For three consecutive years, the Dallas Stars have been a Stanley Cup playoff team.

As the old saying goes, in the playoffs, you need your best players to be your best players.

The Stars might be the deepest team in the NHL.


Let’s look at two forwards, a defenseman and a goaltender who can catapult Dallas deeper into postseason play.


Jake Oettinger

Starting with the goalie, Jake Oettinger appears to have put inconsistent play behind him.  Just in time for the playoffs, Oettinger has been playing his best hockey of the season.  Dallas doesn’t quite need him to be the 2007 edition of Marty Turco.  If Otter continues to play as he has been since March, the Stars might be adding cup number two after June.

One person who believes in Oettinger, no matter the ups and downs, is Oettinger himself.  His self-confidence has spearheaded his best play of the season as 2024 winds down.  Otter’s great play in net includes consecutive shutouts and 34 wins with one game left in the season.

Miro Heiskanen

Looking back at the playoffs in 2020, Miro Heiskanen was the Stars’ best player when they last made it to the Stanley Cup finals. If Dallas had been able to shell out two more wins that year, Heiskanen would have been your Conn Smythe winner.

While this season, Heiskanen hasn’t scored as many points as many would have expected, it hasn’t hurt the team in collecting wins this year.  As of late, Heiskanen has been heating up offensively.  That is a good sign for Stars fans. Today, against the Seattle Kraken, Heiskanen contributed on every goal scored by Dallas in their central division-clinching win.

Wyatt Johnston

The leader in goals scored needs to be one of the best for Dallas, too. Wyatt Johnston would be putting up ridiculous numbers if he were playing for a basement dweller such as the Chicago Blackhawks (aside from maybe the plus-minus stat). It’s still hard to believe for some that he didn’t win the Calder Trophy last year.

The Stars are happy to have him. At only 20 years of age, Johnston can jumpstart the Stars this postseason, like Nick Suzuki with the Montreal Canadians in 2021 when they went on their Cinderella Stanley Cup finals run.

Joe Pavelski

Perhaps the most deserving amongst the Stars’ roster of a championship is Joe Pavelski.  Adding a Stanley Cup ring would be a perfect addition to their future hall-of-fame career that Pavelski is having.  We don’t know when Pavelski will retire. Turning 40 later this year, Pavelski will be more determined to win the elusive championship ring.

Playing on a line with Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson, Pavelski looks to capture his playoff form like he had back in 2020. The deeper the run, the more you rely on your veteran players to pull through when the lights shine the brightest.


Ommissions

Photo: —

With Deboer’s many, many weapons at his disposal, the Star who shines the brightest might not be one of the four aforementioned guys. Thomas Harley, Logan Stankoven, and Mat Duchene could break through and lead the Stars into June. The captain, Jamie Benn, is also playing his best hockey of 2024.

Oettinger is the starter, but if he were to miss time due to injury or struggling in the net, Scott Wedgewood stepping in isn’t entirely unlikely. Back in 2020, Anton Khudobin led the Stars into the Stanley Cup finals four years ago when Ben Bishop got hurt.


Photo: ClutchPoints

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