Texas Stars Report: Philippe Desrosiers Stakes His Claim To Texas Net

Three games into his AHL career, Philippe Desrosiers is showing that he might be strong enough to finish the season in Cedar Park. How is that going to work?

After a tough first game on the road, Philippe Desrosiers collected his first two AHL wins this past weekend. In those two wins, Desrosiers stopped 71 of 74 shots against in two wildly different contests.

In the first game, Desrosiers didn't face a shot for the first 10 minutes of the game and then sustained a similar stretch in the second period. In the second, he was absolutely shelled. Texas allowed the most shots they have all season, but Desrosiers stood tall with 48 saves.

The one they call Phil told media at the start of the season that his season goal was to be in the American Hockey League. The confluence of events surrounding Jack Campbell's play and Maxime Lagace's injury last week gave him a chance. He appears to be seizing it.

So what now for everyone in the minor league goaltending ranks?

Things get dicey quickly. You definitely want to see what you have in Maxime Lagace and give him as many minutes as you can at the AHL level. At the start of the season, you would have said the same thing about Desrosiers and the ECHL. The dynamic that emerged when Lagace had a breakout start to the year and Campbell did not put all that on its ear.

Now you have three players that you want to get a lot of ice: Lagace, Desrosiers and Campbell. Lagace has clearly earned the right to continue playing in the AHL. Campbell's play has sent him to the ECHL. The rub is that Desrosiers can't both take a majority of starts in the the AHL or ECHL.

So do you send Desrosiers down with Lagace now healthy and take away Campbell's majority minutes to prepare for the future? Or do you leave Campbell to play majority minutes in the ECHL and have Desrosiers and Lagace split time in the AHL?

Add to all this John Muse, who is on an AHL only contract and would be the third goaltender in Texas if you have Lagace and Desrosiers here.

Oh boy, it's going to get interesting.

Texas Stars Tame Wolves With Philippe Desrosiers' First AHL Win

The most impressive defensive effort of the season for Texas yielded a 3-1 win and the first AHL victory for Philippe Desrosiers Friday night in Cedar Park. The Stars defeated the visiting Wolves (St. Louis Blues) thanks to their team defense.

"We have to band together," said Coach Derek Laxdal. "One of the messages we've talked about is team defense. Guys had great shot blocks [tonight]. It's a team mentality to start engaging a bit better defensively."

From the drop of the puck, Texas controlled the play. Travis Morin and Greg Rallo had both netted goals before Chicago had picked up a shot on net. That one found the chest of rookie Desrosiers, who was playing his first AHL home game and just second AHL game overall.

"It was a solid game [for Desrosiers]. He didn't get a shot for 10 minutes. He got a chance to settle in. Our young D played well. Our forwards responded and played with a lot of passion."

Despite Major Shot Deficit, Texas Stars Beat Chicago Wolves 5-2

It wasn't the prettiest game of the year, but the final result was one that the Stars certainly liked. Despite a 50-27 shots deficit, Texas came out on the right side of a 4-2 margin. Indeed, the Stars allowed the most shots against all year and vaulted the fewest shots on net as well.

"There were a lot of perimeter shots and shots from the points," said Coach Laxdal. "If you count scoring chances, it's probably pretty even. We did a good job boxing out second chance opportunities."

Goalie Philippe Desrosiers earned back-to-back wins, his first and second AHL wins, in his first back-to-back starts.

Brett Ritchie continued his offensive march with two goals on the evening. Cole Ully, who had a goal in the game, played one of his best as a Texas Star. He was all over the play with his linemates Gemel Smith and Matej Stransky. He drew a penalty in the second period with some hustle and scored in the first.

"I thought Cole gave us good minutes tonight. Cole scored a beautiful goal tonight, gave us more energy. He beat a pretty good defenseman inside outside and had a great shot. He's a young prospect, high end skill. We know he can score, but he has to learn to develop his defensive position."

Philippe Desrosiers was challenged much more in the game than he was last night, as the Wolves volleyed a season-high 50 shots on the rookie goalie. Desrosiers earned back-to-back starts, and Maxime Lagace returned from injury to back up.

"Phil responded to the challenge tonight. [Chicago] played a better game and had a good push and sense of urgency. Us getting the first power play goal settled us down. They pushed pretty hard for 60 minutes."

The Week Ahead

After a five-day break, the Stars will play a three-in-three weekend, all in California. The weekend will push them through Bakersfield (Edmonton Oilers), San Diego (Anaheim Ducks) and Ontario (Los Angeles Kings).

Injury Report

Maxime Lagace returned to the healthy ranks this past week. Branden Troock and Stephen Johns are still out. Devin Shore, of course, is out for the season.