If you are a Texas native, especially north Texas, you all know Six Flags over Texas. Six Flags is a well-established gambit of theme parks spread all over North America that is mostly known for its wildly unique roller coasters.
You buckle up and hold on tight as you are catapulted the twists and loops and turns at upwards of 70 to 100 mph, and if you close your eyes, you feel just like a Dallas Stars fan did last season.
I was fortunate to spend some time chatting with Saad Yousuf, who covers the Stars for The Athletic, and he shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming season with a reminder of just how wild of a ride Stars hockey has been in recent memory. Buckle up and please keep all hands and feet inside the car at all times.
The season began on October 3, 2019. (Yes. That long ago.) It would spark one of the most lackluster starts in Stars franchise history as they would scrape out a 5-8-1 record. Not to mention losing Blake Comeau and Roman Polak in the season opener. Polak was stretchered off but would return later in the season. They lost that game against the Boston Bruins on and off the ice.
Then there was November.
November of 2019 saw the Stars in a new light. The victory green team would march through the month of Thanksgiving with a 10-2-1 record.
All was right in Dallas. Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov were an almost unstoppable top line. The tandem of Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin was top tier in the entire league. The ship had been righted and head coach Jim Montgomery was steering Stars hockey towards a big December.
Or so we thought.
On December 10, 2019 head coach Jim Montgomery was dismissed from his role and was replaced by assistant coach Rick Bowness. No one saw this coming. The players and fans all shared the same bewilderment for days as rumors and stories speculated. When the reason behind his departure was revealed it was upsetting, to say the least. (I am happy to say as of now Monty has addressed his issues and has found a new home coaching with the St Louis Blues organization.) Interim head coach Bowness would take the reigns and lead the Stars to finish 2019 with a 7-4-2 record in December.
Did I mention Dallas hosted the Winter Classic on New Years Day? (Which they were victorious in. Winner winner chicken dinner.)
Nothing could possibly go wrong for a franchise that had already been through so much, right? Wrong. So wrong.
The Stars would unknowingly wrap up their campaign in March of 2020 with a six-game losing streak. The NHL would then suspended play on March 12, 2020, before ultimately canceling the remainder of the season on May 26. Fast forward to August of 2020 and the NHL finally resumed inside of two bubbles. Yes, the Stanley Cup would be decided in the Subway five dollar footlong Liberty Liberty Liberty NHL double bubble toil and trouble. (I may be exaggerating a touch.) The Stars would once again be no stranger to drama as they faced and defeated the Calgary Flames in six games.
Oh and in that game six, they were down 3-0 within minutes and won 7-3. The series with the Colorado Avalanche was no exception as it took all seven games and some kid from Finland scoring a hat-trick to put Nathan MacKinnon to bed.
Surprisingly, the series with the Vegas Golden Knights to become the Western Conference Champions was the least dramatic of all the series.
Western. Conference. Champions.
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) September 15, 2020
Unfortunately, we know how this season ended. The Tampa Bay Lightning would end up hoisting the Stanley Cup, but hey, did I mention our starting goalie was out for pretty much the entirety of the playoffs? Or that the world was able to see our absolute gem of a human being who just so happens to be nicknamed after an elf? No? Well, that too. Needless to say, the Stars’ previous season was an absolute riot in the best way possible.
So what we are starting the season a bit late? Some teams in our division would love to have their record look like ours right now.
That was just one loop around the roller coaster, on Friday night, we go again.
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