The Dallas Stars are first in the Central Divsion and fourth in league overall standings while tied with the Colorado Avalanche for points at 68 through 51 games.
Since Jan. 6, the Stars have been one of the best teams. According to moneypuck.com, the club has tied division rivals Colorado and the Winnipeg Jets for highest points above point per game pace.
Points per game pace describes how many points above .500 a team is in the standings. At the beginning of the season, every team is zero points above point per game pace. For example, Colorado had 10 points through five games, giving them five points above point per game pace, or five points above .500 record (i.e. 5-5-0).
In the past four weeks, Dallas has recorded 19 points above points per game pace. That’s really good. The Vancouver Canucks are the only team to perform better.
Expectations were high coming into September. There is no denying that the players and coaches felt like their 2023 playoff run was cut too short. After losing the first two games, the Stars rallied in game four against the Vegas Golden Knights in the western conference final. Despite facing a 3-1 deficit entering game five, Dallas pushed the series to six games before being eliminated.
“You expect more out of yourself in situations like this,” Joe Pavelski said following the game six loss.
“It sucks. Your season’s over,” Jamie Benn said.
“Real disappointed for our group, not in our group, four our group in the way the season ended… It shouldn’t end that way, feel that way, but that’s hockey,” head coach Pete DeBoeer stated.
The Stars are a contender this year. They are not a playoff team or dark horse, but a serious contender for the Stanley Cup.