Today, the Dallas Stars find themselves five points out of the last Wild Card playoff position.
After each game since the trade deadline, the players have been stating that they are not out of it yet. After last night’s win — a rare two-road-game win streak, even — Patrick Sharp had this to say about the Stars’ chances at a playoff spot:
If the Stars actually figured out a way to make it into the playoff picture being this far back at the end of the season, it would be one of the craziest things to ever happen in the league, honestly.
Early in the season, this five point gap wouldn’t feel insurmountable. However, with 16 games left in the season, that gap might as well be 100 points. In order to overcome a five point gap on the St. Louis Blues (the team currently sitting in that last playoff spot), the Stars would have to do better than the 5-5-0 record they have in their last 10 games.
Since the trade deadline, the Stars are 2-1. If they can keep that pace over the next 16, or obtain a 10-5-1 record, that would give the Stars only 85 points. St. Louis would then only be able to obtain 16 points in their last 18 games, or basically only eight wins in that time frame.
That’s not that far fetched on St. Louis’ part, though. They’ve gone 5-5-0 in their last 10, which would put them on pace for 18 points over their last few games. If they continue to slide like they have been, the Blues could open the door for the Stars to make a run at the last playoff spot.
However, this team has not shown at any point this season they can go on a 10-5-1 run in my mind. Maybe with the pressures off, they could finally put it together. However, I think it’s more likely that they end up putting together enough of a run to get everyone excited about a potential last playoff spot acquisition, but fall just short.
That five points is just a little too much to make up this late in the game.
They’re not eliminated by any stretch yet, which is one of the goals of the NHL in this parity league. But it feels like little more than false hope for Stars fans this year.