I typically love reaching out to Stephen Meserve of 100 Degree Hockey when the Milwaukee Admirals play against the Texas Stars. Unfortunately, I just simply forgot to reach out ahead of time. The most we could talk was him tweeting this and me tweeting back. Next time when we’re in Texas I’ll reach out in advance.
The Texas Stars haven’t played since Wednesday night at home when they that an 11-goal thrill ride against the Rockford IceHogs that ended with a 6-5 (Video Highlights) overtime loss for the Stars. Do yourself a favor and watch those game highlights because I don’t think I can express how wacky that game was. There were some brilliant goals and some others that were just outrageously awful that had no right to ever be scored but still were. It also provides a nice backdrop on this afternoon’s game because that’s the game that has festered in the Stars’ minds since Wednesday night. Can’t be a good feeling.
The Stars record is surprisingly non-reflective of the team that currently leads the AHL in goals scored this season. They’re 12-8-1-1 (26 points) with a points percentage of 0.591 which sees them third in the Pacific Division and sixth in the Western Conference. They have produced 89 goals as a team this season. The next three teams closest to them in that department are: Toronto Marlies (87 goals)… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (74 goals)… and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (72 goals).
You might assume they must be scoring plenty of goals from the power-play then, right? Wrong. The Stars actually trail the Admirals power-play entering today’s game: Stars, 17 goals forced from 97 power-play chances (17.5% – ranked thirteenth in the AHL)… Admirals, 19 goals forced from 98 power-play chances (19.4% – ninth best in the AHL).
~Who What Now?~
The Stars leading scorer also happens to be the top scoring rookie in the AHL this season, Devin Shore. Although he did log 19 games worth of AHL time last season he is still considered a rookie. I must say though his 24 points (15 goals, 9 assists) in 20 games doesn’t really scream rookie to me. He’s been tremendous this season and already has more goals than he did in his last full-collegiate playing season at the University of Maine.
Shore is then followed up by a splendiferous amount of double digit points scorers. How many? The Stars have eleven players with 10 points or more of offense – all of which will be active for today’s game. To put that in perspective the Admirals have seven players with 10 points or more and six of those players will be at the rink for the game.
In net, the Stars currently have Jack Campbell and John Muse as their goaltending options. Campbell started the year banged up but has been leaned on a fair bit since returning to the Stars roster in the second week of November. He has a 3-3-1-0 record from seven starts with a rough 4.10 goals against average and 0.871 save percentage to go with it. Muse on the other hand has a much better 5-1-0-1 record from nine appearances with a 2.71 goals against average and 0.915 save percentage.
Expectations for this afternoon’s game? Curious, how do you think the Milwaukee Admirals Sunday afternoon attendance will be with no Green Bay Packers to cheer on? Do you think it would be smart or dangerous for the Admirals to roll Juuse Saros for a two games in two days spell after so much time out of action?