Texas Stars Wrap Up Weeks Nine and Ten: Condra Feel the Love Tonight
Erik Condra, good grief.
Erik Condra had an 11-game point streak, one that didn’t end until Friday night. Over the past seven games alone, he’s scored 12 points and 11 of them were primary. He is driving offense and doing a lot with (and without) his linemates — Travis Morin and especially Joel L’Esperance — right now, and that’s paying dividends for the Texas Stars.
Derek Laxdal, the Texas Stars’ head coach had this to say:
The line of Condra, Morin, and L’Esperance has been really good for us. It’s a line that can generate a lot of o-zone play. Since we put them together they’ve had a really good run for our group.
L’Esperance has five goals and three assists playing with Condra over the past six games, and Morin has two goals and five assists. Nobody is generating shots like L’Esperance right now — 22 in the past seven games — but Morin comes close with 20. Third place is Ben Gleason with 19 shots, and while he doesn’t have a goal in the past six games (he does have five assists), that’s something bound to change.
Texas was on a four-game win streak, and is on a five-game point streak, and has five wins in the past seven games. That hot streak has brought the Stars back to fourth place in the Central Division and tied with the Chicago Wolves.
Lest I forget, the Dallas Stars’ most recent call-up, Denis Gurianov, has one goal and seven assists (six primary) over his past six games. He’s flourishing this season with 28 points in 23 games and is tied for fourth in the AHL (Condra is second). He’s become a much more well-rounded player and looks competent in his own zone as well.
Landon Bow has also been spectacular over his past six games, coming away with a .910 save percentage and a 4-1-1 record.
“I really like the way Bow is playing right now. He’s our number one goalie, and he understands that, and he’s playing like it. That’s really good for us and really bad for other teams,” Laxdal says.
The Texas Stars have gotten a lot out of multiple players to have become this hot. This includes a five-goal, two-assist performance from Adam Mascherin (Dallas’s fourth round overage pick from the 2018 draft) over the past seven games. In addition, Michael Mersch has returned with three points in his last six games and Roope Hintz has four points in three games since being sent back down to Cedar Park.
The power play is converting at a critical rate as well, converting on seven of 27 chances (25.9 percent) in this recent stretch of games. The penalty kill is doing — less well, with a 67.9 percent kill rate. That’s not a primary concern for a team doing this well, but it is something to watch as the season progresses, especially for a penalty kill that is fifth-best in the division.
At the end of the day, however, Condra’s incredible streak was the main talking point about the Texas Stars over this past two weeks, as it should have been.