Good morning all!
I had the pleasure of being able to talk to Skylar Peters, the co-editor of the Winnipeg Jets’ Fansided site Hockey At The Forks and ask him a couple questions regarding the upcoming meeting between our Dallas Stars’ AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, and their AHL affiliate, the St. John’s Ice Caps. He interviewed me as well so if you are looking for my answers to his questions, click the link above to their site.
Here’s his answers regarding the final series ahead:
1. The Stars have plenty of NHL experienced players on their roster. Do you think that will be a problem for the Ice Caps?
It could be a factor, but not a big one. 8 Ice Caps finished the season with the Jets, including Hutchinson, who won two of three NHL starts. Some of ones with little/none experience have definitely benefited from this season’s deep run.
2. The back stoppers for the Stars are highly experienced, both Campbell and Nilstorp. How will the Ice Caps try and solve whoever is in net (if Campbell does recover in time)?
Rely on a balanced attack. Between Jason Jaffray’s line, Andrew Gordon’s line, and the top line with Eric O’Dell, the Ice Caps can come at any team with a four-line offense, and I think that’s a huge reason why they’re in the final in the first place.
3. The Stars face off numbers are high. Will the Ice Caps be able to fight the dot?
This is a spot where the Ice Caps are out-matched. In a close matchup like this, the winner could very well be the team with the puck more often. They will have to rely on coach Keith McAmbridge making the right line matchups, especially when they don’t have Home Ice Advantage for the first time in these playoffs.
4. Dustin Jeffrey is a big threat with plenty of NHL experience with both the Stars and Penguins. What will the Ice Caps need to do to keep him in check?
It will be up to the Ice Caps’ role players to counteract Jeffrey and players like him. Patrice Cormier has had a fair share of NHL time, and has gone toe-to-toe with some of the tougher guys in the show. “Toolbox” players like captain Jaffray have been through tons, and when players like Jeffrey and Jaffray matchup, it will be interesting (not to mention a broadcaster’s nightmare haha).
5. Will the Ice Caps be able to outplay the gritty defenders like Maxime Fortunus and Patrik Nemeth?
Skill vs. Grit is common in both the AHL and NHL, and it makes for some of the best hockey. The ice caps will have to avoid getting sucked into that physical game, and if worst comes to worst, Cormier and Jaffray will have to bear that load.
6. What’s your overall prediction?
Ice Caps in six. Just like the Blackhawks did to the Bruins in last year’s Stanley Cup final, I think a hot goaltender paired with a potent offense is too hot for any club to handle. This team steamrolled through the Eastern Conference, and it’s time for the Caps to take home Calder, in what could be their final year on The Rock.