Landon Bow has focused on playing quietly this season. He said it’s almost like playing "brain dead."
In his first full year in the AHL, he’s playing as "brain dead" as he can — in the best possible way.
The goalie leads all rookies with 11 wins on the year and he is in the top five in games played, minutes, goals against average, and save percentage. He’s already eclipsed his number from his limited time in the AHL last season.
“I try not to think as much,” he said. “You don’t want to burn your eyes through that puck. Control the controllable things really. I’ve just been working hard. I'm getting a lot of help from the teammates and we’re focusing on what we got to do and barring down on our opportunities.”
Bow has made at least 23 saves in every game dating back to Nov. 25, including a season-high 40 saver performance in a 5-4 win at home against the Cleveland Monsters on Dec. 16.
Stars head coach Derek Laxdal said the addition of Jim Bedard — who worked with the Detroit Red Wings for nearly 20 years and was hired in the summer — has helped improved Bow’s skating and allowed him to be more powerful from post to post.
“It’s part of the growth pattern,” Laxdal said. “He’s had some games where he’s giving up four or five goals and he’s had some games where he’s been incredible.”
Bow went on a streak that spanned more than two weeks from late November to early December, winning seven of eight games. He began it by stopping 19 shots in the first period of a 2-1 overtime win against Chicago and followed it up with a 28-save game in a 4-1 win in Cleveland.
As a team, the Stars have tightened up defensively from a season ago. After finishing near the bottom of the league in all major categories, Texas has the ninth best power play percentage at 19.9 percent and has allowed 118 goals.
“A lot of Grade-A chances that we used to give up before,” Bow said. “We’re really cutting those down and giving them only a few chances each game. We’re doing a good job on our odd-man rushes and that’s cutting down the shot total overall.”
When the season began, veteran Mike McKenna was supposed to be the top starter. Instead, McKenna has been called up to the NHL a couple times and Bow has made six more appearances than the former sixth-round pick.
Texas hosts the Bakersfield Condors for two games Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. before beginning a six-game, 13-day road trip beginning Wednesday in Bakersfield.
When Bow wasn’t in Texas last year, he was with the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL and was named to the league's All-Rookie Team in 2016-17 after leading the league with a 2.08 GAA finishing second with a .933 save percentage.
This season, he’s taking full advantage of his time in the AHL.
“I’m learning more how to be an AHL pro now,” Bow said. “This year, with the full-time goalie coach, it’s been a really good development for me. It’s helped to build my confidence and it’s been a good run here and it’s been a lot of fun.”