Friday, September 28, 2018

Preseason Set Against Rampage Will Give Texas Answers to Key Decisions

(credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
For the first time since June 14th when they fell to the Toronto Marlies in game seven of the Calder Cup Final, the Texas Stars will play competitive hockey on Friday and Saturday. The games won't count, but it will provide a critical opportunity for head coach Derek Laxdal to decipher how the offseason additions and bubble players figure into the lineup heading into the regular season.

The home and home set will be played against the San Antonio Rampage, with the first game in San Antonio at 7 PM and the second in Cedar Park at 5 PM. The games won't be streamed, but there are a handful of interesting points to follow from afar.


  • There will likely be a weekend battle between Philippe Desrosiers and Colton Point for the second goalie spot with the AHL club. Landon Bow will be in Dallas for the duration of the NHL preseason, giving him a solid handle on holding down the number one job for the Texas Stars. Some believe that Point already has the inside track to beat out Desrosiers considering his recent improvement throughout the Traverse City tournament and training camp. However, the Stars have invested in Desrosiers for the past couple of years and will likely give him an opportunity to impress during the preseason. 
  • The Thursday assignment of John Nyberg to the Texas Stars was a predictable outcome as Texas expects him to be a key fixture on the blue line. After joining the team in Cedar Park for the Calder Cup run last season, Nyberg was given eight games of playing time. That speaks to what the coaching staff will expect from him going forward. Dillon Heatherington and Reece Scarlett are two players that Laxdal has spoken highly of in the past, and they are expected to clear waivers en route to Cedar Park. This will also be an opportune time to see what the recently signed Ben Gleason can do while running the power play. It will also be interesting to see how Shane Hanna performs during the preseason seeing that he is one of the bubble players that can play his way out of Idaho.
  • Finally, you'd like to see the young forwards form some chemistry with the new scorers that were brought in. Adam Mascherin, Tony Calderone, and Nick Caamano all had a good if not great tournament in Traverse City and are looking primed to slot in on the top six. As long as Roope Hintz, and even Denis Gurianov, are forcing the Dallas brass to keep them around, these are going to be the go-to horses to help complement Travis Morin and Justin Dowling. 

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