The Dallas Stars have the next few months to reflect on what went wrong in Game 7. In the meantime, Sean Shapiro has pulled together some of what went right – and what the team can build on for the future.
Unsurprisingly, Shapiro opens his last 20/20 of the season with a lengthy encomium for Ben Bishop’s heroism under fire:
It took a remarkable effort to beat Bishop in Game 7. If he saw the puck cleanly, it was stopped and controlled. Rebounds were limited. If he didn’t see it? He still stopped it and used every inch of his 6-foot-7 frame to build a wall, creating a mountain of frustrations for the Blues and their fans....
“Felt good. It’s one of those things — it’s do-or-die, right?” Bishop said. “You’ve got to be in a zone, otherwise you’re not gonna be around very long. Just try to keep it simple and play my game and focus.”
What now? Well, the Stars still have a first-round draft pick...and then there’s Mats Zuccarello:
With the loss, the Stars now have a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL draft in June. Had they won and advanced, the conditions on one of the picks in the Zuccarello trade would have been met and the New York Rangers would have received a first-round pick.
Re-signing Zuccarello would cost the Stars a first-round pick in the 2020 draft, but he’s an ideal fit for the organization. The Stars should do what they can to bring him back.
And the Miro Heiskanen ascendancy, plus the advent of Roope Hintz and Jason Dickinson as full-fledged NHL players, are cause for celebration, too:
The future is bright, with the window now just opening for players like Heiskanen, Hintz and Dickinson. The Stars also have the cap space to reinforce their team this summer as they try to find pieces to build sustainable long-term success.
There’s more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
The Stars adhered to a very humane model of grief yesterday. Rather than focus on the perfect words of comfort, they simply acknowledged that there aren’t any.
The day after Game 7, it's hard to look back at what this Stars team did this season.— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 8, 2019
It takes the players some time to put everything in perspective and we know it's the same with you. Thank you for everything you gave us during this run. Can't wait to see what's next. #GoStars pic.twitter.com/Kyxi1sc77W
The latest #HeyHeika looks to the future.
Mark Stepneski’s wife is all of us right now.
Watching Sharks-Avalanche tonight.— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) May 9, 2019
My wife just walked in: "Hockey? The Stars lost. Hockey is over."
Around The Leagues: Conference Finals Edition
Sharks defeat Avalanche in Game 7, advance to Western Conference Final https://t.co/epj2ByjizW— David Satriano (@davidsatriano) May 9, 2019
The San Francisco 49ers are most of the hockey world right now, because even if you hate the Sharks, you probably love Joe Thornton and want him to be happy.
And the night came complete with – wait for it! – an officiating kerfuffle. Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog lost a goal due to a sharp-eyed video coach and an arcane offside rule.
Here’s the NHL rule that nullified COL goal due to offside. Landeskog either had to tag up and clear the offensive zone before any teammates re-entered on the delay or he had to get both feet off the ice on to bench. One on bench and one on ice sealed disallowed goal fate. https://t.co/rFtWBcgpU7— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) May 9, 2019
Here’s former Star Brenden Dillon getting some love on his growth as a player.
Sharks d-man Brenden Dillon is one of the most improved players on this San Jose team over the past few years. Has really improved his skating. There's a guy that's put in the work and it shows.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) May 5, 2019
The Stanley Cup playoffs aren’t the only thing the NHL is working on. This year’s Global Series will travel to Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
The 2019 #NHLGlobalSeries will feature the @NHLBlackhawks, @NHLFlyers, @BuffaloSabres, and @TBLightning!— NHL (@NHL) March 21, 2019
Berlin: Blackhawks v. @Eisbaeren_B - Sept 29
Lausanne: Flyers v. @lausannehc - Sept 30
Prague: Blackhawks v. Flyers - Oct 4
Sabres v. Lightning - Nov 8-9 pic.twitter.com/6AX1AmYJyb
Remember the NHL Awards? Those are coming up, too. #BishopForVezina
Emmy Award-winning actor Kenan Thompson will host the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on June 19 https://t.co/0tmffg2h4x— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) May 8, 2019
Jeff K can have the last word.