The NHL All-Star Game is now over and so begins the official second half of the season. The Dallas Stars returned to action Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres in a difficult travel month. Hockey miles are coming up as many road games are this month. Halfway marks for the season are time to reflect and evaluate where your team is at. The Stars are in a great place and will need a strong second half to keep it that way. They are holding on to 1st place in the Central Division with the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche hot on their tail. Two wins after the All-Star game put the Stars atop the division. The Stars have a lot to do to keep their high hopes alive.
The Stars are averaging 3.65 goals per game. That’s a very solid number being 3rd best in the league. Depth scoring is there with at least six players recording 40 points or more. Jason Robertson leads the team in points with 52 in 52 games. He is the only player on the team that is averaging one point per game or more. This pace of his is far less than his mark of 109 points in 82 games last season. The Stars don’t need last season’s Robertson though. Scoring at will is not a problem for the best team in the Central and their 32-14-6 record. Perhaps their biggest contribution is Matt Duchene. He sits 3rd on the team with 48 points in 51 games. The Stars are unstoppable if they can get a little more offensive production.
Keep 1st Place
Keeping 1st place in the division is critical. Getting another banner in the rafters of the American Airlines Center makes this a successful season. The Avalanche and Jets are right behind them. Each of the three teams are leap-frogging each other for 1st in the division. The cards are on the Stars’ table now. The Jets are 3 points behind the Stars with 2 games in hand while the Avalanche are 2 points behind with the Stars having an extra game on them. Making the playoffs is critical for the future hopes of this team. The odds of them making it are extremely high but a division title is even better.
Life is good after the All-Star break. Winning the division is a short-term goal for the regular season. Winning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate prize. The Stars can get there as the A+ team they can play like. Right now they are at an A- but just a little boost down the stretch will make them the Stanley Cup-winning caliber team they are capable of.
Caption: Dallas Stars X