January is the month when NHL teams reach an evaluation point. Each team is around the halfway point of the season and some are contenders. The Dallas Stars are one of those contenders with a 25-11-6 record on the season. The division-leading Stars are looking for something more in terms of trophies. Other teams are also vying for hockey’s ultimate chalice. Plenty of other contenders fill the field to match up with the Stars.
Boston Bruins (32-4-4)
It’s the Boston Bruins’ World and we’re living in it. The Bruins are running away with the President’s Trophy on their 32-4-4 record. TD Garden has not seen a regulation loss by the Bruins this season with their 19-0-3 home record. Them in the Stanley Cup Final is not out of the realm of possibility. David Pastrnak and Jason Robertson facing off is quite a show. Both are nearly equal in stats. Many teams are contenders but the Bruins are the current favorites.
Carolina Hurricanes (25-9-7) and Toronto Maple Leafs (25-9-7)
The Eastern Conference is a powerhouse this year. The Stars may win the Western Conference and see one of these teams in late May or early June. Players like Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews, and Martin Necas are names the Stars don’t see much. They’ll get real familiar with them over the course of a playoff series just like in 2020 with players on the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Stanley Cup Final has a knack for turning teams that are not used to each other into rivals.
Vegas Golden Knights (27-13-2)
Another team that are the Stars’ equal is one they’ve seen in the playoffs before. The Vegas Golden Knights already have a playoff history with the Stars. The two current best teams in the Western Conference could meet again in the playoffs, possibly in the Western Conference Final like in 2020. The Stars dispatched the Golden Knights in 5 games back then. Another Western Conference Final between the Stars and Golden Knights could prove another rambunctious affair.
Seattle Kraken (24-12-4) and Others
Perhaps the biggest surprise of this NHL season are the Seattle Kraken. Their 24-12-4 record is way better than last season where they finished with only 27 wins. The Kraken can be a contender too with 17 of their players recording 10 or more points on the season. It’s important to look at other teams the Stars can play against because they have what it takes for a long playoff run.
Focus on the Stars
The Stars are a great hockey team who can play against any opponent. The expectations for their season change compared to the start of the season, going from playoff hopefuls to a contender. Anyone can win the Stanley Cup this year. The Stars have high hopes but there is a long way to go until someone lifts the Stanley Cup. Let’s enjoy the last half of the season.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter