Peter Deboer to deploy secret weapon facing elimination in Game 6.
Josie Lepe/AP  

Peter Deboer to deploy secret weapon facing elimination in Game 6.

The head coach of the Dallas Stars is taking a big risk with his back against the wall.

Jonathan Larivee

The Dallas Stars will have their backs against the wall when they face the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final later tonight, with the Oilers holding a 3-2 series lead and the Stars facing elimination as a result.

Although the Stars may be down in this series they certainly don't feel like they are out, and head coach Peter DeBoer demonstrated as much on Sunday when he made a rather drastic change to his lineup. Deboer has opted to put former Stars first round pick Ty Dellandrea on the sidelines this evening, and in lieu of Dellandrea he will be bringing in a completely untested rookie forward.

This is no ordinary forward however as the forward in question will be none other than Mavrik Bourque, recently named the American Hockey League's most valuable player for the 2023-24 season as well as the league's leading scorer in that season as well. Bourque was dominant for the Texas Stars with 26 goals and 51 assists for a total of 77 points in just 71 AHL games this season.

In spite of his accolades in the AHL, this will be a giant step up for Bourque who has only ever played in one single game at the National Hockey League level prior to tonight. That game came earlier this year in a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks back in April, a far cry from the kind of environment he will face tonight with his team on the brink of elimination in a Game 6... in the Western Conference Final.

It is a big gamble on the part of the Stars head coach to be sure and that speaks to the fact that DeBoer may feel his offense needs a little more life if they are going to overcome what the Oilers have brought to the table in this series thus far.