Dallas Stars miss out on 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Stars season came to an end on Monday night in Chicago. However, their playoff hopes ended a few nights earlier in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Stars were in a tough spot and needed some help in order to shock the hockey world and clinch a playoff spot. They needed to go on a winning streak while the Nashville Predators lost a few games allowing the Stars to catch up. Dallas lost the first four games of their seven-game road trip while Nashville continued to pick up points tightening their stranglehold on the fourth seed in the Discover Central Divison. After Nashville defeated Dallas in their final head-to-head matchup of the season, the Stars now needed a lot of help going into the final weekend.

Dallas Stars miss the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dallas found a way to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2 in a must-win game on Friday night which not only gave them some revenge on their Stanley Cup Final foes but also kept their playoff hopes alive. All eyes now turned to the Nashville Predators vs Carolina Hurricanes game on Saturday night. If Nashville picked up more than one point against Carolina in its final two games, Dallas would be eliminated. The Stars still had their own business to take care of in Chicago but if Nashville defeated Carolina on Saturday, their fate would be decided.

As the Predators have done since their resurgence midway through the season, they found a way to win when they needed it most defeating Carolina 3-1 at home and effectively ending the Stars season in Chicago.

The Stars joined only a handful of teams that missed the playoffs following a Stanley Cup Final appearance and they know it is disappointing.

"“There was an awful pit in my stomach after the end of the game [Nashville vs Carolina], much like when we lost in the Stanley Cup Final last year,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “Those things stay with you, they do. The disappointment of not getting in after everything I just described that we went through, you can’t put that into words. It’s an awful feeling in your stomach, and it’ll never go away.”"

Bowness however, also praised his team for all of the adversity they battled through during this tough season. Through COVID cases, winter storms, a plethora of injuries, and mountains more, the Stars found a way to stay in the playoff picture until the final days of the season, an achievement in itself.

"“This team has played very hard all year,” Bowness said. “We’re very proud of the way these guys have competed. With what we’ve had to face in terms of schedule and injuries and constant shuffling of lineup, this team has played very, very hard, and they played very hard for each other."

Dallas was able to finish the season on a high note with a 5-4 comeback win in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night. It was fitting that the Stars held a large shot advantage and still trailed in the game. It was fitting that the pesky Stars stuck to their guns and made a third-period comeback.

It was fitting that key players were blocking shots late in a meaningless game at the end of the season. And it was fitting that the season ended in overtime, the very thing that defeated the Stars 14 times this season and kept them from the playoffs.

"“For them to come up with that kind of effort, A – it doesn’t surprise me and B – it shows what we’re made of,” Bowness said. “This team has been competitive, it’s worked, it’s sacrificed, it’s exhausted, I can tell you that. And they still found a way.”"

While the season ended on a high note with Jason Robertson scoring the game-winner, it was mixed feelings as the season still had come to an end.

"“It’s a mixed feeling right now,” Jason Robertson said, on the emotions of the overtime victory. “It’s nice to finish the season off with a win, especially with the 14 losses in overtime and shootouts. It’s kind of a neat thing to finally overcome that and win the last game in overtime, but it’s kind of a weird feeling coming back to the locker room. You just won the game but the season is over.”"

More from Dallas Stars

There are plenty of headlines to digest this offseason. From free agency to the NHL Draft, the Seattle expansion draft, key players recovering from injury, and so much more. There is no doubt that there will be a lot of moving parts before the puck drops in October. We will dive deep into all of these components in the coming weeks but for now, the Stars are going to rest and recover after a grueling 56 games in 108 days.

They will be disappointed in the outcome of the season but can hold their heads high knowing that they gave every last bit of energy and effort to their teammates and coaches. Cheers to a fun 2021 season…

Next. Dallas Stars: Mistakes push them further from playoff contention. dark

light. Related Story. Dallas Stars keep believing as playoff chances fade

May there never be one like it again.

  • Published on 05/12/2021 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 05/11/2021 at 23:33 PM