Last night the Dallas Stars lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, again. They racked up their fifth consecutive loss, again. The fact that they’re still in the Stanley Cup playoffs race, in a broad technical sense, is perhaps the only surprise left in the 2021 season.
Lest that factoid fool you, The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks examined the razor-thin path remaining to the Victory Green Gang in his postgame article:
With a loss in regulation in any of the final three games, at Tampa Bay on Friday and at Chicago on Sunday and Monday, the Stars will be eliminated. With a Nashville win in either of its final two games, the Stars will be eliminated....
In order to make the playoffs, the Stars would have to go 3-0-0 if Nashville goes 0-1-1. The Stars could afford to go 2-0-1 if Nashville loses twice in regulation to Carolina. The Predators own the tiebreaker between the teams.
Is it any help that this particular 6-2 loss came with a lineup that’s...almost healthy?
The lineup the Stars used Wednesday night was the closest they are going to get to a full roster, with the addition of Dickinson and the inclusions of Denis Gurianov and Hintz. The team is still managing injuries, so calling this the healthiest lineup of the season would be a misnomer, but the Stars were only missing three players due to injuries: Alexander Radulov (core surgery), Ben Bishop (knee surgery) and Stephen Johns (head).
Gurianov was doubtful to even play Wednesday night, as Bowness said after morning skate that the Russian winger “probably won’t play” due to an upper-body injury that forced him to miss Saturday’s overtime loss in Nashville.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Here’s your regularly scheduled “I like the way we played” statement.
Rick Bowness: "The commitment to this team from our players has been fantastic. I know it's disappointing we lost tonight, but we're still in the hunt, we're still in the race."@ATT | #GoStars pic.twitter.com/xav2XL6S8m— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) May 6, 2021
That being said, it’s still good to know that players like Joe Pavelski are not planning to start the offseason early.
Around The Leagues
- The Nashville Predators kept the Stars’ playoffs hopes alive, technically, by losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 4-2 game. Thanks, I guess...? [The Cannon]
The New York Rangers are back in the news this morning – this time for a shakeup in the front office.
The Rangers fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton. Chris Drury was named president and GM. MSG Sports chairman James Dolan said, "For the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership." https://t.co/Ib5i2e6uNp— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) May 5, 2021
So, $5,000? That’s the going rate, right?
Pavel Buchnevich will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. The Rangers forward is facing discipline for high-sticking Capitals forward Anthony Mantha. https://t.co/icgXnR7j7n— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) May 6, 2021
Is it time for a Washington Capitals story that isn’t disgusting? T.J. Oshie’s bittersweet hat trick is a pretty good palate cleanser.
An emotional TJ Oshie on the bench after scoring a hat trick in his first game since his father's passing pic.twitter.com/zGRfGF2YPP— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 6, 2021
It’s past time for another cool story from the U18 Worlds. The Briganti twins will receive you now.
The Los Angeles Kings have been on mute for so long that it’s nice to be reminded Anze Kopitar is still there and doing things like this.
For the 1,000th time, @AnzeKopitar has found the score sheet.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 6, 2021
The @LAKings captain collected an assist to improve his career totals to 346-654—1,000 (1,124 GP) and become the eighth active NHL player to reach the milestone. #NHLStats #1Kopitar pic.twitter.com/uo8gmIWl5O
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
It’s official: Hot prospect Mavrik Bourque is on his way to Austin Metro.
The hockey community really does take care of its own – even if it takes six years. Enjoy.