As part of our look back at the season that was, the DBD staff has put together a Top 10 list of the best moments of the season, moments that occurred within the course of the year that were highlights of this particular team and it's fight to the playoffs. They're ranked from 1-10, and we'll present them in reverse order, leading up to the top moment of the 2013-2014 season.
Heading into this season, one of the questions many people had was how the Dallas Stars would fare with such a young and relatively inexperienced roster. Just look at the number of guys that were being relied on to be key parts of this team who are 25 or younger:
Jamie Benn, 24
Antoine Roussel, 24
Kevin Connauton, 24
Cody Eakin, 23
Brenden Dillon, 23
Alex Chiasson, 23
Tyler Seguin, 22
Valeri Nichushkin, 19
There was only ten seasons of experience in that group, combined, before the start of the season. Ten!
Now add to that relative inexperience new coaches, a new system, new team mates, new cities/languages...that's a lot of 'new'. For some, there was also the added pressure of being expected to be bigger presences from their previous roles.
They seemed to be putting it all together when Rich Peverley had has cardiac event in early March. The first thing that went through most minds was the health and well being of Peverley. The second was probably a thought of gratitude for the medical attention he got immediately.
Somewhere along the way, after being assured that he was doing well all things considered, it dawned on us all that this team had a game to play not 24 hours after watching their brother-in-arms collapse on the bench at home.
How were they to push through everything that had just happened and grab two very much needed points at this critical juncture of the season? We'd seen lesser adversity kill the mental fortitude of Stars teams past. And nobody would have faulted them for not being able to go out and give it their 110% effort the very next night.
What they did, instead, was show the hockey world just what kind of team and organization is being built here in Dallas.
Resilient. Determined. Mentally strong. Competitive.
They went out and beat the best in the west (St Louis hadn't really hit their funk yet at that point) and gave themselves two big points and, more importantly, brought themselves together after such a shocking event to overcome.
They couldn't have honored their fallen comrade any better than that.
So thank you, Jamie Benn, for that fantastic overtime goal scored against Ryan Miller and for giving us our top moment of the season.