|v.||San Antonio Rampage|
Ocotber 5th at 3:00 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
The final preseason tuneup for Texas will be as close to the opening roster as Coach Laxdal can manage. That will be a little easier with the final announcement yesterday that Brenden Dillon and Cody Eakin would not play in this game against the Rampage this afternoon. Coach Ruff had suggested that the pair of recent signees could get into the game for a shot at more preseason action, but it seems as though there was no technical way to make the transfer work at the NHL level. They both headed back to Dallas with the team last night.
The game will be a good opportunity for Coach Laxdal to show us his interpretation of lines and combinations. Coach Desjardins had his style and Laxdal will no doubt want to impress his own on the team. Regardless of that, there is undeniable chemistry in certain pairings that we are likely to see again. I'd put money on AHL MVP Travis Morin and ROY Curtis McKenzie sticking together. Brendan Ranford will probably take the third spot on that line as he did in the playoffs. Similarly, Justin Dowling will probably center Brett Ritchie. The 'Czeching' line will likely stay together, a powerful third line with Matej Stransky, Radek Faksa and Kevin Henderson. Finally, Brenden Troock and Taylor Peters had good chemistry in the preseason, so that would make a fine pairing on the last line.
Put it all together, and this is my educated guess:
McKenzie-Morin-RanfordOn defense, you've got seven guys who could play for right now. With Sergei Gonchar injured in Dallas, Jamie Oleksiak stays put with the NHL club. William Wrenn will probably be on his way to Boise once the dominoes fall and Gonchar is healthy.
For now though...
Gaunce-JokipakkaIt's unclear what sort of lineup the Rampage will bring. Dan Ellis played the entire game last night against OKC, a 4-3 win. Michael Houser will probably factor into the game at some point.
Blog (unofficial): Rampage with Tony U.
Blog (unofficial): Runnin' With The Herd
Twitter: @DanWeissPBP (play-by-play for SA)