Everything appears to be on the uptick for the Dallas Stars. The additions of Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry helped address the depth scoring. The re-signing of Esa Lindell, Mattias Janmark and Roman Polak have ensured they kept their key players.
All of these moves have created a buzz around the Stars. With that buzz comes expectations and pressure this team has not dealt with as of yet. Making the playoffs and winning around was a success for the team last year. Anything short of making the Stanley Cup Final this season would feel like a failure given all the talent on this team.
A Hot Start
Building confidence early will be key for this team. Confidence is an area where it seemed the team lacked much of last season and accounted for some of their struggles. More importantly, a hot start also will give the team a cushion in the event of a slump. Load management, something normally attributed to the NBA. Picking spots to give some of the key players a night off may help save some of the veterans for the playoffs. Dallas’s injury history is a concern so anything to help reduce the wear and tear of the regular season could prove beneficial. It is something yet to be seen come to the NHL, but Dallas has never been afraid to start a trend.
Jamie Benn Being Jamie Benn
The Captain had a down season by his lofty standards. For the Stars to be successful, he needs to get back to being the physical, petty, skilled Captain the fans love. Despite a down season, Jamie still scored 27 goals. Benn will have extra motivation this season after being eliminated by the team he hates the most knocking him out for the 2nd time in 3 years. The clock is ticking, especially with a potential lockout looming, so the Captain will be hungry to lead the Stars to the promised land.
Dallas a defensively sound team for much of last season. The offensive struggles were a thorn in the side of the team for much of the year despite the defensive prowess on the team. The team was almost hesitant to shoot the puck for fear of a turnover. Taking risks is what can be the difference between winning a hockey game and losing. The Stars have smart, capable players on their team, they know how to take calculated risks.
Dallas is going to have to be willing to take more chances to generate more offense. Monty returning and the players having a full season together will make a difference. This team trusts each other and can build off early-season success to do some special things this season.
It is a long, grinding 82 game season. Dallas has Cup aspirations and they have all the pieces in place to achieve that goal. The Stars play in the toughest division in hockey so a quick start is important for the team. Jamie Benn is the leader of this team and his play is important for the team’s success.
The Captain needs to do what he does best and that is play a strong, physical game while mixing in his all-world level skill. Finally, take the risks and don’t be afraid to score. If Dallas can do all of these things, they may find themselves lifting the Cup in June.
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