Since 2019, the Dallas Stars have found themselves not far off from winning it all.
In the past decade, we have seen two other teams walk that same line; the San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights.
One team came up short of all the marbles, and the other broke through. This Stars team wants to end up as one of those teams who had their share of falling short before finally winning it all.
Already a Couple of Deep Runs
In 2020, the Stars made it to the final round before bowing out to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. This past season, the Stars made it to the west finals before losing to eventual Cup champs in Vegas in six as well.
Before Vegas won it all in June, they suffered a Finals loss and a couple of semi-final losses. In the last five years, the Stars aren’t that far off from that. Also, the Stars don’t want to put up many impressive seasons like the Sharks did, especially from 2016-2019.
They fell short, losing in the finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and three years later, losing to the eventual champs in the Blues. Ageless Wonder Joe Pavelski doesn’t want a repeat of falling short like that
Contender Out West
With most of the lineup intact from 2023, the Stars should be one of the front runners out west again this coming year—good news for a team who made it to the conference finals. Falling two games short of the Stanley Cup finals should provide an extra spark to make that jump. And if the Stars face the Golden Knights again, it will be Dallas who should have the revenge factor come that time.
Undoubtedly,t the Stars should be able to build off last season’s trip to the semis. For the Stars to win the west, Pete Deboer will need to make an extra push in his coaching. That itch to win his first ring is the x-factor DeBoer will have too.
Finish the Job
Over the last five years, the Stars have fallen to a Cup winner three out of the previous five years—2019 vs. the St Louis Blues in the second round.
Where Dallas (barely) lost in seven games, Stars fans surely have had what-if moments after this shot, s well as the previous mentions of the runs in 2020 and this past year.
Looking at the Stars’ roster, there’s an elephant in the room to address. Regardless of the praise, Ryan Suter gets from coaches and management, his play on the ice has consistently been the team’s weakest link. Inconsistent at best, Stars’ GM Jim Nill (who just won General Manager of the Year) has plenty of time to make a trade or a buyout.
Unless Suter makes a remarkable improvement, Jake Oettinger was a top-five goalie last season and will also want a better playoff performance for his team to win the holy grail.
Photo: Vegas Hockey Knight