The Dallas Stars continue their inexorable march

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

There was once a time when the Dallas Stars were twelve points out of the playoffs and were, depending on who you asked, basically left for dead in regards to a place in the postseason. No way they could overcome all of the delays and injuries, right? Well, after a 3-1-0 week that saw them play Detroit for four straight, the Stars are two points behind Nashville for the last playoff berth in the NHL Central Division.

Now, this isn’t to say it’s smooth sailing from here on out. In fact, the Stars will play the majority of their nine remaining games on the road and against teams who are ahead of them in the standings. The only exceptions are the final two games they’ll play in Chicago to complete the regular season, and the Blackhawks historically play well against Dallas regardless of their record. In other words, the Stars are going to have to earn it.

The Dallas Stars keep grinding away and are on the verge of a playoff spot.

But as I’ve said before, this is the Dallas Stars. “Easy” isn’t in this team’s vocabulary. They usually take the dramatic route, and this season is no different. If there’s any team that has cornered the NHL’s drama market, it’s them. And this is not new. With the Stars, it’s always something. Players being called out, coaches mysteriously fired, slow starts, delays related to the pandemic or weather, you name it. A lesser team would have folded by now.

So while the Stars have been the NHL’s hot mess for a while, it warrants some digging into the team’s makeup. They’ve been in the Jamie BennTyler Seguin era for years now, and to say the results have been mixed is a bit of an understatement. It’s not their fault, really, it’s just that the team never really came together like a lot of us thought they would, especially when they signed Seguin to be Benn’s running buddy.

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That’s not to say they haven’t had their moments, specifically when you take the last two seasons into account. Extended playoff runs will burnish a player’s legend. So while they fell just short of the ultimate prize last year, I would say it’s safe to assume that Benn’s legacy as captain will be judged kindly once he’s gone. Further, the front office has done a pretty bang up job when it comes to the future. Forwards Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson, and Denis Gurianov are established contributors. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen should man the blue line with elite-level talent for years to come. All of the aforementioned are twenty-four or younger. No matter what happens now, the future looks bright once the old guard moves on.

As for this season, it’s unfolding like a movie: a team beset by all the obstacles in the world somehow fights their way into playoff contention and becomes the squad no one wants to play once the playoffs come around. Make no mistake, as presently constructed, these Stars are built for the postseason grind and have plenty of players who are readily battle-tested. Oh, and guess what? Tyler Seguin will be back soon.

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Don’t get me wrong. The Dallas Stars could still fall short and miss out on the best playoff tournament in all of professional sports. From a personal standpoint, it would be a bit heartbreaking, if only because they’ve worked so hard and played through so much adversity to get to where they are now. But if this bunch finds a way in, then it’s been an wildly successful campaign by any metric.

  • Published on 04/26/2021 at 12:40 PM
  • Last updated at 04/26/2021 at 12:17 PM