The Dallas Stars have certainly had a very entertaining week thus far. It began in frustration and has led to a pretty unique moment. The Stars have been selected to host the 2020 Winter Classic which is incredibly huge for hockey. Prior to the Stars being selected to host the event, the farthest south the location of the winter classic was chosen was in St. Louis. This shows Bettman’s push for hockey in the south and his commitment to growing and developing the league. This kind of news was exactly what Stars fans needed to hear after the comments from President Jim Lites.
However, the matter at hand is that the Stars are continuing their home stand as the New Jersey Devils come to Dallas. The Stars currently sit at 12-5-2 at home, while the Devils are 4-12-3 on the road. Things have gone quite differently for the two teams since the start of the season. The Devils began the year undefeated and then have quickly began to fall apart. They now hold a record of 15-16-7. The Stars did start strong but quickly fell into a hole on the road. However, they have overcome their obstacles and now sit at 20-16-4 in the final wild card spot.
The two teams are certainly trending in opposite directions, but that doesn’t make the Devils any less of an opponent. The Devils Taylor Hall may not be having an MVP type season, but with 37 points in 33 games he is always going to be an issue. Not to mention the wonderful year that Kyle Palmieri is having for the Devils. He leads the team in goals with 19 and has 34 points in just 38 games. The Devils are definitely having a frustrating year, but they still have a chance to turn the season around. They may sit ten points out of a playoff spot but with 44 games left anything is possible. They were a playoff team last year and still have the personnel to possibly do it again.
The Stars, on the other hand, may be similar to the Devils, but have a few brighter spots. The Devils don’t have very many noticeable defenceman outside of Sami Vatanen. The Stars have Klingberg, Lindell and now Heiskanen. The Devils are currently experiencing goaltender problems with Cory Schneider playing poorly of late, while Keith Kinkaid has been filling as the starter quite well. The Stars, however, boast a top five goals against average with Bishop and Khudobin playing lights out a good chunk of the time. Lastly, Taylor Hall is the only notable name in New Jersey. While the Stars have Benn, Seguin and Radulov to lead the team.
Now the Stars are in a tough situation as well. Yes the Stars sit in a playoff spot, but many wonder if the Stars will hold it. There are teams in this league that fans know for sure will not drop out of the playoff race. Dallas is a team that concerns people. The Stars are an interesting team because they certainly have the talent to compete for Lord Stanley. However, they seem to rarely put it all together. The depth has definitely improved from last year, but the big boys have slowed down. It’s annoying to watch sometime as Stars fans expect more because they know this team can provide more.
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