Label them alterna-dance or snyth-pop or elctro-new-wave – just don’t call them unimportant. The band Depeche Mode has been cranking out electro music since 1977. The band, from Essex, was one of the most heralded bands of the 80′s with a ground breaking sound for pop music at the time. If you’re able to sell 100 million records worldwide, and have 40+ singles to your credit, you’ve done something right.
In the early days of the band, they were still finding their legs musically. That is until they discovered synthesizers. It not only changed the landscape of electronic music forever, it created a ground breaking sound that would become synonomous with the Depeche Mode. Modern bands like Coldplay, The Killers, The Bravery, Fear Factory, The Crystal Method, and Shakira all claim that their body of work was inspired by albums from these Brits. And that’s saying something.
Their second single, and arguably their most recognizable, Just Can’t Get Enough is a clever bubbly tune written by founding member, Vince Clarke, who’d leave the band the following year. It’s a nice intro into all things Depeche Mode because it’s easy to digest, but still interesting enough to keep bringing you back. While not my favorite song of theirs, it certainly stands as a fine pillar in early electronic music.
This is a dance track at its most exciting. The lyrics simply deal with a white hot love romance where there is “burning love”, and “rainbows”, and “slip and slide” moments. If you don’t want to break into a quick dance party for one when listening to this, you won’t ever feel compelled to do so. (I’m doing it right now, won’t you join me).
So I turn this track into an unber-celebratory moment for the team I follow in the AHL. The Oklahoma City Barons are really driving through some great play of late. Back-to-back games where they overcame goal deficits to roar back to life, make me anxious to see this team meld into a winning group once again. Like any good fan, in any city, in any market, where your team has proved some really good things lately, “I Just Can’t Get Enough”.
Two games in Cedar Park, Texas are on the docket for the Barons this weekend. The Stars have turned it on of late, in the face of missing pieces that have found greener pastures in Dallas. Although they’ve gone 1-1-1 over the last three, they still hold a tight grip on first in the South Division, Western Conference, and the entire AHL. Right now, they are the team to beat in the minors.
And while the Stars seemingly balanced their roster quicker than the Barons in a post lockout world, OKC is starting to put the pieces together after a brutal January. Having won the first three games in the month of February (along with lots of time to practice and a slowish schedule), the team gets a big test with back-to-back games starting tonight in South Texas.
The additions of Brett Clark, Jonathan Cheechoo, and hopefully Randy Jones and Darcy Hordichuk will aid in “getting it done” on the ice.
The Stars get at least one key piece back just in time to face the Barons. And that’s good news if you’re a fan of Texas. Despite playing really solid hockey, and having the best record in the league, they are knicked up. Colton Sceviour, Travis Morin, and Scott Glennie are all out with injuries. That’s a lot of TOI and offense sitting out. Nonetheless, the biggest motivator for the Stars is the return of defensive prospect, Jamie Oleksiak. The “big man” is a force to watch whether in the AHL or, most recently, in the NHL. He heads back to the minors just in time to face the Barons, and that makes things difficult for any opponent, but especially ones like OKC that have played from behind of late.
In net, Cristopher Nilstorp continues to be dazzling. With a save percentage hovering around .915, he’s a sturdy puck gobbler. He’s a problem for teams needing to score.
The good news/bad news moment for the Barons is knowing that the Stars don’t win as often at home as they do on the road, but the Barons are particularly dreadful on the road. This makes snatching at least two of the possible four this weekend of the utmost importance. Especially as teams in the Western Conference being to separate. After all, if the season ended today, the Barons would be in the ninth spot and a baby’s breath from the playoffs. Win now. Win later.
More good news/bad news. The Barons STILL own the best power play in the league. And the shedding of the “NHL guys” caused it to dip, and rightfully so. But in the last three, OKC has solidified its capability with an extra skater (5/15 in last three, not great, but not atrocious). That’s good. However, they continue to own the worst PK unit in the league. That’s getting better (4/9 in last three), but still seems to be the rusty spoke in the wheel of success. Penatlies have also gone down, thus keeping teams from having exponential time with an advantage.
Oklahoma City hasn’t beaten Texas since SchulEbsHall were playing in the minors. And this feels like a statement set of games for the farm team of the Oilers. They’ve strung together some great wins against good teams. Now they’ll look to string together similar results but against the best team. That’s a big undertaking.
Likely Starting Lineups:
Philippe Cornet – Mark Arcobello – Jonathan Cheechoo
Toni Rajala – Josh Green – Kristians Pelss
Dane Byers – Ryan Martindale – Curtis Hamilton
Darcy Hordichuk – Tanner House – Erick Lizon
Out: Antti Tyrvianen (back), Tyler Pitlick (knee)
Brett Clark – Taylor Fedun
Randy Jones – Colten Teubert
Theo Peckham – Martin Marincin
Out: Dan Ringwald (arm), Alex Plante (healthy), Nathan Deck (healthy)
Out: Niko Hovinen
For more info on the Texas Stars, visit 100 Hundred Degree Hockey. Game starts tonight at 7:30CST on Friday and 7:00CST on Saturday. Go Barons!