The next wave of Dallas Stars prospects were inducted into the teams minor-league system Friday when Jack Campbell and Austin Smith made their pro debuts with the Texas Stars.
It didn't lead to a win for the Stars, who fell 3-1 at Oklahoma Ctiy, otherwise known as the lockout home of Brenden Morrow, at least for a while.
Our friends over at Hundred Degree Hockey were at the game and wrote up their take on it.
Despite the 3-1 loss, Jack Campbell stopped 32 of 35 against and made several high quality saves among the routine ones. Austin Smith had three shots on net and a minus-2 rating. One of those goals against came on a turnover by the rookie in his first game.
In other prospect news, Reilly Smith's University of Miami (Ohio) squad was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, falling 4-3 in overtime to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. There's been some speculation he could be on his way to Austin as well, though nothing is official yet.
After the jump, a look ahead to this afternoon's huge game against the Calgary Flames, stuff and Vernon Fiddler unlaced.
- A home-and-home series with another team just as desperate for points as the Stars are? I don't know how today's game with the Calgary Flames will turn out, but I know fans in the losing city will be in a full-fledged panic after its over. Mike Heika details why in this paywalled article. [DallasNews.com]
- Obvious storylines for today's game are obvious, and Mark Stepneski took a very similar approach to his game previous. [ESPN Dallas]
- Tight race might be underplaying exactly what's going to happen in these last two weeks of the season. [DallasStars.com]
- If you're missing the playoffs, you can get a taste of them at the CHL level at least and not even have to leave the Metroplex for any of the up-to-seven games as the Texas Brahmas and Allen Americans meet in the first round. [DallasNews.com]
- I'm not always that interesting in the Trending Topics column, but I thought Ryan Lambert had a really interesting take on the Shane Doan hit on Jamie Benn. While I consider Doan a reckless player, I don't always think of him as a dirty one, but as Lambert points out, he's crossed the line more often recently than a lot of players I do consider as being dangerous to the health of others. [Puck Daddy]
- Hustle is a fascinating concept in sports, as Ellen Etchingham explores in this essay. It's both a crucial part of learning a sport and succeeding, but there's also a value to moving beyond hustle, especially at the highest levels. [Backhand Shelf]
- That essay is so awesome, I'm going to quote the money grafs all by themselves right here. "It is perfectly possible to work one’s ass off with the most purehearted sincerity and still do absolutely nothing right, and in fact the desire to dosomethingdosomethingdosomethingbigrightnownownow that comes from the hustling impulse can itself lead to overly intense commitments to overly aggressive plays. In this regard, hustle may be the skater’s equivalent of the acrobatic goalie save: it looks great, but if dude had been in position and made the right read, he wouldn’t have had to do it in the first place."
- Duncan Keith was suspended five games for his incredibly blatant elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Meet the enemy, part the first: Even more than they will for the Stars, these next two (well, really three) games will go a long way toward determining if the Flames can grab one of those final playoff spots. [Matchsticks and Gasoline]
- Meet the enemy, part the second: The Flames are 0-1-3 in their last four, and while they're still picking up points, they have to find a way to break through for a regulation win eventually if they have designs on the playoffs. [Slam!Sports]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Los Angeles Kings have taken their turn at the top of the Pacific Division - at this point, I think the only team who hasn't spent time up there is the Anaheim Ducks - and they hope to make it stick for the long haul. [Sacramento Bee]
- Todd takes on Loui Eriksson and death metal all in one post. Oh Scandinavians and their death metal. I just don't understand... [Thursday Morning Cupcheck]
- In the sadly-too-infrequent Unlaced series, Ralph Strangis finds out more about Fiddler's awesome grandmother, who the hairiest Star is and when we can expect to see a full set of pearly whites from the Stars third-line center. Guest starring Eric Nystrom and his eyebrows.