Oct. 5 Notes & quotes: New PP unit looks good, defensive pairs juggled

Recap: http://www.statesman.com/news/sports/hockey/stars-top-chicago-4-1/nbGw2/

In-game blog: https://wrongsideoftheredline.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/as-they-play-stars-vs-wolves-10513/

Box Score: http://theahl.com/stats/text-game-report.php?game_id=1011119

The Stars only had one true power play tonight (the other was an abbreviated one due to another penalty) and converted.

It’s a small sample size, but Texas looked pretty good with the first power play unit of Curtis McKenzie, Colton Sceviour, Travis Morin, Maxine Fortunus and Matej Stransky.

Sceviour and Fortunus manned the points, while McKenzie was the physical presence in front of the net. Morin is working on the right side — the spot that used to be occupied by Matt Fraser — and Stransky is manning the left.

Nilstorp to start tomorrow

It’s not a surprise at all, but Stars coach Willie Desjaradins said Cristopher Nilstorp would start tomorrow night against the Rockford IceHogs.

I thought Nilstorp might get the start tonight, but Jack Campbell looked good and earned the start. Campbell played a lot of hockey before the season started between training camps (Dallas and Texas), pre-season games and the prospects tournament.

Jokipakka impresses again

I’ve been impressed with Jokipakka the two times I’ve seen him play live (tonight and preseason last week). Tonight he looked very good paired with Cameron Gaunce.

Jokipakka had an assist and finished plus-2 tonight. He looked good in space and Fortunus said he liked what he saw out of the young defenseman.

There where two negative moments for Jokipakka tonight. His stick broke and led to a breakaway for Chicago and he was laid out pretty bad behind the Stars net late in the third period.

Both of these setbacks shouldn’t be considered mistakes by the young defenseman, and I think he’s going to continue to improve as he becomes more comfortable in North America.

Defensive pairs juggled

While Jokipakka and Gaunce were paired together for most of the night, the other defensive pairings were juggled during the game.

William Wrenn and Maxime Fortunus started the game together on one pairing, while Patrick Nemeth and Jamie Oleksiak were the other defensive unit. That changed about halfway through the game to Wrenn-Oleksiak and Nemeth-Fortunus.

“You have to be able to play with everybody in every situation. Sometimes coaches see things we can’t, and they thought it was best to play with the pairings,” Fortunus said.

Up next

Texas hosts Rockford at 5 p.m. Sunday. Rockford opened the season against San Antonio and lost 3-1 tonight, allowing 56 shots on goal.

Post-game presser
(courtesy of Texas Stars)

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