2021-2022 enters the history books of Dallas Stars seasons. Johnny Gaudreau ended their campaign with an overtime goal in Game 7 of the First Round. The players on the ice and bench during that goal was the last time all these guys will play together on the same team. Sweeping changes are already made with more approaching. One of these is Rick Bowness no longer Head Coach of the Stars. The team “mutually” parted ways. The Head Coach search begins now. Elite players emerged while some aspects of play lacked. The 2021-2022 Stars are in the past. It’s time to take a brief look back on an eventful season and what went right and wrong.
Players of the Year
Nothing needs saying other than the names Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger. Robo and Otter were the players of the season. Robertson’s 41 goals in 74 games this year are the best in this franchise since 1994 when Mike Modano scored 50. No one in Dallas has scored more in the same amount of time as Robertson in 28 years.
The other best player led the Stars to seven games against the Calgary Flames. Jake Oettinger is the player of the short stint in the playoffs. Oettinger played out his mind against the potent Flames’ offense. His 30-15-1 record in the regular season is tops in a chaotic goaltender carousel. His playoff numbers of 1.81 GAA and .954 save % have Stars fans eager for next season.
These 22 and 23-year-old players are the most important keys to the future of this franchise. Both of them are RFAs now but the Stars have just over $17.5 million in cap space to spend. The 2017 NHL Entry Draft class is looking mighty fine in Dallas.
Where it Went Wrong
It depends on how you define success is where this season ranks. Making the playoff is a big success factor and the Stars did just that. The Flames were the heavy favorites against the Stars. The team in victory green took the Flames to overtime in Game 7. Many didn’t think the Stars would get there after how the Flames dominated offensively. 14 goals in 7 games is what railroaded the Stars all season long. 2.9 goals per game in the regular season translated to 2.0 in the playoffs.
Depth Scoring Became Season Critical
The depth scoring is what ended the Stars’ season. The top three forwards made up the 1st line of Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Jason Robertson. These three scored 105 of the 238 team’s goals this year. That is 44% of the goal total. The depth didn’t help in the playoffs. Everyone not on the top two lines combined for four goals in seven games. The Stars didn’t have the scoring this year, especially with what happened to the Flames next. The Edmonton Oilers eliminated the Flames on Thursday. The Oilers were able to score 25 goals in 5 games against the Flames. Connor McDavid and the Oilers are on a warpath after his series-winner in overtime.
Farewell to Some
Changes are already made. Rick Bowness is out at Head Coach. John Klingberg, Braden Holtby, and Alexander Radulov are some of the players no longer under contract. A busy offseason is already in full swing. Get ready for Free Agency on July 1st. Reminder that $17,544,167 is available in cap space.
While not the best year it was still better than some. Making the playoffs makes this a successful season. They proved that they can win even with the odds stacked against them. This franchise can use this year as a building block to a bright future. The 2022-2023 Stars have a massive offseason ahead. The next few months will decide what direction this team will go. It’s time to put 2021-2022 behind them.