What we learned from the Dallas Stars No. 3
This Team Will Never Quit
Dallas had every reason to fold on the 2021 season. They were hit with a COVID lockdown before it even began, crushed by massive blackouts in the worst winter storm Texas has seen in years, decimated by injury after injury forcing Bowness to constantly shuffle his lineup on a nightly basis, and they saw Carolina, Florida, and Tampa Bay all shoot up to the top of the NHL standings with some of their best seasons in years.
With all of that being said, it would have been easy for the Stars to go through the motions and ride this thing out quietly. They did not do that one bit.
After dropping significantly behind in the standings due to games-in-hand and poor play, they clawed their way back to playoff contention. Every time they were knocked down or it seemed like the end, they found a way to get the necessary points to stay within reach.
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Playing four games in six nights nearly every week in the most condensed schedule in the NHL, they found a way to give their best effort in every game. In games such as against Nashville where they had nothing left in the tank and faced a rested Predators team that could put a stranglehold on the playoff race, the Stars found a way to sacrifice everything before falling 1-0 in overtime.
Even in game 56, once their fate had already been decided, they fought until the very end. If fans are in need of any hope for this team moving forward, watching them block shots to kill off a four-minute double-minor penalty in overtime should just about do it. They simply would not quit resulting in a comeback win to end the season on a high note.
"“What we went through is unheard of, but I give our players credit,” Rick Bowness said. “Even though it doesn’t show itself in wins and losses, sometimes you have to look at other measures, and the commitment we had from our players was second to none.”"
All that surround this Dallas team are disappointed that they will not get a chance to defend their Conference Championship, there is no doubt about that.
However, there were glimpses of glory amidst the terrors that were the 2021 season and there is much to look forward to for the Dallas Stars.