With palpable excitement, the staff at Defending Big D put together their predictions for where the Dallas Stars will end the season. I think we’ve drank the Victory Green kool-aid, as nobody picked the Stars to finish less than 3rd in the Central Division, placing them squarely as a playoff team this season.
Let’s hope they don’t prove too many of us wrong this year...
Taylor: The Stars get off to a good start thanks to a favorable schedule, and get the time they need to gel together before the Central Division-heavy part of the season. 2nd in the Central.
Robert: Ben Bishop isn't a panacea, but health and depth among the skaters helps the team weather some early adjustment issues. They score a lot. 3rd in the Central.
Erin: I firmly believe last year was a consequence of the Stars massive run of injuries at forward, something that kept them from their favorite strategy of outscoring their problems. That offense should theoretically be back in spades this year, and whatever issues still exist on the back end after all the moves are minimized because of it. 2nd in the Central.
David: The offense is four lines deep, but thin at wing. Brett Ritchie, Mattias Janmark, Devin Shore, and Tyler Pitlick are not 40 point wingers either. Nor are they being anchored by playmaking centers (unless Jason Spezza is healthy all season, which I doubt). One player isn't gonna change the blueline completely, but it's literally one guy back there who can skate the puck out with vision and creativity to start the season. The Central won't be as good though, hence: 2nd in the Central.
Ann: Last year's injured roster was a fluke and I predict a return to the Stars norm of outscoring their defensive . . . well let's call them issues. Bishop may not be the goaltending savior the Stars really need, but he should be an upgrade from what they had last season. What the heck, I'm going big. 1st in the Central.
Derek: The Stars added some valuable pieces over the summer, but it's going to take some time for them to gel together. The offense will be potent again, but the defense and goaltending will have some of the same problems as last year. Just how well will Ken Hitchcock push this team's buttons? 3rd in the Central.
Wes: The Stars will find a way to lose to the Vegas Golden Knights in the home opener... and then go on to win like 10 of their next 12. The free agents address needs, and there will be mad regression (the good kind). 2nd in the Central.
Kathleen: This season, the Stars won't be tripped out of the gate by losing all their top 9 forwards practically all at once (still looking at you, Conveniently Timed World Cup). There's also promising depth on the blueline and a new emphasis on defense and transition play with Hitch and Co. Just add Bishop and stir. 1st in the Central.
Jordan: While the expectations seem wildly out of control, the Stars should still find themselves in the thick of the Central Division race for most of the season. I'm not sold on the idea that Dallas has remotely fixed defensive issues, mainly questioning the expectations of Esa Lindell and Bishop. With that being said, the offense is going to be entertaining and should be good enough to earn a playoff spot. 3rd in the Central.
Rob: Bringing in Hitch is a huge tool for both the offense and defense. Combined with a needed upgrade in goal with Bishop and a piece on D with Marc Methot, the Stars should see improvement there. The forwards do need to gel and learn the system of the new coach, but I don’t expect that taking very long. Also, I don’t see depth and talent that matches up to Dallas in the division. The upgrades up and down this roster should pay off nicely for Dallas. 1st in the Central.
Tyler: Ben Bishop and the defense struggle out of the gate, leading to countless stories about whether the team actually fixed any of its issues. But the Stars eventually find their groove and spend the rest of the season in the upper half of the division standings. 3rd in the Central.
Adam: It takes a month or two for the team to really grasp Hitchcock's new system, and for Hitch and co. to figure out who should play where. Come January-ish, the team really finds its footing and reminds us of the late 90's era Hitchock teams (with more scoring and less Derian Hatcher). I'm admittedly too optimistic. 1st in the Central.
Micah: The Stars hit the gates hard and fast, with the new talent and new system proving to be of vital success. Especially with a early schedule in the Stars favor, this gives them time to work any kinks out and get some confidence early. Mid-season, the Stars see a slump that shakes that confidence and causes concerns and the wheels on the train grind to a halt. With some adjustments and depth that is unmatched in the division, the Stars kick it back into high gear, get the wheels turning again and finish out strong. 1st in the Central.
Summary of Standings Predictions: