Heading into a five-game homestand, the Dallas Stars felt pretty confident. They had finally caught up to the St. Louis Blues for third in the Central, and their playoff chances were as high as 97% in some models.
Ten days and three points later, the Stars are now sitting just barely inside a playoff spot. They’re still heavily favored to make the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the margin for error has decreased drastically after going 1-3-1 at home:
“Missed opportunity. That’s really what it comes down to,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said after a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. “We could be sitting in a really comfortable position if we win three of five on this homestand, but we haven’t done that.”
Tonight marks the beginning of a four-game road trip for the Stars, starting with their final game against the Winnipeg Jets. And as Andrew Cogliano infers, it’s do or die time for Dallas:
“If you want to get into the playoffs, you have to be able to forget it and move on. We have to go on a big road trip now and come together as a team and win games. It’s as simple as that.”
You can read more from Mike Heika here.
Speaking of the road trip, guess who’s joining the team:
Josh Lile breaks down the key differences between Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton, who — despite being similar players — have produced very different results:
Matthew DeFranks put together a nice behind-the-scenes piece about the Stars’ broadcast:
Wild Wild West
The Stars caught some lucky breaks last night, although it could have been a bit better...
- The Arizona Coyotes failed to re-enter a playoff spot as they got shutout by the New York Islanders. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche picked up a point, but lost 2-1 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks. [Second City Hockey]
Like I said, Dallas is still favored to make the playoffs. But it could be a lot better:
West wild card standings pic.twitter.com/w6kN6wjqqn— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) March 25, 2019
This might be just me, but I feel Vezina voters way overvalue wins, especially when the goaltender plays on a historically great team:
With two weeks left in the playoff race, here’s a primer on all of the borderline playoff teams:
Finally, the Storm Surge is the best thing to happen to the NHL this season. Fight me.