This is the preview I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write for tonight’s game. The next two games to be honest. By virtue of the Nashville Predators beating the Carolina Hurricanes last night, the Dallas Stars are officially out of the playoffs this season.
So many places that you could try and place blame but I’m not sure how much any of it is warranted. This is one of those seasons where you almost have to throw up your hands and just say “oh well”. With so many games in so many days and all the injuries and Covid protocols and ice storms it’s actually quite remarkable Dallas was even in the playoff hunt so late in the season.
All of that can be, and probably will be, discussed at a later date. For now, the Stars have two more games to play. Neither of these games hold any type of bearing for playoff position so they’ll be two games built around pride.
Dallas Potential Lineups
Joel Kiviranta (25) - Roope Hintz (24) - Joe Pavelski (16)
Jason Robertson (21) - Jamie Benn (14) - Tyler Seguin (91)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Jason Dickinson (18) - Blake Comeau (15)
Tanner Kero (64) - Radek Faksa (12) - Denis Gurianov (34)
Esa Lindell (23) - John Klingberg (3)
Jamie Oleksiak (2) - Miro Heiskanen (4)
Joel Hanley (44) - Andrej Sekera (5)
Anton Khudobin (35)
Jake Oettinger (29)
As mentioned earlier, both the teams are playing for pride at this point. If you think either of them are going to roll over and let the other team win, you don’t know hockey at all. Especailly when you consider this is an old rivalry.
Chicago comes in, like the Stars, with much disappointment. After making the play-in tournament last year and upsetting the Edmonton Oilers, the Blackhawks were hoping to make that leap forward this year. That didn’t happen though.
Led by veteran Patrick Kane and his 64 points, the Blackhawks will soon be turning to a younger cast of characters. At 23 years old, Alex DeBrincat is turning into that player Chicago can turn to. His 29 goals easily leads the team and his 52 points trails only Kane on the team.
Chicago Possible Lines
Adam Gaudette (11) - Pius Suter (24) - Patrick Kane (88)
Alex DeBrincat (12) - Philipp Kurashev (23) - Brandon Hagel (38)
Dominik Kubalik (8) - David Kampala (64) - Dylan Strome (17)
Mike Hardman (86) - Mackenzie Entwistle (58) - Vinnie Hinostroza (28)
Nikita Zadorov (16) - Connor Murphy (5)
Wyatt Kalynuk (48) - Ian Mitchell (51)
Riley Stillman (61) - Alec Regula (75)
Collin Delia (60)
Malcolm Subban (30)