As the All-Star break ends, the Stars get set to make a playoff push and they got a familiar face to help them. Last year the Stars traded defenceman Jamie Oleksiak to the penguins for a 4th round pick. However, Oleksiak became a pretty good bottom-six defenceman in Pittsburgh and showed that the Stars developed him wrong. Now, the Penguins seem to no longer have the space for Oleksiak, but the Stars do. Also, this week the Stars received news that Marc Methot underwent successfully season-ending surgery. And with Stephen Johns still not fit to play, Oleksiak now fits perfectly into our bottom defensive pairing.
In other good news, Miro Heiskanen returns after spending a weekend with the best in the NHL. Hopefully, he was able to pick the minds of these great players and can bring some of that excellency back to Dallas. As great as Heiskanen is, it’s still incredible to think that he is only 19. As Razor has said many times, this All-Star selection has been the first of many that will come for the young Heiskanen.
Now, focusing on the game, the Stars need to pick up where they left off. After beating the Jets 4-2, the Stars showed that they can compete and have the potential to beat the best teams. The Sabres should prove to be a nice challenge. The Sabres have really played well this season and are sitting just outside of a playoff spot. A lot of it to do with their top line playing magnificently. And two of them represented the Sabres in the All-Star game. The combination of All-Stars Jeff Skinner and Jack Eichel, alongside Sam Reinhart, have been revitalizing for the Sabres. Not to mention they boast their own rookie defenceman that is playing just as well, if not better than Heiskanen. The 2018 first overall pick, Rasmus Dahlin, has been simply phenomenal. The kid is only 18 but he is playing outstanding hockey. Much comparison has been made between the two and rightully so. It’ll be a treat to see the top two rookie defenceman, this year, play each other for the first time in their young careers.
The Stars may not be playing as well as the Sabres, but they certainly can. The Stars currently sit at 24-21-4 and have been surpassed by the suddenly hot Minnesota Wild. Which means that this game is extremely important. So a loss here would bury the Stars beneath the Avalanche and out of a playoff spot. However, the Stars are boasting a top defense that gives them a chance to stop a Buffalo team that isn’t scoring an abundance of goals.
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