Friday, October 12, 2018

Gameday Preview: Texas Stars at Iowa Wild

Texas Stars
1-0-1-0, 3 pts
#4 Central Division
atIowa Wild
2-0-0-0, 4 pts
#1 Central Division
October 12th at 7:00 PM
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

UPDATE: Philippe Desrosiers has been assigned to ECHL Idaho.

Texas's first road trip just so happens to take them to the hottest team in the Central right out of the gate. While the Stars were busy with Grand Rapids and Milwaukee last weekend, the Wild absolutely shellacked another divisional rival, the Moose, to the tune of a 12-2 combined score in their two-game set.

It's a small sample set to be sure but a good sign for an Iowa club that has yet to make the playoffs since coming to Des Moines from Houston. It could be that the Moose are not a great team. It could be the Wild are fantastic. Maybe it's a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B.

(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
The Wild have done a pretty good job spreading out their wealth on offense in their first two games. Despite the 12 goals, no skater has more than 3 points and only two are without a point, including Cal O'Reilly. Long-time Charlotte defenseman Ryan Murphy has started his second season in the Hawkeye state with three points and rookie Mason Shaw, a fourth round pick in 2017, is right there with him at 3.

Andrew Hammond has backstopped both Wild games to this point, stopping 47 of 49 and allowing just two goals.

Texas got great effort last weekend from rookie Joel L'Esperance and will look to get some of their other lines going in the weekend's contests. It still remains to be seen how the defense will adapt and change without Reece Scarlett. While it is definitely true that the team hadn't been playing long enough to establish too much chemistry, it also hurts no matter what to see 274 games of AHL experience limp off the ice after a bad collision.

Keys to Texas's success would include piercing a thus-far impenetrable Iowa PK (again, small sample set) and not taking so many penalties themselves. Coach Laxdal also noted that the club needs to support their goaltenders and not allow as many odd-man rushes and breakaways as they did against Milwaukee.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (lower body injury)

Wild Web Resources:
Website: iowawild.com
Blog (Official): I Wild Blog
Twitter: @IAWild

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