The Texas Stars (35-23-4-6, 80 pts, #3 West) had a rough week of games on the road. The only games this week were the three spanning Friday to Sunday in the northeast United States and into Canada.
Texas came into the weekend on the heels of an uninspired loss against the Syracuse Crunch (Anaheim Ducks) in Cedar Park on Monday. Their first assignment on the weekend was the same Syracuse team, now with goaltender Ray Emery. The Crunch and Stars skated to a 0-0 tie after 65 minutes, but Syracuse emerged victorious in a shootout. The Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens) were the next up for Texas in Ontario. The Stars looked to be taking the game to overtime again when Andrew Conboy and Hunter Bishop scored to make it 3-1. Travis Morin would score his second of the game with five seconds left to make it 3-2, but it was already in the books at that point. Finally, the Stars came into Toronto needing a win; the Marlies (Toronto Maple Leafs) obliged. Tyler Beskorowany stopped 22 of 23 in the game and was perfect in the shootout to earn the full two points for Texas.
The playoff race is still tight with no signs of loosening up anytime soon. The second through seventh place teams in projected points at the end of the year are only separated by four. Texas is luckily situated toward the top at third but is in the less than ideal spot of playing Houston in the first round. The Aeros (Minnesota Wild) have been dominant against Texas this year, going 9-2-0-0 on the season. It's not the matchup the Stars want; pretty much anything would be better than that.
The biggest story on the week was Clear Day rosters. Clear Day rosters are the AHL version of the trade deadline. It defines who can play in the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs. This prevents teams from assigning players down once the NHL regular season is over as ringers. Last year's big surprise, if you remember, was Jamie Benn's assignment. This year, no such send-down will be happening, although Tomas Vincour is on the list.
The biggest surprise this year, or perhaps not a surprise at all, was the absence of Brent Krahn. The goaltender has been battling injury all year, only playing in 12 games and going 6-6-0 in those matches. The writing is on the wall regarding his future with Dallas as Richard Bachman and Tyler Beskorowany are the Stars' goaltenders for the rest of the season. Personally, having heard him do color analysis, I think he has a future there as many goaltenders do given their wide view of the goings-on at ice level.
Each game in depth and injury information after the jump!
Bachman Near Perfect As Texas Falls 1-0 In SO
(HDH blog link)
Richard Bachman earned a shutout through regulation despite losing in the shootout after stopping all 25 shots he faced. Aaron Gagnon, Colton Sceviour and Greg Rallo scored in the shootout for Texas.
Stars Let Game Slip Away in Third, Lose 3-2
(HDH blog link)
Travis Morin (Rallo, Sean Backman)
Morin, PP (Maxime Fortunus, Raymond Sawada)
Stars had 1-1 tie with five minutes left in the third period. Travis Morin's two goals were his first tallies since returning from injury. Richard Bachman earned third star honors despite the loss, stopping 30 of 33 shots against.
Texas Gets Two Points Off Toronto in SO
(HDH blog link)
Morin (Backman, Rallo)
Texas shooters Rallo and Francis Wathier scored in the shootout to secure the victory. Both teams went 0/5 on the power play in the game. Former Star Fabian Brunnstrom had one shot and recorded no other stats in the game. Travis Morin's 16th of the season was also his third in the two games.
The Week Ahead
Texas has a long layoff until Friday when they will travel to Winnipeg to face the Manitoba Moose (Vancouver Canucks) on Friday and Sunday. The division keeps moving around them though so there will be plenty of scoreboard watching.
Your only injury for the Stars is Brent Krahn. He's not eligible to play for the rest of the season anyways so this will be the last time I will include him in the injury report for Texas.