Only eight of the 23 man roster played elsewhere last season, including five rookies. One of those is former Texas Stars Mathieu Tousignant. Top rookie Colton Sissons leads the team in scoring with two goals and two assists.
Texas will be faced with its first real road trip with the visit to Wisconsin. Home cooking has suited the Stars well in their first seven games, playing five in the Cedar Park Center and only travelling to familiar OKC and San Antonio otherwise. Milwaukee packed them in for their home opener (6,667) and is sure to do the same for another Saturday night game.
Things to watch for Texas include:
- Usage of Austin Smith - Smith had an 'alright' game on Wednesday playing on the second line in place of Mike Hedden. Will he figure into the lineup again?
- Goalie decision - Rockford is a tough matchup Sunday so do you trot out your best performing tender (Jack Campbell) for Sunday's game and start Nilstorp tonight?
- How to use Scott Glennie? - Coach Desjardins has another new weapon at his disposal this weekend with Glennie's assignment. He hasn't seen game action in a few weeks. He could perhaps be eased in with limited minutes tonight and then see where he goes from there.
- Ranford was out last game and so was Hedden. I don't think either stays out for a second consecutive game. That's all complicated with Glennie's assignment. At some point, someone probably needs to go to Idaho to get regular minutes in games.
Admirals Web Resources:
Blog (Official): In The Crease
Blog (Unofficial): Admirals Roundtable (@adsroundtable)