If you have read any of my other posts...you could classify me as being a full-blown pessimist. I absolutely am, and normally default to, being a pessimist, but today I try something different.
In the spirit of a new half of the season (24 games left) I will try to be optimistic.
A couple of reasons I am looking up:
1. Glen Gulutzan has said several times after practices and during post game interviews that this team will try to be better at game 10, then they were game 1. And also better game 20 then they were game 10.
I can't claim that the team at the beginning of the year is better than it is right now. It certainly is better looking than most of their early games have been.
2. These Dallas Stars win games they probably shouldn't against good teams (or at least gain points against them). OT loss to Chicago, Comeback win over Vancouver (Dillon!), 3-1 Wins over the Ducks AND Sharks, not to mention 5-2 Win over LA Kings and a 4-1 win over the Blues.
Granted....they have also lost some stinkers along the way...but remember, we are being optimists here.
3. I am really sick of being down on this team. Dallas has stopped (for the moment) of taking stupid penalties, have cut way way back on the retaliation penalties (Jamie Benn's not withstanding). They play a really good tempo game, create scoring chances from at least 3 lines on any given night, and they have some tremendous rookies and second years that are blowing away expectations.
Now, onto the remaining schedule...
next 4 games: Goal = Survive (4,5 pts. out of 8)
all at home; Nashville, Anaheim, Chicago, Calgary. All teams we have lost to (with exception to Anaheim, but they are leading our division). These are 4 games Dallas could lose. If this team is an 8th place team, they should probably win (2) of them, Nashville and Calgary. Knowing Dallas, they'll lose to both Nashville and Calgary, but beat Anaheim and Chicago. Would just go right along with their season.
next 9 games: Goal = Gain as many as Possible ( 12, 13 pts. out of 18)
Big bunch here, but they only play (4) teams over these 9 games: Colorado, LA Kings, Minnesota, Anaheim. Dallas Has beaten 3 of these 4 and played the other (Minnesota) to a 1-0 loss earlier in the season. Good chance to gain a lot of good quality points over teams that are right in line with Dallas.
Final 11 games: Goal = Just Keep Swimming ( 12, 13 pts. out of 22)
Bigger bunch here, but Dallas finishes the season with San Jose (3 times), LA Kings (2 times), Vancouver (1 time) and everyone in the central division one time each. Could be quite interesting, especially considering how close all those teams will be next season.
They are at 26 pts right now. The expected cut off line right now is 54 pts (I got this number from every teams points percentage carried out to the end of the season and taking the median number of those numbers) . If they do the above...they end up with 54-57 pts. It is not impossible to think they couldn't do this, especially considering they have looked better at each tier of the season. If they continue this trend...they may have a chance.
GO STARS. Come hell or high water, my elation or devastation...I will support you till you are mathematically secured a spot, or eliminated from contention. Life is too short, and the season is even shorter.