The Texas Stars are moving on to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs after beating the Ontario Reign 3-1 in a best-of-five series. That’s good news for Dallas Stars fans, as some of the team’s top prospects are getting some much needed playoff experience to help along their development.
Mark Stepneski broke down the recent performances of each of the Cedar Park prospects, including quotes from head coach Derek Laxdal. For instance, Laxdal had to say the following about former 1st round pick Denis Gurianov:
“His game is improving at the right time of the season... You can see more personal care in his own stance where if he has a bad play on the ice he is getting mad at himself. We didn’t see that at the beginning of the season. So you can see that he is maturing in that he is starting to care a little more about his game and you can see there is a little more accountability from him.”
Gurianov isn’t the only prospect enjoying a second-half surge; Gavin Bayreuther has also come a long way this season:
“Gavin is probably our most improved player throughout the season...You can see a lot of confidence in his game, a lot of poise. He’s moving the puck. He’s jumping up on plays. He’s got a presence back there now, which you can see in handling pucks, taking hits, spinning off plays and just having the confidence to make the right play at the right time. He’s going to be a big part of our back end in the playoffs.”
You can read what Laxdal has to say about the rest of the players here.
ICYMI, the Stars have released details on getting tickets to the NHL Draft this June:
Sean Shapiro breaks down another top head coaching candidate — Todd Nelson from the Grand Rapids Griffins:
Breaking down Dallas Stars coaching candidates: Todd Nelson https://t.co/ILh2LSZ04k— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 25, 2018
Stanley Cup Playoffs
Greg Wyshnyski takes a walk down memory lane, looking at the ten worst moments for the Capitals throughout their recent playoff history against Pittsburgh. [ESPN]
Thankfully for Washington, the Penguins will be missing a couple of key players for Game 1 tonight:
Penguins will be without Malkin, Hagelin for Game 1 vs. Capitals https://t.co/ihWasCWOEJ— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 25, 2018
The other game starting tonight is between the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks, both of whom swept their first round opponents. But does that mean they should be Cup favorites?
Interesting stuff from @ESPNStatsInfo. Since '04-05 lockout, no team has swept their opening round series then went on to win the Stanley Cup.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) April 25, 2018
Vegas Golden Knights & San Jose Sharks are looking to buck this trend. pic.twitter.com/O26F4Frsfr
Jared Clinton breaks down five key matchups of the second round that you won’t want to miss. [The Hockey News]
The Columbus Blue Jackets also went home early this year, but their future looks a little bright: