THE TEAM TODAY: Changing it Up
Todd Nelson shakes up the lines once again as Barons try and solve Lake Erie
CHANGING IT UPOKLAHOMA CITY - After a day off on Sunday, the Oklahoma City Barons stepped back on the ice Monday in preparation for Tuesday's rematch against the Lake Erie Monsters. Once again, the team did a shake-up with the line combinations.
"It's still a work in progress," said head coach Todd Nelson. "We have different lines once again, and we're just trying to find that chemistry."
The top line remained the same with Teemu Hartikainen on the left side, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the middle and Jordan Eberle on the right but after that there was a pretty big shake-up.
Magnus Paajarvi skated with Ryan Martindale and Mark Arcobello, Antti Tyrvainen with Anton Lander and Curtis Hamilton and Dane Byers with Chris VandeVelde and Tyler Pitlick.
"It's going to work out. At the start of the year with every team you kind of go through this but with the added bodies the chemistry isn't going to be set in stone because we're trying to get guys in and out of the lineup," Nelson continued, adding that the Monsters are looking to be one of the conference's top teams.
"Lake Erie is a good hockey team. I think everybody saw that. I mentioned it after the game, the tempo of the game was extremely fast -- as fast as I've seen at this level. We've got to learn from that."
After defeating the Barons, Lake Erie bussed into Texas and blanked the Stars 4-0 on Sunday. Lake Erie is now 4-1 to start the season.
"Right now Lake Erie is at the top of our conference. People expected us to be there. I expect us to be there as well, as the season goes on," Nelson continued. "Right now we have to chase them down. We have an opportunity to play against them tomorrow night to rectify that."
ABNEY GOES DOWN
The extra skaters on Monday were Tanner House and Kristians Pelss as they skated with Taylor Hall -- who did not have a non-contact jersey on for the first time.
Notable by their absence was Josh Green (rib injury) and Cameron Abney, who was assigned to Stockton this morning.
Abney did not play a regular season game but he did get into two preseason contests with the Barons.
SCHULTZ NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
With three goals, an assist and a plus-6 rating over last weekend's games, Barons defenceman Justin Schultz was named the AHL Player of the Week.
Friday, Schultz had two shorthanded goals and an assist along with a team-record plus-5 rating and on Saturday he added another highlight-reel goal.
Through four games this season, Schultz has four goals and six points.