The Dallas Stars were just two wins away from winning the Stanley Cup this past postseason before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In theory, that means that Dallas is on the cusp of another deep playoff run, with the potential to reverse their fortunes and win it all this next season.
In reality, however, the Stanley Cup runner-ups don’t tend to follow-up with much postseason success:
That’s 17 of the previous 20 runners up that failed to win two playoff series in the season after losing the Cup. The only team to win the Cup the season after losing it was Pittsburgh in 2009.
Basically, I’m not sure how much you should factor in the playoff run when predicting next season.
That all being said, this particular iteration of the Stars has begun to grow accustomed to playoff success. f there’s a team that can break the pattern, Dallas is a decent bet:
The Stars believe they have figured out a way to build two teams at once: the team skilled enough to make the playoffs, and the team stingy enough to succeed in the playoffs... it’s tough to argue with that hypothesis given they’ve won four playoff series in the last two years. The last time the franchise did that was in the first Ken Hitchcock era.
You can read more about the Stars’ Cup aspirations among other topics in Matthew DeFranks’ most recent mailbag here.
Around the League
If you thought the NHL would have figured out a return-to-play plan by now, think again:
Ultimately, it all comes down to who blinks first — the players or the owners:
When a deal finally gets done, it might only be a matter of days before training camps. So many players, such as Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, are already hitting the ice to prepare:
A handful of NHLers have had a front-row seat to what’s quietly become hockey’s hottest show the past two weeks — Connor McDavid, awaiting the NHL's return, joining Auston Matthews on the ice in Arizona earlier this month.@FriedgeHNIC has the story:https://t.co/4oJ5Uf9azQ— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 23, 2020