The Aeros have had a full week's practice since dropping their first two games of the season, and they'll get their first crack at Texas since losing to that squad back in the preseason. For starters, the Aeros will employ their "A" team against the Stars this time.
Click here for a take on the game from our friends at Hundred Degree Hockey.
I am not sure at which point Torchetti is going to give Darcy Kuemper a start, but my guess is that he goes with Hackett tonight. Just a guess, but I would think Hackett tonight and then again tomorrow if he has a good performance.
We'll see when we get to the rink tonight.
This is the first of 12 games against the Stars, a team that missed the playoffs a year ago and fired its coach after one season. The "experts" don't think Texas will be very good this year, but they've won every competitive game they've played so far, and it looks like they A) have great goaltending and can B) score.
Here are some more notes from the Aeros Press Office:
- The Stars and Aeros have played each other 36 times (12 per year)
- Houston took the 2011-12 season series by going 7-2-2-1 (taking points in ten of 12 meetings)
- The Aeros are 20-12-3-1 all-time against the Stars
- Texas took the season series in 2009-10 by going 8-3-0-1, but the team is 8-11-2-1 over the last two years
- The Aeros' PP is 15th in the AHL, converting two out of 15 chances (13.3%)
- Houston's PK sits 27th out of 30 teams, stopping four of six attempts
- The Aeros rank 29th out of 30 teams in penalty minutes, averaging just ten minutes a game
- Houston is averaging 1.50 goals per game, while allowing 3.00 goals per game
- The team is 26th offensively and 19th defensively
And some more information about tonight's opponent:
Texas returns 18 players from a team that posted a 31-40-3-2 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs. The Stars made some changes over the summer, replacing the coaching staff of Jeff Pyle and Jeff Truitt, in exchange for Willie Desjardins and Doug Lidster. The Stars roster currently carries seven rookies, including a group of five that were able to turn pro and play the final ten games of the 2010-11 season. In all, there are six stars heading into their fourth season with the team. Forwards Colton Sceviour, Travis Morin, Francis Wathier, Luke Gazdic and Mathieu Tousignant, as well as defenseman Maxime Fortunus, are all back to play the Aeros for the fourth straight year. Fortunus is a former member of the Houston Aeros (2003-05).
There are numerous other skaters returning to play the Stars this season. Defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Mat Fraser return for their second season with the club. Dillon enjoyed a solid first season pro, setting up 23 goals and totaling 29 points in 76 games played. Fraser finished second in the AHL in goals scored, leading Texas with a team-record 37 goals in 73 games played. Left wing Mike Hedden is back for his second full AHL season after scoring 19 goals in 2011-12.
Dallas has assigned numerous high-end prospects to Texas including Reilly Smith, Jamie Oleksiak, Alex Chiasson, Austin Smith, Jack Campbell and Patrick Nemeth. Smith played the final three games in Dallas last year after playing three years at Miami (OH) University. Olekiak was Dallas’ first pick (#14th overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. At 6-foot-7 and 250-pounds, Oleksiak is the biggest player on the Texas roster. Jack Campbell is another Dallas first-round pick (#11 overall in 2010), who will split time in net with Cristopher Nilstorp. Chiasson and Austin Smith turned pro after completing college seasons last March. Patrick Nemeth comes to North America after playing in Sweden last season. The 20-year old defenseman was drafted by Dallas in the second round (#41 overall) in 2010.