The Dallas Stars rode as far as they could, but they arrived on the doorstep with nothing left. That Game 6 loss in the Stanley Cup Final may hurt too much – at least for Stars fans – to actively partake in luxuries like perspective and rational evaluation. Especially when the ultimate prize was close enough to touch.
But in this year of all impossible years, with the ill-starred injuries and unlikely victories and a pandemic thrown in, it’s still possible to relish what was so nearly possible.
Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika bids a long goodbye to the Stars’ run. There’s a lot of ground to cover, but let interim head coach Rick Bowness provide some of the high points:
“I’m very proud of our players and the organization. We left everything we had on the ice, and from a coaching perspective, that’s all you can ask,” Bowness said.
“That’s why we’re in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Nobody expected us to get here, but we believed in ourselves, and we were committed to each other.
“We had team play and great camaraderie and great leadership and they pushed this team as far as it could go.”...
“I’m proud of our players. They gave us everything they could,” Bowness said. “Was there enough in the tank tonight? No, there wasn’t. But it was a credit to our players to get to Game 6.”
There’s more at Mike’s place. [Dallas Stars]
Sean Shapiro gives his final report from an impossible season.
Stars 20/20: Great stories don’t always have happy endingshttps://t.co/1EvP7Gn6T1— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 29, 2020
He also offered this heartbreaking anecdote about the Captain, post-game.
Jamie Benn took three questions, second one he couldn't even answer when asked about what this team meant to him. Pretty overcome with emotion. Incredibly human moment for Benn that says more than anything he could actually say into the microphone— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 29, 2020
The Stars may have come up short, but they created some indelible memories for many more than just their fans.
In the years to come when I reflect on this Dallas Stars team, I’ll remember John Klingberg back checking like hell, the game already lost, as Barclay Goodrow raced toward an empty net.— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) September 29, 2020
Til the clock struck zero and the red carpet hit the ice, there was no quit in the Stars.
Remember the good times? There were plenty.
It hurts now but remember the amazing ride:— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) September 29, 2020
1) Joe Pavelski scoring the 1st playoff hat trick in @DallasStars history with :12 GM #4 vs CAL
2) Denis Gurianov with a Texas Hat Trick vs CAL Game 6
3) Joel Kiviranta Game 7 vs COL
4) Gurianov OT GWG vs Vegas
5) DOBBY, DOBBY DOBBY !!
And here’s proof, if more were needed, that Real Recognizes Real.
Great fight @DallasStars You guys can be proud— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) September 29, 2020
In this house, we stan this legend. Forever.
"There's no feelings right now. Just empty," Anton Khudobin said about the loss. pic.twitter.com/RshnPGv40B— Taylor Baird (@taylordbaird) September 29, 2020
Around The League(s)
This is really nice (if you can forgive the lead photo) – the NHL and Sportsnet dedicate their finale supercut to the personnel who made Bubble Life possible.
The highly anticipated annual playoff montage included an extra cut dedicated to the people behind the scenes whose hard work made the bubble possible. https://t.co/vM313AqYMS— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 29, 2020
Also at NHL.com: The Arizona Coyotes are going to be #MurderDeathKill-mates sooner rather than later. Let’s catch up with their new GM.
Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong, hired Sept. 17, is the subject of the latest "Five Questions With ..."https://t.co/bDrJYf7BCl— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 29, 2020
And all of a sudden, free agency drops onto the stage like a ton of bricks. Emmy Sadler takes a look at the best available centers, from Jason Spezza to – wait for it! – Cody Eakin.
With NHL free agency looming, Sportsnet is breaking down the top names available at each position. First up: @EmmySadler highlights 10 centres who look set to garner the most interest on the open market. ⬇https://t.co/qII0hO4Gn1— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 29, 2020
Some teams may need free agents more than others. Steven Ellis and Matt Larkin discuss what the off-season might look like for the Calgary Flames and the Buffalo Sabres.
Which NHL teams will be the busiest this off-season?https://t.co/SBitTx813X— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) September 29, 2020
Keep remembering those good times...including this loving message from @DallasStars.
From @AACenter to the Edmonton bubble, thank you for being there every step of the way— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) September 29, 2020
You truly are the greatest fans in the world pic.twitter.com/T3l0390GBa