Can the Stars make another run?
A look at the Dallas Stars' post-season potential
Dallas Stars’ Mid-Season Review
By the Numbers: At this point in the season, the Dallas Stars are 7-2-1 in their Last 10, are 32-21-3 through 56 Games Played, and currently hold the Western Conference’s second Wild Card Spot. They sit 20th in the league in Goals For per Game (2.91), 13th in Goals Against (2.86), 16th in Goal Differential (+0.05), 9th in Power Play Percentage (23.5%), and 19th in Penalty Kill (79.1%).
Biggest Stories This Year: What might be the biggest reason for the Stars’ improvement this season is having Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin back and healthy. Last season, Radulov only played in 11 Games and Seguin in only 3. As two of the team’s most important stars — pun intended — their contributions are critical to the team’s success.
That being said, while Seguin has been in sufficient form so far, Radulov has not. At the moment, Radulov only has 3 Goals and 15 Assists, which makes this season’s Points per Game average (0.36) the worst of his career (next worst was 0.57 in 2019-20). While the team’s success doesn’t rest wholly on his shoulders, missing his production could be enough for the team to miss the Playoffs.
Nonetheless, the team has compensated with two skaters in particularly good form. Ryan Suter has bounced back from a poor showing last season, already surpassing his 19 Points in 56 Games; currently, he’s at 25 Points through 56 Games. Even more impressive, Jason Robertson has taken another step forward, currently sitting at 29 Goals and 54 Points through 48 Games. He even managed to put together back-to-back hat tricks just recently.
Finally, another critical factor to the Stars’ success has been the disappearance of Anton Khudobin and emergence of Jake Oettinger. This season, Khudobin started off with a measly 3-4-1 record, 3.63 Goals Against Average (GAA), and .879 Save Percentage (Sv%). While Braden Holtby was meant to be the team’s insurance policy—and has done reasonably well all the same (10-10-1, 2.78 GAA, .913 Sv%)—Oettinger has been the one to step up and perform, currently at 19-7-1, with a 2.30 GAA and .922 Sv%. If the Stars expect to cement a Playoff spot this season, it looks like they’ll be heavily relying on quality goaltending to get them there.
Only One Season Removed: Given their current situation, can the Stars make a deep run this postseason? Of course! Fans shouldn’t forget that it was a similar squad that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019-20 and pushed the Tampa Bay Lightning to six games. In fact, between the two squads, 13 of their most important players remain, with notable changes of Holtby and Oettinger in net, Suter on Defense, and Robertson up front. Likewise, the Stars finished only four points outside of a Playoff spot last year, despite them missing Seguin and Radulov.
Thus, with such parity in the Central Division and Western Conference, the doors are wide open for the Stars to secure a Playoff spot. And once a team has punched their ticket to the postseason, from there, everyone has a shot.