The Dallas Stars are riding the kind of winning streak they haven’t enjoyed since the beginning of the 2021 season. But is it too little, too late to return to the Stanley Cup playoffs? That depends on what they do with the next three weeks – and whether they get a little help from their closest competitors.
With races all over the Honda Central Division too close to call, The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks took a look at what could happen if the Stars end up in a tie on points with the Nashville Predators. It almost certainly won’t be good:
Should the Stars end up tied with Nashville in points, the first tiebreaker is regulation wins. Dallas has 16 while the Predators have 17. That gap may very well close if the Stars continue to play well and wrap up games in regulation, especially against the Red Wings on Thursday and Saturday.
If the Stars and Predators are tied in regulation wins, combined regulation and overtime wins is the next tiebreaker. The Stars have been famously impotent in overtime this season, going 1-6 in games that end in overtime (plus 2-6 in shootouts). As a result, the Stars only have 17 regulation and overtime wins to Nashville’s 20. That’s a bigger hill to climb in the final 11 games, though still doable.
The Stars head to Detroit riding a four-game win streak that matches a season high, set when the team began the season 4-0-0 in January. Dallas finishes the season with nine of its 11 remaining games on the road, including a seven-game trip to end the season.
“It’s a little bit more mentally draining when you’re losing, so obviously if you can win those games, it makes your mental game a little easier and you don’t have to think so much,” Jason Dickinson said.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
What if a bunch of #Disco beat writers paneled on this? Saad Yousuf can show you.
— Preds are getting incredible goaltending.— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) April 21, 2021
— Stars are getting healthier and more consistency.
— Blackhawks are in the thick of it with two big games against the Preds this week.
Who gets the final playoff spot? @AdamVingan, @MarkLazerus and I discuss https://t.co/tfkCZRywac
Don’t look now, but Jason Robertson is attracting some national attention in the Calder Trophy race. [NHL]
Captain Jamie Benn didn’t get much fanfare in the metadata, but he does get the lead-off position in this week’s Top 10 Goals collection.
And prospect Oskar Back just got his ELC.
Around The Leagues
- The Chicago Blackhawks gained two points on the Stars, but also took a point from the Nashville Predators with a 5-4 comeback win in OT. [Second City Hockey]
Meanwhile, where the other half lives, the Vegas Golden Knights just nailed down their own spot in the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Golden Knights beat the Sharks to become the first team to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.https://t.co/XS2cziGeJS— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 22, 2021
No relaxation of COVID protocols, no agreement for NHL participation in the Beijing Olympics, and no flying to Boca Raton: this week’s GM meeting in bullet points.
NHL COVID-19 protocols, the schedule for next season, and the 2022 Olympics were discussed during the annual GMs meeting Wednesday.https://t.co/FhPqIpncPB— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) April 22, 2021
Another day, another COVID cancellation – but this time it’s the 2021 Women’s World Championship, which was days away. Hailey Salvian examines the reaction. [The Athletic]
The IIHF received confirmation from the provincial government of Nova Scotia that the #WomensWorlds in Halifax and Truro will be cancelled, due to safety concerns associated with #COVID19. https://t.co/NvomePTZr0— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) April 21, 2021
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Texas Stars are on break until next Thursday, but that just leaves them more time to celebrate Neil Graham’s birthday.
Jasons recognize Jasons. Enjoy.