Weekend Preview: Texas Hosts Iowa, Probably

(Credit: Shane Abbitt/Iowa Wild)

The Stars begin an abbreviated series with the Wild tonight, probably. At least as of this writing, the Stars look have a game tonight and Saturday. Wednesday's game was canceled due to COVID protocol issues affecting the Wild. If the NHL is any indication, these postponements are not usually one-game affairs. 

In fact, in my non-scientific Twitter poll, just 18% of respondents expected Texas to play tonight. A vast majority, 68%, didn't expect Texas to play this weekend at all.

Regardless, Texas will be coming off the longest in-season break in team history to play their next game no matter when that is. Despite the 13 day gap, the Stars are not dreadfully behind on games played compared to their division rivals. Coming into tonight, both Texas and Grand Rapids have both played just five games, but the Griffins have no postponements on their schedule. 

Tonight's opponent is the most common on the shortened schedule this year, making up 12 of the 38 game slate. In Des Moines to open the season, the Stars took four points, including an overtime rubber game that saw Thomas Harley score his first pro goal.

Meanwhile, the Wild have hosted Rockford, winning on overtime, and traveled to Chicago for a pair, losing both in regulation. The first in Chicago was especially rough, a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of a super-charged Wolves squad, which hosts two different teams' prospects this season. Iowa goalie Hunter Jones, who allowed seven to Texas in his first start of the season, gave up nine to Chicago in the first 32 minutes of the game. Jones shouldn't feel too bad about it though, as he would be in the OHL this season if not for COVID. He had a .913 SV% there last year, so it's likely just the unexpected jump.

For Texas, not a lot has changed. Rhett Gardner is up in Dallas and Adam Mascherin should have recovered by now from the day-to-day injury that kept him out of the lineup in the Stars' last game against San Jose.

Injuries and callups
Mascherin (was day-to-day 13 days ago)
Gardner (callup)