The Dallas Stars are now (finally) halfway through their 2020-21 NHL season. 28 games in, they currently sit sixth in the Central Division, five points back on the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks for fourth place with four games in hand.
Of course, games in hand mean nothing if you don’t actually win them, which the Stars have had trouble doing lately. Head coach Rick Bowness feels the team has been playing well, but knows all too well that they’ve left points on the board:
“But for the 28 games, five-on-five, we’ve played very, very well. As a team, we have. Have we lost points because of our inability to finish? I think it comes right down to that. We could be four or five points better, easily. But we are where we are.”
Dallas could easily turn things around with a strong second half to the season. But they could also crash and burn just as easily, especially as injuries continue to pile up:
Roope Hintz was already a perpetual game-time decision with a lower-body injury, and Alexander Radulov has now joined him in that distinction. The last we heard about Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop and their possible return was less than a week ago, and the update from Bowness was that “neither one of them are close to practicing with the team.”
You can read more from Saad Yousuf here.
The Stars suffered from even more injuries yesterday as Radek Faksa and Joel Kiviranta both exited the game:
Injury-plagued Stars lose Radek Faksa, Joel Kiviranta against Predators https://t.co/e90RPCYrKC— SportsDay Stars (@dmn_stars) March 22, 2021
Here’s what else Rick Bowness had to say about yesterday’s shootout loss:
Rick Bowness on the team's shortened bench due to injury: "They sucked it up and worked their butts off. They gave us everything they could tonight, and it’s very disappointing we lost a point in the shootout, but, listen, our guys tried very very hard. @ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/kYrNlB8Zfz— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 22, 2021
Despite the loss, there was still cause for celebration as Rhett Gardner scored his first NHL goal:
If you didn’t know, Joe Pavelski has been working on a new media company in his off-time lately:
New Monday column! Joe Pavelski is having a career season on the ice. He’s also trying to change the game with a new sports media company.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) March 22, 2021
Here’s more ⬇️ https://t.co/7a11msPWXY pic.twitter.com/74zCEzE6Fn
Around the League
A solid performance by Curtis McElhinney led the Lightning to a 5-3 win over the Panthers https://t.co/y8xjB3J5LV— Raw Charge, a Champa Bay Lightning web site (@RawCharge) March 22, 2021
In case you’ve already given up...
The NHL Draft is scheduled for July 23-24, and there is much to monitor before the No. 1 pick is announced.— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) March 22, 2021
Our NHL Draft Tracker has analysis from @coreypronman and @scottcwheeler and the latest news updates on draft-eligible players around the world ⤵️https://t.co/8g4p4vcfJB
Pretty cool thing happened last night:
The @ontarioreign formed pro hockey's first all-Black line in more than 70 years on Sunday with the trio of Akil Thomas, Quinton Byfield and Devante Smith-Pelly.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 22, 2021
Led by a natural hat trick from Thomas, they finished the night with a total of six points.https://t.co/fR5OpBswo5
Finally, fan proposed trade ideas area always fun because they’re almost always awful:
We asked fans to share their best trade proposals to answer one question: Who says no?@CraigCustance brought 18 proposals from Twitter to NHL executives for reality checks. The best part? We even got one accepted by an exec doing the evaluations https://t.co/ajgjFwaPXL— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) March 22, 2021