Five Fun Sub-Plots to Finish Dallas Stars' Season
No, there isn't going to be a playoff run this season. The Stars are toast and we're all very sad. Thing is, there are still two games to savor. Ignore the future, focus on the now!
Two games. Thanks to the Winnipeg Jets (frankly, thanks to the Dallas Stars), the next two games will be our last looks at the 2014/2015 edition of the Dallas Stars. Yes, a big Victory Green curtain is going to fall and leave us stuck with NBCSN’s official coverage of whatever the Chicago Blackhawks happen to be doing on their off-day.
Another playoff-less year is going to be brutal, but we’re not quite there yet. Instead of doom and gloom, there are still a few fun loose ends to tie up. Some are important for next year’s squad, others are just plain fun. As always, these are highly researched and unimpeachably accurate. I’m sure the list is also incomplete, I’d love to hear what you, our intrepid readers, will be clinging to over the next few days.
1 – One More Goal, Cody
He’s already set new career highs in goals (18) and points (38). Eakin is even tied for third on the Stars in overall goals. Wouldn’t it be nice to see him get one more to pass Erik Cole (who is no longer on the team) or even two more for twenty? Optics matter, round numbers are tons of fun, and it would be a just reward for the hard-working young center.
2 – Russian Machine No Longer Broken
Looking back, we should have taken Valeri Nichushkin’s early season injury as an omen, a warning of the year that followed. The young Russian was universally expected to follow a strong rookie campaign with a dominant sophomore season, either as a part of the top line, or with the newly acquired Jason Spezza. Spoiler alert: that did not happen.
But that doesn’t mean the season has to be a total loss! Yes, concerns about rushing the Russian for no good reason are valid. The most critical thing is to have Nuke locked and loaded for next year. With that said, is one highlight too much to ask? Surely suffering Stars fans are owed a bull-rush goal, a sick dangle, a sign of brighter days ahead.
3 – Corey Perry is a Jerk
That’s right, a big ole jerk. Unfortunately, Mr. Perry’s Ducks are pacing the Western Conference with 107 points, and just two points back from the league-leading New York Rangers. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t want to live in a world where the Anaheim Ducks skate away with the President’s Trophy. I’d even prefer St. Louis (two points back, one game in hand) or Nashville (three points back, one game in hand) to walk away with the West.
Last year, we had to suffer the fowl spectacle of Anaheim kicking our Stars out of the playoffs. I say it’s time for Dallas to get their due back. A win tomorrow could open the door for someone to catch Anaheim, and doom them to a tougher road through the post-season.
4 – Seguin’s Forty
One more hat trick would give Tyler Seguin 40 goals for the season. No Star has crossed that threshold since Mike Modano’s magical 50-goal season in 1993/94. For parts of the year it seemed like Mo’s mark might be threatened, but a nasty low-bridge from Dimitry Kulikov put such hopes on ice. Still, three goals in two games wouldn’t be unheard of for Dallas’ Next-Gen Goal Machine. It would also be a wonderful capstone to what was, on an individual level, a superb season by Seguin. Besides, it’ll be much easier for Segs to make the jump from 40 goals to 50 than from 37 to 50 next season.
5 – Dallas’ Red Light District
They can’t win the Cup, the President’s Trophy, their Division, or even a Wild Card, but the Stars can win one very important contest: most goals scored. Benn and the boys have potted 253 this season, just two back of Tampa Bay’s 255. Why not open things up a bit to top the league? Because they want to win? You say, isn’t game 81 a bit late to start worrying about the Goals Against? I retort, light that lamp, baby, worry about wins next season.