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yave1964

Stars offseason review

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I couldn't come up with anything pithy for a title...

 

PRESEASON OUTLOOK Cautious optimism, hopes in Big D were that they were going to be in the mix in the middle/bottom of the West. 

 

FINAL RECORD 43-32-7 93 points fourth in the Central. Surprised the Predators in the first round in six games, lost a heartbreaking series to the Blues in double overtime in game seven.

 

HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR Sitting at 23-21-4 on January 17th they caught fire going 20-11-3 down the stretch to slide comfortably into the playoffs. That should have told all of us that they were ready for the playoffs.

 

LOW POINT OF THE YEAR On December 28th with the team struggling to score and winning one and losing one being the operative way they were playing, CEO Jim Lytes said about Seguin and Benn, "They are F@@@ing Ho$$Sh**t. I dont know how else to put it." The owner calling out the two biggest names on their team was unseemly. Losing a heartbreaking seven game series to the Blues was/is a very close second.

 

WHAT WENT RIGHT Well if Seguin is Horsesh@@%t then pile the manure my way, point a game production and a force of nature on the ice, Radulov had 72 points in 70 games, the defensive trio of Lindell, Heiskanen and Klingberg were beasts all over the ice. Ben Bishop was arguably the games top goalie with a stellar 1.98 goals against and his backup Khudobin was brilliant as well. For years the Stars were known for fire wagon hockey, they slowed it down under coach Montgomery and protected the net as well as anyone.

 

WHAT WENT WRONG Well Benn did manage 27 goals but was not his usual self either before or after Lites diatribe. Spezza is clearly toast, Methot missednearly all of the season to injury. Zuccarello came over at the deadline and in his first game was injured and only played one more regular season game. Nichuschkin returned from the KHL and was supposed to help the middle six instead he stole his paycheck and didn't score a single goal. Really other than the big three none of the forwards stood out, Faksa was okay, most were awful, Dickenson, Shore, Ritchie, Hintz and Honka were all once considered top tier prospects but all have turned into more suspect than prospect.  They were a one line team and when the one line doesn't score they lose, simple as that.

 

 FREE AGENTS Spezza is a goner, defenseman Lovejoy and Methot are going to get paid somewhere but probably not here. The big decision is what to do about Zuccarello who had a hell of a postseason and is exactly the type of player they need can they resign him, and are they willing to invest money and term?

  Other questions mostly center around the kids, Faksa, Ritchie, Nichushkin, the rest are all former high draft picks who are bombing out of Dallas soon if they dont develop. Can any of them actually play? Can Bishop/Khubodin repeat the brilliant season they had? Can Benn bounce back or is he entering the decline phase of his career slightly ahead of schedule and sloped slightly steeper?

 

This is a solid playoff contender and yeah, they finished 4th in their division but were only 8 points behind division winner Nashville. If this season proved anything it is just get in and anything can happen. A top line, a trio of brilliant young defenders and a goalie who when he is hot is as good as anyone, in the cap age, they cannot ask for more.

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