The Dallas Stars missed a golden opportunity to move on to the Western Conference finals after falling in a peculiar Game Six.
First, some perspective. It’s fairly safe to say that if–back in December–the Dallas Stars were guaranteed a Game Seven in the Western Conference semifinals, 110% of the fan base would have signed up. At the time, the team was in turmoil, and a berth in the playoffs was considered possible, but not exactly likely.
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. The Stars, by virtue of yet another character-defining win on Friday night in St. Louis, had a chance to close out the Blues on home ice. The disappointing result, however, forces yet another excursion into enemy territory to try and close this thing out. Sure, it’s not what we wanted. But maybe this is what we need.
For what we have learned, ladies and gentlemen, is that this team doesn’t take the easy route. Is it frustrating? You bet. Is it maddening? As maddening as every early goal they seemingly prefer to give up. But as was partially the case on Sunday afternoon, this team will claw back into the picture by hook or by crook.
Granted, yesterday’s game took a peculiar turn in the span of thirty-three seconds in the third period. What may have been manageable at the time got away from them in short order. Goalie Ben Bishop took a rifle shot to the collarbone and fell in a six-foot-seven heap, got scored on while squirming in pain on the ice, and then gave up a breakaway slap shot goal before getting pulled.
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So with the team and arena suitably deflated, the proceedings assuredly took on a “Can we get this over with?” vibe over the last half of the third period. The Stars looked shell-shocked for the remainder of the game, and for the first time in these playoffs, really. For their part, the Blues more or less parked the bus themselves. It was as if both teams saw the Game 7 writing on the wall and simply wanted to play out the string without further incident. And maybe it was for the best. Mama said there’d be days like this, or something like that. Can’t win ’em all. Live to fight another day. Insert tried in true cliche here. They all fit.
The good new is that there is one last game to be played. Win or lose, this season has been a success. Would it have been a tremendous moment of awesome to see the Stars clinch the series on home ice? Of course. Clinching a second consecutive playoff series in front of the home crowd would’ve been too perfect. But what’s done is done. In fact, up until the time that puck rang off Bishop’s clavicle, it still could’ve been anyone’s game. It was simply another example of the four-to-seven act play that is every round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s high drama. It’s plot twists. It’s not good for your blood pressure or your liver. But what else would you rather be watching right now?
Now, as we sit here and ponder the Dallas Stars and their playoff mortality, it’s time to reflect a little on the journey to this point. While yesterday’s game stung royally, this team has repeatedly picked themselves up off the mat and given us something to cheer about when they needed it most. Tomorrow presents another opportunity to extend this unexpected run. Don’t be surprised if they have something left in the tank.
- Published on 05/06/2019 at 11:36 AM
- Last updated at 05/06/2019 at 11:36 AM