For the last several years (at least), the Dallas Stars have had the mindset of “just make the playoffs.” That it doesn’t matter if it’s as a runaway division leader or by squeaking in as a Wild Card — you just need to make the playoffs and you have a shot at the Stanley Cup.
Reality, however, shows that the teams that actually win the Cup are almost always members of the so called “Cup Contenders” tier. But luckily for Dallas, they just might be there this season:
...an NHL contender typically checks at least four of these boxes: 100 or more points, top 10 in both special teams, top five in goals-for percentage, top five in expected goals-for percentage, top five in SRS... and reached at least the second round of the playoffs the previous year.
Spoiler alert: Dallas checks four.
Now, given the team’s history, it’s understandable for Stars fans to be skeptical, if not outright pessimistic. But things really are different this year under head coach Pete DeBoer:
Players want to be creative, and the more creativity you can coax out of them, the better they can manage both ends of the ice... DeBoer has tapped into that process, making it no wonder that fans are celebrating the success of so many more individuals than just Oettinger and the top trio...
You can read more from David Castillo here.
One of the other big reasons the Stars are soaring? Jason Robertson is a legitimate Hart Trophy candidate:
Saad Yousuf answers more of your questions in the second part to his latest mailbag:
Dallas Stars’ first-line future (organizational depth at right wing), Denis Gurianov’s chances, sustaining success, ceiling for this season, DeBoer vs. Bowness, more: Mailbag, part 2 https://t.co/n9QbpbwdGA— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) November 23, 2022
Matej Blumel has been loaned back to Texas, with Fredrik Karlstrom taking his place:
Around the League
Greg Wyshynski takes on a new list of possible “overreactions” to the season and judges if they may have merit:
The NHL has reached the quarter mark. Let's wildly overreact to what's happened so far!— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 23, 2022
In my column, testing 10 theories about the Devils, Bruins, McDavid, Matthews and more. Plus, what I'm thankful for in hockey. Thanks for reading. Happy Thanksgiving!https://t.co/n8ROuVTMly
It’s never going to happen, but please note I am firmly team Ryan Reynolds:
There's lots of jockeying for position by financial heavyweights and a wide range of potential suitors in the mix to buy the Ottawa Senators.@HockeyScanner looks at some of the known interested parties. https://t.co/jD87b7lNdG— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 22, 2022
Finally, a grim reminder that we still have a long way to go until hockey is truly for everyone:
Ohio State hockey player Kamil Sadlocha "will not practice or compete at this time,” AD Gene Smith said Tuesday.— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) November 23, 2022
Michigan State’s Jagger Joshua said a Buckeyes player called him “a racial slur multiple times” in a game earlier this month.https://t.co/FQEaMZJumm