If you didn’t see this coming...well, you must be a Dallas Stars fan. Once again, the Victory Green Gang has gotten hot at a fortuitous time, and here they are in the very thick of the Central Division’s playoffs battle – not as a wild-card hope, but as a solid contender.
The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks examines the Stars’ recent run of, well, stellar play against its divisional foes, and reports that the players are knocking down their milestones and setting new ones:
“Now is the time of year when you really start looking at [the standings] more,” Stars forward Tyler Seguin said. “We know our situation with how we’ve been on the road this year, and how we’ve been in the last 10-11 games.
“We know where we’ve been as far as catching Nashville. Not looking too far ahead, but also looking at St. Louis now. Just setting new goals every day and never taking a day off as a group, or becoming complacent as a group.”
Fans may still be wary of getting their hopes up, but the stats gurus are seeing a pattern:
MoneyPuck’s model gives the Stars a 58.4% chance of making the playoffs. HockeyViz is at 64.8%. Hockey-Reference (81.1%) and The Athletic (83%) each put the Stars over 80%....
Beginning with last week’s game in Winnipeg, 12 out of 15 games are away from American Airlines Center. That used to be a massive issue for the Stars, who did not earn their first road regulation win until Nov. 27 and didn’t earn their second until Jan. 20.
But the Stars have started to figure things out on the road and are 8-2-1 away from home since Jan. 20, the fifth-best road points percentage in the league during that stretch.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Saturday’s home start against the New York Rangers has a theme we can all get behind.
This Saturday, we're honoring First Responders, Frontline Workers and Healthcare Heroes from around the Metroplex as we take on the Rangers at @AACenter!— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 9, 2022
: https://t.co/wDuXW5ZgZj#TexasHockey pic.twitter.com/gsmPFFAzuc
Also, it should give you lots of opportunities to appreciate this guy.
Around The Leagues
#Murder Was The Case
No activity in the Dirty Central last night, but Thursday’s schedule will see plenty of action – most of it at the same time:
- Chicago Blackhawks @ Boston Bruins, 6 p.m. Central Time
- Arizona Coyotes @ Toronto Maple Leafs, 6 p.m. CT
- Minnesota Wild @ Detroit Red Wings, 6 p.m. CT
- Winnipeg Jets @ New Jersey Devils, 6 p.m. CT
- Colorado Avalanche @ Carolina Hurricanes, 6 p.m. CT
- St. Louis Blues vs. New York Rangers, 7 p.m. CT
Elliotte Friedman discusses the trade market, the KHL exodus, and more in his newest 32 Thoughts, which has everything plus a Jyrki Jokkipakka cameo.
32 Thoughts written version: https://t.co/FBDuRqnbVX— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 9, 2022
Here’s your occasional reminder that it’s never too early to start talking about the next NHL Draft.
The #NHLDraft is a few months away. Will anyone overtake Shane Wright as the top prospect this year?— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 10, 2022
Check out Sam Cosentino's March Draft Prospect Rankings. ➡️ https://t.co/Zj7tzwywpD pic.twitter.com/dpxD61mvzq
Some homecomings are more...fraught than others. Greg Wyshynski has proof, and he shares it (if you have ESPN+).
In honor of Jack Eichel Night for @BuffaloSabres fans, my column looks at 10 other emotional NHL homecomings -- from Marc-Andre Fleury with @penguins to what John Tavares witnessed from @NYIslanders faithful.https://t.co/W2i0l5pvoU— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 10, 2022
Looking for after-action on Jaromir Jagr’s benefit for Ukrainian refugees in Czechia? Look no further.
An absolutely beautiful thread about the fundraiser game Jaromir Jagr organized in Prague— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) March 9, 2022
Proceeds will benefit Ukrainian families seeking asylum in the Czech Republic ⬇️ https://t.co/EHKWOxBsRs
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park
The Stars scored seven goals, including four in the final frame, to beat the Charlotte Checkers 7-1 Wednesday at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) March 10, 2022
Welcome to the party, Marian Studenic. Enjoy.