Every Stars fan wanted to see the team make the playoffs, including Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi.
Unfortunately, that did not come to pass this season, and now all that is left to do (Besides beating the Red Wings) is to analyze what went wrong, and how it can be remedied for the future. Gaglardi believes, as many of us did, that this team had the talent to make the playoffs. All of this in spite of it being a bit of a patchwork team.
After all, when your top three players are Jaromir Jagr, Jamie Benn, and Loui Eriksson, it's fairly reasonable to have those kinds of expectations.
There are a number of reasons that we can point to as to why Dallas fell just short again for a fifth year. Whether it was the young defense, the goaltending issues, or general belief in the team itself.
"First and foremost, I'm disappointed," he said by phone Friday from Vancouver. "My personal belief was that we underachieved and missed the playoffs. I felt we had a team right from last summer that was a playoff team. To me, this is a disappointing result."
However, he added that he's also encouraged.
"From a macro sense, I think we're in a great place," he said. "There were only two teams that played more rookies than we did, the Texas Stars are in a very good place in the AHL, I think we made great steps forward in marketing and in gaining traction with some of our corporate sponsors. I'm bullish on this team and where it can go from here."
Like many fans, he just felt it would get there a little more quickly. Gaglardi said he would not talk about personnel moves before the season is over and didn't want to discuss the performance of general manager Joe Nieuwendyk or coach Glen Gulutzan.
"There will be a time for that, but we're not even done with the season yet," he said.
Still, the two biggest decisions that will face the Stars could be made within the next week. Nieuwendyk has a year remaining on his contract, but the Stars have missed the playoffs in all four seasons he has been GM. The Stars have an option on Gulutzan's contract after two seasons and can simply choose not to bring him back as coach.
There will be plenty of time to dissect these issues and see how to fix them. In the mean time, let's enjoy one last game from the Stars as we know them, and hope that they can end things on a high note.
We hope to see you there.
Coming up in today's links: More notes on the Stars, teams prepare for the playoffs, and the Texas Stars are off to a great start.
- Mark Stepneski has his game preview for tonight, including a stats match-up of the teams. [Stars Inside Edge]
- I will try to be better about posting these in the future, but here are Heika's daily chats about the Stars. The links have a summary of a few questions, but you can read the whole chat as well. There are always some interesting nuggets to be found. [Dallas News/Dallas News/Dallas News]
- Matt Fraser has already headed down to Austin in order to get ready for playoffs in Texas. [Stars Inside Edge]
- The NHL Deathwatch will be focused squarely on the Stars game tonight. I hope they have a good reason to. [Puck Daddy]
- In the meantime, the Sharks are finishing their season against the Kings. And here are five great reasons why everyone hates the Kings. [Battle Of Cali]
- Here are the three stars from last night's NHL games. [Puck Daddy]
- Brian Burke has apparently filed suit against a number of internet commenters for their false accusations. That will be interesting to see how it plays out. [Puck Daddy]
- The Texas Stars began their playoffs last night. And the Stars won in dramatic fashion. Make sure you keep an eye on the scoreboard, as they play again tonight. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- For your video of the day, here is Brett Ritchie's OT goal. I can't wait until we can see things like this in Dallas again.