One preseason game done, one loss recorded. I know its early but by what I heard and saw from lots of postgame talk and chats, the team continued similarly to how they finished off a lot of last season by falling to the Lightening 4-2 at the AAC Tuesday night. Showing up for the 3rd period of the game and looking flat overall defensively. There were some players that looked though apparently. Let’s start with the goalies, as back-up hopefuls Krahn and Raycroft both played half of the game. Both allowed 2 goals and were decent by most accounts, as Raycroft stopped 16 of 18 and Krahn stopped 11 of 13. Crawford said both did a few things he liked and both a few that he didn’t, so it looks like right now neither has taken a leg up on the other. A lot people said young Philip Larsen appeared to get better as the game moved along and had a great goal that made it 3-2 in the 3rd before Tampa scored a few minutes later the take back a two goal lead. Another young player that impressed was Aaron Gagnon, who impressed in training camp and started off the preseason with a goal and assist. If you don’t already know Gagnon, he is a 24 year-old center who lead the Texas Stars in scoring last year but has also shown the ability to be a strong two-way forward and faceoff guy. So either way, Gagnon is making a case to make the jump up to the NHL or at least be one of the first guys the Stars will consider when looking to call players up this season. And finally, Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow looked good together by many accounts and both looked to be in great shape and form. The issue with their line was that tryout Cheechoo “blended in” and didn’t make himself look good to anyone.
So looking forward the Stars have a pair of home games coming up this weekend against Colorado on Friday night and then Saturday night against the Blues of St. Louis. Expect Kari Lehtonen to be in net for the Stars on Friday and some of the top guys that didn’t play on Tuesday to show up in some of this weekend’s action. I myself plan to be in the building for the St. Louis game and hope to get a good look at how this team is doing with my own eyes. And on an injury note, Tom Wandell has been skating some the last two days and will hopefully get back into the lineup for the last preseason game or two, if not at least by about the start of the season.
I will keep posting up this week and weekend about preseason hockey, and next week look for my post with the top 5 things that will dictate how well the Stars do this season. Make sure to follow Blackoutdallas on Twitter, and Go Stars!