Good morning once again, Dallas! While the Dallas Stars have been reveling the glory of a two game road winning streak, the Texas Stars got their season started on the road this weekend as well. There have been a lot of changes for the Stars after their run to the Calder Cup Finals last year. There are still some names you'll recognize though, and I'll be here every Monday morning to talk about the past week in Austin.
Free agency was not kind to your Texas Stars, as is typical of a team that takes their season into June. With the vast majority of AHL deals being one year in length, it is very easy for team's across the league to cherry pick high talent players from teams that go deep into the playoffs. Texas was no exception to this. Players with new addresses this season include Garrett Stafford, Mathieu Beaudoin, Matt Climie (Phoenix Coyotes, all playing in San Antonio), Dan Jancevski (Philadelphia Flyers, playing with Adirondack Phantoms), Andrew Hutchinson (Pittsburgh Penguins, playing with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), Warren Peters (Minnesota Wild, playing with Houston Aeros), and Perttu Lindgren (playing in Europe). Captain Landon Wilson has also not returned for this season; Brad Lukowich will be your captain this season.
However, Texas has some new faces, many of them familiar to the fans in Dallas thanks to extended preseason visits. Severin Blindenbacher, Philip Larsen and Jamie Benn's brother, Jordie Benn, will be added to the blue line for Texas. Others expected to add offensive firepower to the group include Ondrej Roman and Tomas Vincour. Despite this change in lineup, Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan plans to still play the same defensive minded game he did last year. It's been an easier time for Gulutzan this season, as he hasn't had to be the only coach on the ice. Other players who played the system last year and answering questions from the new kids and helping to prove that this system works, because it got them all the way to the Finals.
After the jump, we'll take a look at this past week's game, what's going on in the coming week, and who's hot.
Texas Scores 3 In Last Five Minutes To Beat Rampage 3-0
(HDH blog link)
The Texas Stars started their season on the road for the second year in a row. The San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix Coyotes) did not do well against the Texas Stars or the division last year, finishing 6th of 7 in the West. The Rampage, who beat up the Chicago Wolves on Friday, did not fair as well against Texas. Between the two teams, there were no power play goals in 14 chances and no goals period until the last 5 minutes of the game. Scott McCulloch got one in on former Star Matt Climie with 5:09 remaining. Travis Morin shoveled in two more including an empty netter with 12 seconds left.
The Week Ahead
The Texas Stars have a long layoff now before two games at home this coming weekend. Texas will open its home schedule on Saturday against the same San Antonio Rampage. The Western Conference Champion banner will be raised before the game, so if you're coming, be sure to get there early. The Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues) will come to town on Sunday.
Brent Krahn pitched a shutout to start the season, stopping 27 of 27 shots in Sunday's game. Travis Morin also had two goals in Sunday's game.
In one game with a 3-0 result, there really isn't anyone with a bad record right now.