Gameday Preview: Stars at Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
21-16-10-1, 53 pts
#10 Western Conference
v.Iowa Wild
17-31-1-1, 36 pts
#15 Western Conference
February 13th at 7:00 PM
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

It's just been a season to forget in Des Moines. The Iowa Wild are the worst club in the American Hockey League despite firing their coach early in the season.

With Texas wins this weekend, the Stars could put Iowa out of its misery. Currently with 36 points, the Wild need approximately 50 points in their remaining 26 games to match the pace for 8th in the West. If they lose this weekend, there would need to be a colossal collapse among the current contenders and a near-perfect record from the Wild.

Long story short, these are games the Stars absolutely have to win.

And the Stars recent record on the homestand suggests they can do it. They claimed 12 of 16 points in the last eight-game segment and appear ready to take on the world after the vociferous 6-1 victory over San Antonio. Texas is 7-2 against Iowa all-time and 2-1 this season, so that's a good added stat. The current standings put Texas in 10th place by percentage and show that they need 33 points in 28 games. Let's call it a 15-10-3-0 record. That doesn't look all that bad. Completely doable and it has to start tonight in Iowa.

Among the cornfields, Texas will ice only a slightly different lineup than their last game. Brett Ritchie was assigned from Dallas and Curtis McKenzie recalled. Ritchie will bring a scoring edge back to Texas after honing his skills on the Dallas Stars top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.

Tonight's game will be the first in a 14 day road trip and a huge turning point, make or break moment in the season. All eyes are on Jussi Rynnas with Jack Campbell in Idaho. He'll probably get every game on the trip starting tonight.

Stars injury/call up report:
Jokipakka, McKenzie (call up)
Fortunus, Dowling, Glennie (injury)
Faksa (injury, out for season)

Wild Web Resources:
Blog (Official): I Wild Blog
Twitter: @IAWild
Twitter: @IowaWildFish (former Stars PBP Josh Fisher)