Many critics will say that it’s a long shot.
History is also not on the side of the Dallas Stars to make it back to the Stanley Cup Final, but it’s been done before.
The Pittsburgh Penguins did it after losing in 2008 and responding by winning it in 2009. But this is a different team and a different time. All that aside, we’re breaking down what it’ll take for the Stanley Cup to come back to Texas.
What got the Dallas Stars did to get to the final round last year can get them there this year. For the Stars, defense is the biggest key. Head coach Rick Bowness recognized what got the Stars into a deep playoff run.
He stated what changes were made before the playoffs in the bubble.
“If you’re watching our drills, in every drill we do, our D is coming. We’re not changing from that. Our defense is a huge part of our offense. Our defense is a huge part of our forecheck. We can’t spend any time in the offensive zone unless we get our defensemen involved. So in that regard, a lot of the drills we did in July are the same drills we’re doing now.”
Goaltending is also going to be about as huge. On some days more. Anton Khudobin is fresh off signing a three-year deal to remain with the Stars. Dobby was the goaltender who got the Stars two wins from the Stanley Cup. He’s also fresh off leading the NHL in save percentage for the 2020 regular season. When healthy, Ben Bishop is a top-five goalie in the game. Jake Oettinger is the third-string goalie. But he already has Stanley Cup playoff experience backing up Dobby and filling in for Bishop.
Next up; forward depth. Veterans Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, and Tyler Seguin highlight a group of forwards when the switch is on. Defensive forwards like Jason Dickinson, Radek Faksa, and Blake Comeau add timely goal-scoring too.
Last but not least, the young guys. Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, and Joel Kiviranta are the future and the present of this group. Along with Joel Hanley and Ty Dellandrea.
Rick Bowness and his coaching staff got the Stars to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. He can guide them there again. After the firing of Jim Montgomery on December 10th of 2019, Rick Bowness led a team that weathered that storm and got the team a second straight playoff berth.
Coach Rick Bowness will have a lot of key depth to work with, which will pay dividends, while Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop will be out until the spring.
The Dallas Stars are currently having issues with covid-19, which involves seventeen players. This is a fluid situation that could impact the NHL season in many different ways. Every team is going to deal with injuries and probably various viruses and infections. We might see every team with at least one player testing positive for covid-19.
The Stars’ schedule postponed until January 22nd at home vs. rival the Nashville Predators could be a blessing in disguise. Even with a more pressing portion at the end of the schedule for makeup games vs. the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s still worth it.
The Stars can be healthier and buckle down for hopefully playoff positioning.
Following the myriad of injuries, the Stars piled up during last year’s playoffs.
Featured Image: Tony Gutierrez/AP