Gameday Preview: Road Test for Texas Begins in Rockford

The Texas Stars will spend the next couple of weeks on the road playing five games against Central division teams. Needless to say, this could be a defining stretch for the Stars' season in terms of whether or not they can force their way into the postseason tournament.

They begin with the Rockford IceHogs on Tuesday evening, a club in the midst of a down year (20-24-1-2) but still threatening to move up the standings if things can start to break their way. Rockford, however, is dealing with several issues this season. The most glaring is the special teams play where the IceHogs rank 30th on the man advantage and dead last on the penalty kill.

(credit: Rockford IceHogs)

The dress rehearsal for the current road trip got off to a shaky start when the Stars couldn't find adequate scoring outside of Jason Robertson in a 3-2 loss in San Antonio. In theory, the Rockford game is an opportunity to turn that around seeing that IceHogs backstop Collin Delia is having a down year by his standards (.906 SP).

The Stars did drop a touchdown on the Rockford tandem back in November and have taken two out of three against them this season.

The fact remains that Texas is in a remarkable position after having endured the unspeakable twelve game losing streak. They remain in fourth place with at least a pair of games in hand on every team looking up at them in the standings outside of the Rampage.

Objectively, the Stars are a good team that has proven its merits for a postseason bid by overcoming a horrendous start to the regular season. The path forward now has to be to collect the points they're supposed to and rely less on division opponents losing. That can begin with Rockford.

The puck drops at 7 PM CST.

Injuries and callups
Kiviranta (callup)
Mascherin (upper body)