Dallas Stars: How the pandemic-induced layoff may have helped

The Dallas Star may see some benefits from the mandatory intermission this season.

When COVID-19 interrupted the 2019-20 NHL season, we didn’t know what to expect going forward. We didn’t know how long the Dallas Stars would on mothballs, we didn’t know when, or if, the season would resume, and we didn’t know what it meant for their postseason chances.

But now that the NHL season is on the cusp of returning, Dallas Stars fans can look back and appreciate the timing of the layoff and how it may ultimately be helpful to the Dallas Stars.

In no way is this to meant to paint the good side of a global pandemic. I think everyone would gladly trade the current health crisis for any perceived advantage a sports franchise may have. Rather this speaks to the effects of a midseason layoff, and how it could greatly benefit the Dallas Stars this season.

Stop the slump

In case your have forgotten, the Dallas Stars were on one heck of a slump when the season was paused. It’s hard to tell when they would have naturally pulled out of that nosedive but it’s safe to say the sudden stoppage offered the fastest possible relief.

Much like a major league team will put a slumping player the IL (injured list) to shake things up, the layoff offered the Dallas Star a change to shake things off and correct course. That six-game losing streak now seems like a lifetime ago and the Stars are ready to hit the ground running.

Solve Problems

One problem that was facing the Dallas Stars all season was Joe Pavelski’s fit. The top offseason addition was struggling to find his place and the Stars were struggling to find linemates to match with him.

The hiatus has given Dallas the ability to assess and the Stars think they’ve now solved the Pavelski riddle. Dallas has also reconstructed Seguin’s top line in hopes it will elevate the stagnant offense.  So far so good on both fronts.

Rest the Players

Did you know the Dallas are the oldest team in the NHL playoffs? With an average age of 29.4, the Stars aren’t built to last down the stretch of a long season. As we’ve seen in the recent past, key players have been hobbled by the time the playoffs begin. While younger teams are just hitting their stride, old teams like Dallas appear to be going through the motions.

With the layoff, nearly the entire roster is fresh and ready to play. Sure, so are other teams, but at a time when the Stars always seem to be more beat up than the competition, it’s nice to see everyone on equal footing.

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Next: Pair of elite goalies give the Dallas Stars a decided advantage

Whether all of these benefits actually manifest and bring positive results remains to be seen, but the Dallas Stars are served well by a midseason break and should be able to put their best product on the ice next week we resume real play.