Admittedly, the Dallas Stars have been an incredibly streaky team this season. The door has swung both ways as well. They’ve enjoyed separate winning streaks of seven games and two four-game runs, but they’ve also had losing streaks four, five, and three games. Inconsistency has been their frustrating calling card.
All the while, the rest of the Western Conference has begun to run away and hide a little. As of right now, the Stars are in a tie for the eighth seed and final wild card spot in the West with 48 points. The next lowest seed, in terms of points, is the Los Angeles Kings with 53 points.
It might be hard to believe, but the Dallas Stars can write their own script.
Now, that five point margin might not seem like much, especially with so much of the season left to be played. But when you factor in that there are essentially six teams fighting for the last Western playoff spot, you don’t leave yourself much room for error. This is the reality for the Stars as the season hits the halfway mark.
As you might imagine, there is a faction of the fan base that wishes for wholesale change, specifically with the head coach and general manager.
I, for one, don’t think it will happen, but I’m not tied into the organization in any capacity, so who knows what will ultimately transpire? I also think that we, as fans, tend to marinate on the negative and easily forget the positive moments.
This isn’t to absolve the team in any way. On paper, they should be talented enough to be higher in the standings. They’ve got some highly paid veterans that are past their prime, and the return hasn’t matched the investment for years now in some cases.
Also, they’ve largely been carried by one scoring line all year, and everyone knows a hockey team needs goals from more than one line to have a realistic shot at true contention.
The good news is that, through all the peaks and valleys, the Stars are barely through half of their season. Last night’s 6-1 demolition of Boston was game 42 of the year. It was also a nice bounce back after the mess they made Friday night when they retired former defenseman Sergei Zubov’s number with a lot of the old Stanley Cup guard in attendance. To be sure, this weekend provided a microcosm of their fortunes to date.
The silver lining in all of this is that this roster is currently littered with players who are battle tested in the Stanley Cup crucible. Also, of all leagues, the NHL has long proven that all a team needs to do is find a way into the tournament. From there, all bets are off, and you could be sure that the Stars would be a tough out.
They have to get there first, though. A wise man once said “You are what your record says you are.” Right now, the Stars are a bad week away from being on the outside looking in, and they’re barely in right now as it is. That’s not the place to be when you allegedly have designs on making the playoffs and embarking a run once there. But they still have forty games to dictate their own fate, and for a team that loves drama, they’re setting the stage for yet another nail-biting conclusion.