The 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway, and the Dallas Stars are sadly watching from home like the rest of us. However, given the team’s struggles this season and their depleted roster, they might not have lasted long even if they had made the postseason:
The Stars could have made the playoffs this season, and to come up short is certainly a failure. But there’s a decent chance that playoff appearance would have been more of a cameo than a sustained run... Save for an absolute miracle, the only difference in the Stars sneaking into the playoffs as opposed to just missing them is the timing of stamping the season as a failure.
That’s why Saad Yousuf believes that when looking at the bigger picture, missing the playoffs might have been a blessing in disguise for Dallas. If the goal is to win the Stanley Cup, getting a long offseason for injured players to recover will go a long way towards a more successful 2021-21 season:
Hintz is set to have his surgery on Wednesday with a three-to-four-month timetable for recovery... Imagine that surgery instead coming in July and his recovery spilling into next season, as Seguin and Bishop’s surgeries did... Aside from some lingering questions about Bishop’s health, the Stars are projected to field a completely healthy team in October for the first time in what feels like an eternity. A full offseason helps in that regard.
You can read more from Saad here.
Around the League
Like I said, the playoffs are underway, and boy have they been fun so far:
- Kicking us off on Saturday were the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins, with the Capitals notching the first win 4-3 in overtime. [Japers’ Rink]
- Next, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins had a 4-3 overtime outcome of their own, with the Islanders taking home the win. [Lighthouse Hockey]
- Then we had another overtime game, with the Minnesota Wild finally getting one past the Vegas Golden Knights in a 1-0 victory. [Hockey Wilderness]
- It looked like we might go 4/4, but sadly the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to outduel the Florida Panthers in regulation, winning 5-4. [Raw Charge]
The next time the two Florida teams meet, will Sam Bennett be on the ice?
Panthers forward Sam Bennett will have a hearing Monday for boarding the Lightning's Blake Coleman in Game 1 between Florida and Tampa Bay.https://t.co/u4KzwqkrRY— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 17, 2021
Cale Makar has a strong case to win the Norris Trophy this year, even catching the attention of some all-time greats:
“You need a stud back there, and he’s definitely one of them."— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) May 15, 2021
Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is turning heads, even those of numerous NHL defensive legends ⤵️https://t.co/zFMURdpRWP
Former Stars goaltender Jack Campbell is the starting goaltender for a top Cup Contender. Never thought I’d type that out:
It was an expensive trade, but Anthony Mantha has been worth it so far for the Capitals:
The most shocking NHL trade this season sent Anthony Mantha from the Red Wings to the Caps.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) May 17, 2021
I talked to Anthony about the aftermath, and getting his first taste of Stanley Cup playoff hockey. https://t.co/q5tFv3WBxy
Finally, Hayley Wickenheiser is continuing to climb the corporate ladder: