The Dallas Stars’ 2023 campaign is over.
A season that saw the guys advance to the third round for the second time in four years.
After going down 3-0 to the Vegas Golden Knights in the west finals, the Stars went down in six after two wins facing elimination.
A season of improvement from 2022, new franchise records, and a game seven victory vs. somebody other than the Colorado Avalanche.
Consecutive Playoff Berths
For a second straight year, Dallas made the playoffs. Consecutive playoff berths have not been common for the Stars since the years of the great Mike Modano. It looks to continue, and the possibility of winning that silver trophy is very real.
This year Dallas was two wins from reaching the Stanley Cup finals. Last year, the Stars were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. No matter how you slice it, the Stars improved from last season. Dr. Seauss once wrote words of wisdom that can resonate with Stars fans in 2023. Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.
New Franchise Records
A first happened for the Stars happened when Roberson became the first in Dallas to record an 100 points season. Tallying 109 points on 46 goals and 63 assists to finish the season, and a first in Dallas’ history.
In a single playoff series, Joe Pavelski clinched a Stars’ franchise record for goals. He did it here vs. the Seattle Kraken. He was still scoring goals, such as the OT winner in game four vs. the Vegas Golden Knights.
During the regular season, Wyatt Johnston tied James Neal’s mark for goals scored by a rookie in Dallas history with 24. This is another guy that the Stars want to keep around for years to come.
The Kids are Alright
Miro Heiskanen, Roope Hintz, Jason Roberson, Jake Oettinger, and Wyatt Johnston. These five guys are the core of the team who propels not only one of the top four teams in the NHL today but a potential Stanley Cup champion in the near future.
Since the 2019 season, the Stars have been a regular in the postseason, and the only exception is an injury-riddled, compacted 2021 season. Dallas has been in the playoffs four of the last five years and has advanced past the second round three of those four appearances.
The biggest team highlight of the season took place on Monday, May 15th. Where Johnston celebrated his 20th Birthday in style. With a belated gift wrapped to himself, Johnston scored on what would turn out to be the game-winning goal, where the hockey world saw the Stars’ rookie lead his team to be the first-ever team to close out the Kraken in the NHL playoffs.
Pete DeBoer’s Debut in Dallas
Last but not least, Pete DeBoer had his first season behind the Dallas bench, and he made good on it too. Stars general manager Jim Nill hired DeBoer for more goals, which worked out very well.
After being on the losing end in both of the western conference finals in 2020 and 2023, DeBoer should be more focused and driven for next year.
Maybe he even finally get his ring to compliment his long NHL coaching career.
“The important part is when you don’t win, have you established building blocks that you can build on for next year? And I think we did that,” DeBoer said.
“It didn’t just catch fire during the playoffs. It felt like that all year. I felt like we were a legitimate contender all year. And it’s a good feeling to have.”
Photo:: Dallas Stars/Twitter