The best thing you could say about the Texas Stars this week was that the team got progressively better as the week went on. They lost 3-0 to the Toronto Marlies, a 5-4 shootout loss to the Lake Erie Monsters and then finally got back in the win column with a 4-2 win over the Houston Aeros.
Goaltending is still the big issue with this team as both Jack Campbell and Cris Nilstorp are letting really simple saves get past them. Campbell saved 22 of 26 in his only start last week while Nilstorp stopped 40 of 45. Both of the netminders need to up their game if the Stars hope to go on any type of extended winning streak.
The defensemen actually played well last week. Big Jamie Oleksiak probably had his best week so far as a pro as he looked a more fluid on the ice. He was making a bigger impact on the game and that's definitely a welcome sight. Other defensemen that impressed: Cam Barker (no really, he was quite good) and Brendon Dillon. Jordie Benn suffered an injury during the Aeros game and he'll be out for a while. Patrick Nemeth will have to pick up the slack while Benn is out.
The standout forward for the week was Tomas Vincour. He scored two goals and had one assist, but he was all over the ice and had a ton of energy out there. He's working really well with Cody Eakin. Another positive from last week; the Stars scored three power play goals which equaled their total for the entire season.
Nov. 15 - San Antonio Rampage @ Texas Stars
Nov. 17 - Charlotte Checkers @ Texas Stars
The Overseas Pros
All European leagues had last week off so no games were played. By anyone. At all.
Jamie Benn - Hamburg Freezers
The younger Benn has been on a tear in the DEL so hopefully the week off didn't take away his momentum.
Nov. 16 - Straubing Tigers @ Hamburg Freezers
Nov. 18 - Hamburg Freezers @ Adler Mannheim
Jaromir Jagr - HC Kladno
Jagr has also been just as hot as Benn lately so hopefully his good play continues coming off the bye week.
Nov. 12 - Kladno vs Trinec
Nov. 14 - Kladno vs Ceske Budejovice
Nov. 18 - Kladno vs Zlin
Stephane Robidas - HIFK Helsinki
Nov. 15 - Helsinki vs Jokerit
Nov. 17 - Helinki vs TPS Turku
Tom Wandell - Severstal Cherepovets
Nov. 16 - Severstal vs UHC Dynamo
Nov. 18 - Severstal vs SKA St. Petersburg
Philip Larsen - Rauman Lukko
Nov. 13 - Raumann Lukko vs Hameenlinna
Nov. 16 - Raumann Lukko vs Pelicans Lahti
Radek Faksa - Kitchener Rangers
Faksa had his third quiet week in a row as he managed one goal in two games played last week. He ended up missing the Rangers final game of the week on Sunday with an illness of some sort, something that has been bothering him for the past week and a half now. It's been sapping his energy and he just hasn't been able to keep up so that's probably why he's been playing poorly as of late. On a positive note, the Rangers won all three games to run their win streak to five games.
Hopefully Faksa is able to get back onto the ice soon and fully healthy. The Rangers play a triple header this weekend (with travel required before each one) so he probably won't have the energy to compete in all three, if at all.
Nov. 16 - Erie Otters @ Kitchener Rangers
Nov. 17 - Kitchener Rangers @ Owen Sound Attack
Nov. 18 - London Knights @ Kitchener Rangers
Brett Ritchie - Niagara IceDogs
It wasn't anywhere close to what he had last week, but Brett Ritchie had another week of play. He had another two goals and an assist in two games as he continues to be one of the hottest players in the OHL right now.
He's still third in total points and goals in the OHL and number 15 in assists. He has at least one point in five straight games and nine of his last 11. He has had a multi-point effort in six of the last nine games.
One thing to note is that while Ritchie has 16 goals on the season, nine of them have been assisted in some way by Ryan Strome (the leading scorer in the OHL). It will be interesting to see if he can keep this type of play without Strome to feed him the puck when he reaches the next level.
Nov. 14 - Niagara IceDogs @ Erie Otters
Nov. 17 - Niagara IceDogs @ Ottawa 67's
Nov. 18 - Niagara IceDogs @ Kingston Frontenacs
Gemel Smith - Owen Sound Attack
Smith is just chugging along at his own consistent pace as he had two goals and an assist in Owen Sound's three games last week. He had only his sixth pointless game (out of 20 played) in a game against Guelph but rebounded to finish the week playing well.
It's nothing too jaw-dropping from Smith, but he's just continuing to put up points.
Nov. 16 - Owen Sound Attack @ London Knights
Nov. 17 - Kitchener Rangers @ Owen Sound Attack
Nov. 18 - Windsor Spitfires @ Owen Sound Attack
Matej Stransky - Saskatoon Blades
Stransky had a five-game point streak snapped against the Seattle Thunderbirds but managed to put up two assists during the Blades two games last week. He's been playing very well since Oct. 12 and so far it looks like he'll do well in November as well.
Stransky now has at least one point in nine of his last 11 games. He's got a good chance to put up more points this week as the Blades take on two of the worst defensive teams in the WHL.
Nov. 16 - Saskatoon Blades @ Prince George Cougars
Nov. 18 - Saskatoon Blades @ Vancouver Giants
Mike Winther - Prince Albert Raiders
Winther was the standout prospect for the Dallas Stars this week. In three games played, he had three goals and two assists. He's had a weird run lately where he'll have two solid games in row before cooling off for a week. It's been happening for the past month and if it holds to form, he'll be held scoreless next week.
He's shown great bursts of talent but just needs some more consistency.
Nov. 16 - Prince Albert Raiders @ Lethbridge Hurricanes
Nov. 17 - Prince Albert Raiders @ Edmonton Oil Kings
Nov. 18 - Prince Albert Raiders @ Red Deer Rebels
Branden Troock - Seattle Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds played four games last week and the big bodied Troock didn't see a single minute of playing time. I'm pretty sure he's healthy so unless he has an injury that hasn't been disclosed, he's been riding the pine for a while. He's only played in three games since Oct. 16.
Nov. 16 - Medicine Hat Tigers @ Seattle Thunderbirds
Nov. 17 - Spokane Chiefs @ Seattle Thunderbirds
Troy Vance - Victoriaville Tigers
Troy Vance had one of his most productive weeks of the season for the Tigers with a goal and two assists in their two games last week. He now has at least one point and one assist in three straight games and 11 total points on the season. He's been playing very well lately.
Nov. 15 - Victoriaville Tigers @ Quebec Remparts
Nov. 18 - Victoriaville Tigers @ Chicoutimi Saguenéens
Maxime Lagace - Prince Edward Island Rocket
Lagace got himself a very rare win this past week when the Rocket beat Rimouski Oceanic 4-3. Lagace allowed three goals (which is a major improvement actually) on 39 shots. He continues to struggle to stop the puck, but at least it wasn't cringeworthy this time to look at his numbers.
Nov. 14 - PEI Rocket @ Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Nov. 16 - Acadie-Bathurst Titan @ PEI Rocket
Nov. 17 - Val-d'Or Foreurs @ PEI Rocket