Gameday Preview: Stars v. Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
25-18-12-1, 63 pts
#8 Western Conference
v.Iowa Wild
20-37-1-1, 42 pts
#15 Western Conference
March 6th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Texas got lucky with a light week for everyone in the league. There weren't as many games as there could have been to knock them out of playoff contention. They sit in eighth place by points but ninth by points percentage. Adirondack in 10th place has two games in hand on the Stars and is actually ahead of them in the points race if you stretch out to 76 games. That was the big movement this week that knocked the Stars down a peg.

The Stars should be expecting two points tonight from the Iowa Wild. The Wild had back to back wins in Lake Erie last weekend but lost 8 of 9 and 14 of 17 before that. Saying it's been a season to forget is a massive understatement. Still, this club has beaten Texas this season and their one win in the last losing skid was against a very solid Milwaukee team. You can't look past the game, but you have to also feel like this is a W.

One big reason why this needs to be a W is the coming schedule, or lack thereof. Tonight's game is the Stars' only contest in the first ten days of March. They'll make that up quickly with eight games in the ensuing thirteen days, but it still matters to start some momentum and place Texas above the playoff line until they can start getting into more games. Adirondack plays three times before Texas plays again. Chicago plays twice. Four of those five games are against teams below Chicago or Adirondack in the standings. The Stars could drop to tenth if everything falls against them.

The Stars will hope to get back a few players from injury. Maxime Fortunus has been practicing with the team this week and seems on schedule for a return tonight. Branden Troock has been day-to-day and could return as well.

Stars injury/call up report:
McKenzie, Ritchie (call up)
Troock, Faksa (injury)
Fortunus (probable)

Since it appear unlikely he'll return, I'm taking Jyrki Jokipakka off the callup list.

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