“They’re deep.” 
– Jared Bednar, head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, on the Dallas Stars after the visiting Stars defeated Colorado, 7-4, on Sunday night.

 “They’re a different animal than some of the teams we’ve been playing. They’re a wagon.” 

Coach Bednar had no shortage of praise for Dallas. Bednar’s counterpart in the Lone Star State, Pete DeBoer, has pressed all the right buttons and encouraged players to grow.

For example, Oettinger lifted his save percentage to 0.903 and lowered his GAA to 2.83 following an alarming slump earlier this season. Wyatt Johnston shattered his rookie points total and is six away from reaching the 70-point mark.  Free-agent acquisition Matt Duchene is on pace to produce offense like he did as a member of the Avalanche. Because of all this and more, the Stars can hit opponents line after line, pairing after pairing. 

Dallas is Overwhelming Everyone

The Stars are 9-1-0 in their last 10 games, forging their path to a divisional title and claim to the top seed in the Western Conference. Within the recent 10-game stretch, the club has recorded a franchise-best eight-game win streak, and key players have stepped up.

Jake Oettinger posted two shutouts and is undefeated (Scott Wedgewood stood between the pipes during Saturday’s loss), and sniper Jason Robertson collected four goals and six assists for 10 points. 

President’s Trophy State of Mind

Forget conference; the Stars have their eyes set on being the best. 

“It’s what we worked all year for, and obviously, we went on a run last year, and we know how important getting those home games is… it’s not every year you can say you’re trying to win the Presidents’ Trophy,” Oettinger told NHL.com Correspondent Kevin Woodley.

Dallas has won the trophy as the top-regular-season team in the NHL in 1997-98 and 1998-99, winning the Stanley Cup in 1999. The game has shifted since that time. It’s faster, there’s more scoring, and defensemen can’t intimidate opponents from standing in front of the net the same way.

However, this year’s squad of Stars are is one of the best in franchise history, arguably the greatest assembled.

With victories against top-notch opponents like the Vancouver Canucks (3-1 on Mar. 28), Edmonton Oilers (5-0 on Apr. 3), and Avalanche, they are poised to make a deep run.

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