41 games in, and the Dallas Stars are on the bubble when it comes to the playoffs.
A quick look at the standings, and you wouldn't think so. But for anyone who has followed the team at all this year can tell that this team really is different from before. They are faster, younger, and are finally beginning to have a stable core.
Does that mean they will make the playoffs this year? There's no guarantee. Especially not when the pace for the 8th spot in the West sits at 105 points. But they are certainly much more exciting to watch, aren't they?
In addition, Dallas has added significant speed in Tyler Seguin and Valeri Nichushkin, and they rank fifth in shots on goal at 32.1 and 10th in scoring at 2.85 goals per game.
All indicators point to improvement, and while the Stars are still learning how to win, they believe that breaking a five-year playoff drought is possible.
The Stars probably need to hit at least 100 points, but that doesn't seem that much of a stretch as they are on pace for 94 after 41 games.
There are some great quotes in the article, so make sure to check the whole thing out.
And now for the rest of the links:
- Did you need some previews for tonight's game? Well, here you go! [Dallas News] [Stars Inside Edge]
- If you'd like to relive Saturday's matchup against the Red Wings, Heika has his observations from the game. [Dallas News]
- Mark Stepneski has his mid-season report as well, with a focus on what GM Jim Nill thinks about the team's progress. [Stars Inside Edge]
- How awesome would it be to be "the" emergency goaltender in all of Southern California? Ask Rob Laurie, who fills in as one every time Dustin Brown injures the starter. [Puck Daddy]
- Some Final thoughts on the last episode of 24/7. Did you tune in? [Puck Daddy]
- I linked to the Jersey Fouls on Saturday, but here's a special bonus: A player with his own name misspelled. The only thing worse than that might be misspelling a players' name throughout his entire career in a town, right Grossman(N)? [Puck Daddy]
- Here's my favorite article from each week -- Sean McIndoe's NHL Grab Bag. It never fails to disappoint, especially when it leads of with a typo every twitter fan loves. Seriously, how are we supposed to spell "shot" when they put the "i" so close to the "o" on the keyboard? [Grantland]
- It may be gimmicky, but it's still great. The Winter Classic is always fun to watch, and it's one of the things the NHL does right. Hopefully the upcoming stadium series won't ruin it. [Sports Illustrated]