Last year, the Stars missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years. Now, they’re the top seed in the Western Conference. It’s a great reward for what Lindy Ruff and the Stars’ ownership group have been working to build.
The Dallas Stars have lost three-straight games for the first time this season. They still have an eight-point lead over Chicago for the top spot in the Central Division, but the losing streak has to stop soon if Dallas wants to have playoff and Stanley Cup hopes come May and June.
The Dallas Stars are no doubt the most surprising team of the season. But Dallas has yet to really earn the respect that they deserve. Yes, those that do weekly power rankings have them at or near the top, as they should, but the hockey-knowing fan outside of Dallas likely could care less about the Stars being so high up in the standings at this point in the season. This next stretch of games, however, could change that.
It might be early, but if you look at the Dallas Stars schedule, you’ll see an odd peculiarity — a .500 record for the month of December. Can this team sustain this level of success, or is there a steep drop off coming up?
It’s not really a stretch to say that the next six games will determine whether or not the Dallas Stars will make the postseason this season.
Over the next couple of weeks, the Stars will square off against five Western Conference opponents, four of whom are above the Stars in the conference standings and the other, the Colorado Avalanche, is right behind by just three points.
And with such a schedule against teams they’re directly competing with for the eight postseason spots in the conference, this is a great opportunity for the Stars to gain ground and get back into the playoff picture.
When I last wrote about the Dallas Stars a few weeks ago about their really slow start to the season, I said that one of the reasons not to press the panic button was that there was still a long way to go in the season.
Now approaching the middle of December, that tune is still the same, but with little to no improvement over the past few weeks, the urgency to turn the season around has increasingly grown to the point where it’s almost imperative for that to happen in order for the Stars to stay in the hunt for the post season.
Despite losing in tough fashion in Game Six of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, giving up two goals late to fall to overtime and losing in the extra frame, the Dallas Stars had a lot to look forward to for this season. They had made the postseason, which most people didn’t think they would do. They pushed the top seeded Anaheim Ducks to the brink of a Game Seven. And the supposedly made good gains this offseason to make the team even better.
But a 5-6-4 start to the season has made all of than an afterthought.
A week ago this past Monday was one of the scariest situations I’ve ever witnessed. I wasn’t watching the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars game initially, but when I saw a local T.V. station tweet out a photo of the Stars hunched over an empty bench, I got over to Fox Sports Southwest.
What I was met with was silence. No noise in the arena. No sound from the television broadcast.
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