Forgettable months are certain in the NHL. The Dallas Stars are storming past the floodgates of a bad February with several wins to start March. 3 in a row is not a bad start but it should have been 4. The Stars blew the game against the Calgary Flames with about 5 seconds left in the 3rd period. The Stars are now on a road trip as the schedule keeps chugging on. 6 games is the longest road trip for the Stars this year. Trekking across the United States and Canada amid a playoff push is the ultimate test. 6 games in 9 days are tough for any team but the Stars are playing all games on the road. Here is a look ahead at the road trip.
What Happened Vs. Calgary?
The team that eliminated the Stars last year in the playoffs is having no problem scoring in Dallas. That 5-4 Calgary win in a thrilling game prevented the Stars from a critical point. The back-and-forth affair seemed destined for overtime until it wasn’t. Tyler Toffoli scored on a breakaway in a tie game with under 10 seconds left in the 3rd period. Losing a game like that in the final minute is horrendous. The Stars had control of the puck until the blunder caused a breakaway and cost the team at least one point. This is not a good stepping stone into a road trip.
There is only one Eastern Conference opponent on this trip and the Buffalo Sabres are up first. The Stars are returning to where they won the 1999 Stanley Cup. The Kraken are up next after whisking across the country from Buffalo to Seattle. They’ll play 2 games in 3 days against the Kraken with some non-travel days in the city. Then comes the famous Western Canada swing against the Canuck, Oilers, and Flames. Several of these teams are on the playoff push.
Dousing the Flames
The Stars are returning to Calgary for the first time since Game 7 of last year’s First Round matchup. The Stars want to wash the heartbreak of a Game 7 overtime loss away with a win against Calgary. The Flames beat the Stars 6-5 after a 6-1 lead and this last time around became a thrilling 5-4 victory. The division lead is getting put to the test.
It’s too close to call at this point. The top 3 Central Division teams are within +/- .020 points percentage. This road trip is the ultimate trial this team will go through. 6 games in 9 days are enough to tire anyone out. Road trips like this could decide where the Stars end up. A bad road trip will result in the Stars possibly being out of contention for the division. They’ll need to collect at least 7 points out of the 12 up for grabs. Let’s see how they do but a good road trip will have them prepared for the playoffs.
Photo Credit: Dallas Stars Twitter