Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal said the team will have a different look to the lineup tonight against the Iowa Wild.
Even with Curtis McKenzie returning, Derek Hulak will remain on the top line with Travis Morin and Brendan Ranford.
“Because (McKenzie) is getting called up so much we want to get some consistency with our our power play instead of (Morin) playing with a different guy every night,” Laxdal said after an optional morning skate. “So you’ll see him on that second line with (Justin) Dowling and (Scott) Glennie.”
It’s been an interesting week for McKenzie. He was sent down to Texas before Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City, was called up to Dallas and was a healthy scratch Friday, before getting sent back to the AHL this morning.
“If you look back at his body of work for us over the last four games for us it’s just been OK,” Laxdal said. “When you get called up and sent down you lose your game a little bit. And we feel that he hasn’t reached his potential yet here in Cedar Park.
“When he does get up in Dallas they’re looking for him to score some goals,” Laxdal continued. “In order for him to do that he’s got to get some confidence here.”
Texas had an optional skate this morning and only Hulak, Jesse Root, Gemel Smith, Mike Dalhuisen, William Wrenn, and Jack Campbell practiced. It appears Smith and Dalhuisen will be healthy scratches after skating extra with assistant coach Karl Taylor this morning.
Jussi Rynnas will start his third straight game tonight and third in four days. Rynnas looked exceptional in a pair of overtime losses and gave Texas a chance to win both games against Oklahoma City.
Tonight’s projected lineup with some guess work after an optional skate.