It's been a tough weekend for Dallas Stars prospect "down on the farm," so to speak, as they've dropped consecutive games to the Houston Aeros, surrendering five goals against in both contests. It's a step backward after a week of practice following a defensively sound 2-0 start last Saturday and Sunday.
Job number one for Whiteboard Willie's boys is to fix the penalty kill, and barring that, stay out of the box altogether.
Houston went a stunning five of eight (62%) on the power play this weekend, carving up both Nihlstorp and Jack Campbell, who now appear to be firmly in a battle for number-one status on the team.
The Stars have now allowed a total of seven power play against in just four games played. Stephen has been killing it all weekend over at Hundred Degree Hockey with lots of coverage. Check him out.
Meanwhile there are promising signs from an NHL perspective.
Last weekend in Cedar Park I saw what I've come to expect from Tomas Vincour...He's big, he possesses the puck well, he generates offense and forward movement, and he does everything you want. Except score. That's why his absolute beauty of a power move and goal in these highlights is a great sign.
Cody Eakin and Vincour continue to lead the team offensively. The two have combined for nine points in four games, 26 shots on goal (18 for Vincour!) and a +6 rating. Eakin has scored twice shorthanded already. Reilly Smith continues to ride shotgun with the pair and has two assists on the year, but can and will do more barring the resumption of the NHL season.
Alex Chiasson scored his first goal of the season Friday night, and needs to continue to fight for opportunities as he'd being used a little ways "down the lineup", so to speak.
Stephen wisely sums up the Texas Stars' early season struggles now at 2-2 on Hundred Degree Hockey...
Texas, in the past, has had a roster that skewed more to the veteran side of things. The club has never had this many pure rookies on the roster in its four years. That means two things. First, it means that many of these dynamic players are going to have amazing nights and could potentially put up numbers that will blow away previous records. Second, it means there will be some growing pains on team defense for sure. Coach Willie Desjardins is used to molding young minds though, as he did just that with 16 year olds in the WHL for many years.
In summary, last night was no reason to panic. The season is not going down the tubes. Some nights, all the bad shows up and none of the good. You have to take both at the beginning in hopes that the good outweighs the bad by the time the stretch run comes. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
They take on the Lake Erie Monsters tonight for their third game in three nights.