Series Preview: Texas Stars Looking to Fix Defensive Woes as Colorado Comes to Town

(Credit: Colorado Eagles)

[Ed. Note: Dallas has recalled forward Riley Tufte and assigned defenseman Thomas Harley. Additionally, Texas has added goalie Adam Scheel from Idaho.]

The Texas Stars are returning to the H-E-B Center this weekend to face the Colorado Eagles following a tough four-game road trip. During the time away, Texas dropped two games to Colorado and split a series with San Jose.

With only one win in the last five games, the Stars are reeling a bit. The most recent series against San Jose was a step in the right direction towards healthy offensive pressure for the Stars but was disastrous for the defensive unit. Jake Oettinger posted a meager 0.816 SV% in the two games against San Jose, a number Texas is not accustomed to seeing. The Texas penalty kill was also only 5-for-9, adding to the team’s recent defensive issues. While these numbers are concerning, it is unlikely Oettinger’s cold streak will drag on, and if the Stars can sure up the PK, the team could start to collect wins at a more consistent rate.

Colorado will be finishing up their current four-game stretch of away games in this weekend’s series against the Stars. Colorado lost to the Ontario Reign 4-3 in their most recent game after beating the San Diego Gulls 3-2 the day before.

Coming into the weekend, Colorado is among the top-10 in the AHL on the power play at 24.6% but find themselves near the basement when it comes to the penalty kill at 73.5%. When the Stars traveled to Colorado earlier this month, the team failed to capitalize against the Eagles’ struggling PK and went 1-for-10 on the PP during the two-game series. The Stars also allowed 16 PP opportunities to one of the most lethal PP units in the league during that series. This weekend, the Stars will be looking to reverse their special teams issues at home after losing twice in Colorado.

Following a productive series against San Jose for the Karlstrom-Back-Caamano line, it will be interesting to see if those three forwards are kept together by Texas Stars head coach Neil Graham. Back scored three goals, Caamano registered four assists, and Karlstrom was 1-3=4 in the last two games for the Stars. Those three were also a combined plus-16, by far the highest combined plus-minus of the Stars’ forward lines against San Jose. Considering the Stars' struggles to produce offense earlier in the month against Colorado, the Karlstrom-Back-Caamano trio could provide a helpful jump start for the team’s home series this weekend.

Texas will play Colorado in the first game of the weekend series on Friday at 7 PM. The second and final game of the series will take place at 7 PM on Saturday.

Injuries and callups
Martin (arm laceration)
Tufte (callup)
Harley (callup)