Gameday Preview: Texas Stars v. Grand Rapids Griffins

Texas Stars
32-28-4-3, 71 pts
#5 Central Division
v.Grand Rapids Griffins
35-19-6-4, 80 pts
#2 Central Division
March 23rd at 7:00 PM
H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Cedar Park, TX

Less than twelve hours removed from a game where Justin Dowling and his top line were the only offensive threats in a game where the Stars needed some more offense, the captain is headed to Dallas. Justin Dowling was recalled to the NHL this morning, putting the Stars out another forward.

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Dowling's recall was not an emergency recall, which means it counts against the four that Dallas can make between the trade deadline and the end of the regular season. Personally, I don't think Dallas 'burns' a non-emergency recall if they don't intend to keep Dowling for a decent chunk of time.

Grand Rapids has been idle since losing 6-3 to Texas on Wednesday night. Head coach Derek Laxdal knows the Griffins are angling for revenge, "We talked about after the game we’ve gotta pick ourselves up and get ready for Grand Rapids. They’re not gonna be happy coming in here from the last game on Wednesday. Whatever lineup we have [Saturday], we have to make sure we manage it, play the right way."

Perhaps in a bit of sage advice from beyond the recall, Dowling noted the following after the game last night when asked about the new amateur additions to the lineup, "It’s that time of the year and we got a lot of guys who haven’t been in a scenario like this in pro hockey. Sometimes guys grip the stick a little tight. I mean everyone’s playing well and gelling well in there. Guys coming in and out of the lineup, sometimes it makes it tough, but I think we’ve handled it really well."

Still stuck in fifth place, Texas needs points tonight to keep pace. Milwaukee and Manitoba are both in action tonight against Rockford and Colorado, respectively. With the Ads and IceHogs both in the same race, Texas ideally just wants that game to not go to overtime and hand out extra points.

Stars injury/call up report:
Scarlett (season-ending ACL injury)
Laberge (upper body)
Caamano (lower body)
Morin, Heatherington (illness)
L'Esperance, Dowling (call up)