They are loaded, and tonight the Aeros will get their first of many cracks at this AHL star-studded lineup. I am not for certain just how many of these guys will end up in Edmonton when the lockout is over, but the Aeros will play them a lot early in the season.
Call it dumb luck, but as an AHL fan, I am glad we'll get a chance to see what the Aeros can do against these guys. I just wish more of these games were at Toyota Center. Three of the Barons' next four home games are against the Aeros, and they won't make their first visit to Houston until late November.
I can only guess at the goaltending matchup based on trends. Olivier Roy looks to get the call for the Barons, as coach Todd Nelson has rotated he and Yann Danis. It's Roy's turn tonight. And the Aeros will probably counter with Matt Hackett. But, with two games this weekend, both goalies should play. Darcy Kuemper won his only start on the road at Texas last week, so maybe Torchetti alternates the two again that way.
We'll know for sure later tonight.
Here are some notes from the Aeros Press Office:
- The first three meetings of the season series are at the Cox Convention Center in downtown OKC.
- Friday’s game marks the first meeting since April 24, when the Barons finished off a first-round playoff series win over the Aeros.
- Oklahoma City is coming off a 4-3 win at home over Lake Erie on Wednesday night.
- Aeros Center Mikael Granlund leads Houston in scoring with seven points through the first five games of the season.
- Granlund is in the top 20 of the AHL for points and top five for assists.
- Defenseman Marco Scandella leads all Aeros with six assists, tying him for second in the league.
- Right wing Jason Zucker is third on the team in scoring with two goals and three assists for five points in four games.
- Defenseman Brian Connelly sits fourth on the Aeros roster with four points off a goal and three assists.
- Right wing Nick Palmieri leads the team with three goals in five games.
- The Barons rank 15th in the AHL on the power play converting five out of 24 chances (20.8%).
- As far the penalty kill goes, Oklahoma City sits 23 out of 30 teams, stopping 19 of 26 attempts.
- The Barons rank 26th out of 30 teams in penalty minutes, averaging just 13 minutes a game.
- Oklahoma City is averaging 3.20 goals per game, while allowing 2.80 goals per game.