BY RYAN ABER
Some quick hits after a conversation with Barons coach Todd Nelson and forward Colin McDonald this afternoon:
- The plan right now is for newly signed center Tanner House to be in the lineup tomorrow night in Milwaukee.
“He’s a very responsible two-way centerman who takes pride in what he does in the defensive zone but can also put up some numbers,” Nelson said.
The other Barons played on an amateur tryout contract who has yet to see game action is defenseman Taylor Fedun.
Fedun might not see the ice for the Barons this season.
“We’ve got a lot of depth right now on defense,” Nelson said. “And he’s going to be heading back to the university soon.”
- Martin Gerber is back in Oklahoma City for testing but may be able to rejoin the team in Houston over the weekend.
“We’re supposed to get word today on how those tests went,” Nelson said. “Hopefully, he’s feeling a lot better and all he has to do is get through the soreness and get back on the ice for us.”
Gerber was injured last week in a third-period collision in the Barons’ eventual shootout loss to Grand Rapids.
Since then, Jeff Deslauriers has come in and done a commendable job.
“He came on in a tough situation and really played outstanding for us,” Nelson said. “Even last night, we just ran out of gas. Two of their three power-play goals were off deflections and there wasn’t a whole lot Jeff could do.”
- McDonald continues to produce no matter who he’s paired with.
Much of his early-season successes were attributed to his being paired with Alexandre Giroux and Brad Moran.
Moran has been consistently at center on McDonald’s line but through Giroux’s recent call-ups to Edmonton and then Teemu Hartikainen’s move up as well, McDonald has put together probably his best stretch of the season.
“He realizes that he had to step up to the plate and he’s done so,” Nelson said. “He’s getting rewarded to working hard. He’s one of the guys we depend on right now to get us through this stretch.”
Friday night in Rockford, McDonald had his first hat trick since juniors in the Barons’ 5-1 win over the IceHogs.
“For whatever reason, things have been going well for me this year,” McDonald said. “It was nice to get to the 30-goal plateau but to do it with a hat trick was pretty neat.
“I try to stay on an even keep though. I don’t want to get too low when things aren’t going great or too high when they are. I just want to keep focused on next time.”
- McDonald and several teammates took advantage of Monday’s off day to spend some time away from hockey.
“We’re just trying to rest up, get some fluids and try to get our minds off of hockey for a little bit,” McDonald said.
To do that, McDonald and teammates Moran, Deslauriers, Richard Petiot, Jake Taylor, Ben Ondrus and Zack Stortini went to the mall.
“We’re just relaxing some and probably going to see at least one movie a bit later,” McDonald said.