Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Texas Stars observations
By Mark Stepneski
CEDAR PARK -- Greetings from Cedar Park, the home of the Texas Stars. Here are a some observations after watching Texas beat Milwaukee 3-2 in overtime last night to take a 2-1 lead in the West Division Semifinals.
*Defenseman Brenden Dillon, signed by Dallas as a free agent out of the WHL (Seattle Thunderbirds) back in March, looks like a player. He’s paired with veteran Maxime Fortunus and is logging pretty substantial minutes for the Stars. That’s impressive for a 20-year-old just out of junior who joined Texas late in the regular season and had just ten AHL games under his belt coming into these playoffs. He moves the move puck pretty well, looks solid defensively and has a bit of an edge to his game. There were a lot of NHL teams interested in signing him and it’s pretty evident why. He looks like he could be a solid NHL defenseman down the road.
*Defenseman Philip Larsen has scored two power play goals in the playoffs for Texas and both have come from close range. Watching Larsen on the PP, he spends a lot of time hanging around down low and close to the net. In one of the games in Milwaukee, which I watched on line, he redirected a point shot into the net for a PP goal. Last night, he scored from below the right circle after Ray Sawada sent a pass from behind the goal line.
*Scott Glennie, the Stars top pick (1st round, 8th overall in 2009), is getting eased into things with Texas. He’s playing right wing on the fourth line with center Cody Chupp and left wing Luke Gazdic. Glennie’s minutes are pretty limited at this point. Last night with was his seventh game in the AHL. I see it as a good experience for him and it will help him heading into next season.
*I really enjoy watching goaltender Richard Bachman play. He’s resilient. He got pulled in the first game of the series after giving up four goals on 17 shots, and bounced back with a real strong effort in Texas’ Game 2 victory. Last night, he gave up a bad goal early in the game when was victimized by a strange bounce behind the goal and Milwaukee scored into a wide open net. Bachman shook it off and played a really solid game after that, especially during the rest of the first period when Milwaukee was the better team and was getting the better chances.