Texas Stars Mailbag: Managing 8 defensemen and way-too-early playoff thoughts

(Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

(Photo by Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)

Welcome back to another edition of the Texas Stars Mailbag.

Lighter load this week, let’s get started:

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Texas Stars assistant coach Carl Taylor has done a nice job managing the defense this season. And that can be difficult when a team has eight defensemen that deserve to be in the lineup.

With that influx of defensemen, the Stars have dressed seven blue liners a couple times this season. In those situations, Taylor has made sure to rotate the defensemen around and keep playing time relatively even amongst the ranks, which can be difficult with an odd number.

For example, former Stars assistant coach Doug Lidster wasn’t a fan of dressing seven defensemen. Lidster liked using his pairs evenly, and he felt having a seventh defenseman didn’t mesh well with the defensive pairings’ chemistry.

The Stars have also done a nice job of finding the right combinations on defense. Esa Lindell and Stephen Johns have established themselves as a shutdown pairing, but the rest of the pairs have been fluid and well adjusted to game situations.

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Way too early to be looking at the playoffs. However, looking at the first month of the season, I think Texas will be in the playoffs this season.

In the Pacific Division I think Ontario, Texas, and San Antonio will be playoff teams.

San Diego has also had a strong start to the season, but I haven’t seen enough of them to pencil them into the playoff bracket.

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This is a question I’ll have to ask Gemel Smith at practice next week.

For those who aren’t aware, Smith doesn’t know how to cook and a couple teammates, including Curtis McKenzie in this podcast, have been critical of his culinary talents.

Last season Smith credited Jessie Root, his roommate in Austin, for making sure he was eating healthy.

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Of course this is a valid mailbag question, all questions are valid.

I’m not sure why there has been a lack of hashtags during in-game tweets. Wish I could give you more than that.

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As of right now, things are pretty settled.

However, if the California experiment works well for other teams, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vancouver Canucks moved their AHL affiliate from Utica to the West Coast eventually.

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