47-17-3-7, 104 pts
#1 Western Conference
|Oklahoma City Barons
34-28-2-9, 79 pts
#8 Western Conference
April 16th at 7:00 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Both teams need these two points. The reasons why are starkly different. With two points, Texas will end up with the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the league's best record. With two points for OKC, the Barons will find their chances at the playoffs much improved. They have a magic number of three to make the postseason for their fourth time in four tries.
Helping their case is the fact that all remaining games are at home for the Edmonton affiliate. ALso, their last two games are against the last-place Iowa Wild. They may not need these two points tonight ultimately if they can collect three points this weekend against the Wild.
Richard Bachman has led the Barons for most of the way this season. Eight different goaltenders have gotten into games for OKC this season, but Bachman has played in 50 of the 73 so far. He's having an atypical season stats-wise. The former Star is 25-18-6, which is pretty good, but he's also sporting a 3.01 GAA and .907SV%.
One of the top threats for the Barons will be out of the lineup in tonight's game. Mark Arcobello, who has 10+18=28 in just 15 games this season, is out with injury. Of course, that may not matter as much with all the additions from the now-golfing Edmonton Oilers. Those include Anton Lander, Oscar Klembom, Roman Horak, Steve Pinizzotto, Tyler Pitlick, and Will Acton. You can read more about those assignments on Tend the Farm.
The Barons have also added Darnell Nurse, the Oilers' top pick last year, on defense. The young blue liner had a rough initiation to the pro ranks, according to Neal Livingston and Tend the Farm. Still, he wasn't a top pick for nothing.
Coach Desjardins has been alternating starts for his goalies for a while. Cristopher Nilstorp would get this one, if that holds. In my opinion, the Stars will bring their A-team tonight, as opposed to resting guys, to give themselves a better chance of not facing these Barons in the first round.
Stars injury/call up report:
Sceviour, Mueller, Jeffrey, Nemeth (call up)
Hulak, Klingberg (injury)
Blog: Tend the Farm