9-7-0-1, 19 pts
#4 Pacific Division
7-7-0-1, 15 pts
#5 Pacific Division
November 24th at 9:00 PM
Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, CA
The Stars make their first-ever visit to the Golden State this week with four games against newly relocated teams across the state. The first matchup features a familiar opponent. Tonight finds Texas in Bakersfield pitted against the Condors, who they've already played twice on the season. Bakersfield is situated a little more than halfway on the route from LA and Fresno. The Condors home, the Rabobank Arena, was built in 1998 and seats a little over 10,000.
Since these two last met on November 1, they've gone in separate directions. Bakersfield, which found itself in last place int he division on November 1st with a 2-5-0-1 record, has gone 5-2 since losing the the Stars that Sunday. Included among those wins was a quality W against Ontario, a 3-0 shutout of the reigning champs. Meanwhile, Texas has had the exact opposite record since then. After beating Bakersfield, Texas was 7-2-0-1 but then stumbled to a 2-5 record in their next seven games.
If the Stars lose to Bakersfield this evening, the Condors will slip past Texas and into the last playoff spot in the Pacific Division.
Texas' current deficiencies were in full display on Saturday night. While they can score goals in buckets, the defense and goaltending is lacking severely. Coach Laxdal indicated there were a lot of blown assignments on defensive zone draws and plays in general that contributed to the inflated seven goal total that the Reign racked up at Cedar Park Center. He noted that his skaters needed to be open to the coaching and adjusting what they would do on the ice to suit the best needs of the team. Clearly, he feels that some players aren't responding to his play calls.
On the topic of goaltending, Laxdal quite literally said "no comment" when asked about the level of play on Saturday. It's no secret that Texas needs better goaltending right now. Even league average goaltending would have won Saturday's game.
If Texas can't get that, it might be time to recall Maxime Lagace for a spark.
Stars injury/call up report:
Elie (upper body)
Hulak (upper body)
Condors Web Resources:
Blog (Official): Inside the Condors
Twitter: @CondorsHolty (PBP)