In case you’re wondering, the Dallas Stars are currently playing some of the best hockey of their season. We’ll get to their recent run of good play here in a moment, but even then, facts are facts. At this moment, they’re out of a playoff spot and coming off a loss against the lowly Arizona Coyotes on Sunday night.
With that said, there’s a lot to be encouraged about as the season prepares to enter its stretch run. To wit, the Stars won two of the three games on this recent road trip. You’ll take four of six possible points on the road any way you can get them, especially if one of those wins comes against a Colorado Avalanche squad that is running away with the West
Being a fan of the Dallas Stars usually means we’re not allowed to be happy.
Of course, since “we” as a group handle success so poorly, all it took was losing to the Coyotes to get Twitter riled up again regarding their feelings toward the head coach. You don’t hear a peep from them when things are going well, but any loss gets their dander up, and the drum beat to have Rick Bowness removed from behind the Stars’ bench begins anew.
I don’t know why, but it finally dawned on me in the past week or so. I always knew that the Stars’ fan base carried around a lot of mental baggage. Such is the case when the team underachieves on a shockingly regular basis. But I had to remind myself that at least a goodly portion of the fans are also supporters of that star-crossed football team a few miles down Interstate 30.
To that end, what we tend to witness is what I’ve started referring to as the most fragile fan base in the NHL. I hate to call out my Stars’ brethren. I’ve been there in battle, wearing my Victory Green and yelling “STARS!!” during the national anthem. I get it. I hitch my wagon to this team every season only to be usually let down. But that’s sports fandom in general.
Let’s not kid ourselves. We look like rank amateurs with our hand wringing and pearl clutching. Further, after having the same front office in place for such a long time, you know it’s going to take an egregious faux pas to get a coach dismissed midstream. As long as the Stars are even on the playoff bubble–and they most certainly are now–Bowness and/or General Manager Jim Nill aren’t going anywhere. The aforementioned football team should’ve taught us that lesson years ago.
Sure, it’s not ideal to lose to Arizona. They’re whale mess and everyone knows it. They’re also still a professional organization that pays their players. But if we’re going to bellyache about that, then we also need to remember to revel in wins like the one in Colorado. I think that if these Stars make the tournament, then that’s the team we’ll see more often than not.
So while it’s easy to get riled up after a loss, let’s keep in mind that this bunch is 9-4-0 in their last thirteen games. Believe it or not, that’s pretty good, and it’s indicative of a team that’s rounding into sharper form and focus. Can they still miss the playoffs? Absolutely. But they also have the every opportunity to keep up the good play and treat us to at least one series, and that’s all we can realistically ask for.