Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stars-Predators Preview: Stars Must Take True Form To Record First Win


Intangibles:

The Stars have a great record against the Predators at home dating back to when the Stars called Reunion Arena home. Although I’m unable to recall the record, I am thinking it is something like 14-6. Either way, it is a boost for the Stars heading into tonight.

Stars fans are hungry for the team's first real win. The home town crowd will be loud and crazy for their beloved Stars.

Keys to the Game:

The Stars top line must produce. To this point, Mike Ribeiro and Brenden Morrow have been invisible to say the least. When top offensive guys are Trevor Daley (two goals in two games) and James Neal (a rookie who scored a clutch goal), your team is having problems.

The Stars must score on the man advantage. With so much talent there is no excuse to be getting so many opportunities and not be putting the puck in the net. Likely coach Tippett will have found new lines for the power play for tonight’s game.

Sean Avery must avoid misconducts. The NHL allows two per season without the player receiving fines and issues from the league. Avery received his two in the last game against the Predators. He was brought in to add grit, but so far Avery has been like an angry child having a tantrum at Wallmart. Avery can’t score for the Stars if he is pouting in the locker room.

Other News:

The Stars Swede sensation, Fabian Brunnstrom, will likely get his first start tonight. According to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Brunnstrom has been skating with Sean Avery and Brad Richards in practice.

"He's certainly a well-talked-about player, but that doesn't change the process for him," Stars coach Dave Tippett said in Heika’s Stars blog. "The first game he plays isn't going to match a year's hype. That's just not reality. This is a process, and we're just getting started."

Injuries:

Dallas: RW Jere Lehtinen (groin) is doubtful. D Sergei Zubov (hip) is out.

Nashville: C Jason Arnott (hand), RW Steve Sullivan (back), RW Jed Ortmeyer (knee) and C Nick Tarnasky (thumb) are out.

Game Information:

Tonight’s game against the Predators will be in Dallas at the American Airlines Center. Game time is scheduled for 7:30pm Central. Television broadcast will be on Fox Sports Southwest, and radio broadcast will be on WBAP-AM 820. Internet broadcasts can be found on the Stars website and NHL.com.

Image: Courtesy of Yahoo sports online.

Quotes and injury information: Courtesy of Mike Heika's Dallas Stars blog.

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