For the longest time, the Dallas Stars were hoping to sneak into the final playoff spot, and would have been grateful just to make the postseason. But as of today, the Stars currently sit in the first wild card spot thanks to a game in hand over the Nashville Predators, and there’s a good chance they hold onto it:
According to Tankathon, the Predators have the second-toughest remaining slate in the NHL. They have seven games remaining, and six are against teams high in the playoff picture... The Stars, on the other hand, have the seventh-easiest remaining schedule in the NHL. Their only two remaining opponents in the playoff picture are on the upcoming trip in Edmonton and Calgary.
Of course, that begs the question: do the Stars even want the top Wild Card spot?
Both the Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche would be heavy favorites against Dallas. Opinions vary from person to person, Saad Yousuf believes the Flames would be a better matchup, not to mention the second round opponent should the Stars secure the upset:
The Central Division is arguably the toughest in the NHL... It’s possible that the Central boasts the top team in the league, and it could be the only division in the NHL this season to send five teams to the postseason.
That’s why it’s important the Stars avoid that bracket by finishing in the top wild-card spot.
You can read more about the Stars’ playoff destiny here.
When it’s this late in the playoff race, you take what you can get:
They’re not the flashiest, but the Stars’ defensive forwards play a key role for the team:
If the Selke Trophy were awarded solely on defensive merit, Michael Raffl would be a contender. So whenever he chips in on offense, it's a bonus. https://t.co/LVoLcK1kAG— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) April 18, 2022
With Dallas taking on the Vancouver Canucks tonight, let’s check in on former Star Jason Dickinson:
As his new team tries frantically to catch his old one, Vancouver Canucks forward Jason Dickinson figures it’s too late to redeem his season. But beating the Dallas Stars at Rogers Arena could still help the Canucks save theirs.https://t.co/RLhI3hNTXK— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 18, 2022
Around the League
A few Central teams played on Easter Sunday:
- Helping out the Stars, the St. Louis Blues demolished the Nashville Predators 8-3. [NHL]
- And helping out the Stars (‘s morale), the Minnesota Wild also beat the San Jose Sharks by just a single goal, 5-4 in overtime: [Hockey Wilderness]
While the rest of the playoff picture is still shaking out, those two teams are all but officially locked into a first round matchup:
The Blues have dominated the Wild in recent years. Now, the two teams are on a collision course for the first round of the playoffs.— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) April 17, 2022
What do the Wild need to do to turn the tide? Can the Blues keep their winning ways?
✍️ @RussoHockey | @jprutherfordhttps://t.co/WtaEKwmv8c pic.twitter.com/odca5MtSPp
We’re about to get more hockey to watch!
ICYMI, Carey Price made his return to the ice this weekend:
So happy for Carey Price and his family last night. https://t.co/JgGDl1NWa5— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 16, 2022
Connor Bedard just hit 50 goals and 100 points... as a 16 year old:
After scoring his 50th and 51st goals of the campaign, Connor Bedard became the youngest player in WHL history to score 50 goals in a season. https://t.co/v331P2w0vb— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 18, 2022
Finally, here’s your feel good story of the day: