They sold their captain and a third round pick for a prospect and a fifth rounder. On trade deadline, they sent their top scorer to Boston for a conditional 2nd round pick and two young players who are relatively unknown and they sent a top-center iceman to Vancouver for a 2nd round draft pick and young defenseman, Kevin Connouton. The Stars were holding a firesale, and nothing was being held back.
The strong blocks that were supposed to break the 4-straight seasons without a postseason appearance were sold for molds of clay, with the hopes that the clay molds would harden into future cornerstones. Dallas had seemingly closed the book on the shortened season of 2013 and started looking towards June 30th and the draft in New Jersey. There was just one small problem.
They. Just. Keep. Winning.
Since the trade deadline on April 3rd, the Stars have won 5 out of 6, all of those coming in a row. Four of the five victories came against division rivals and with the exception of the two victories against the San Jose Sharks, the Stars were in complete control of the five games (even in the close games against the Sharks, the Stars were definitely the better team with the most energy).
With seven games remaining on the schedule, the Stars look to continue to crash the party and get into the playoffs for the first time since 2008. It definitely won’t be an easy task, as four of the seven games are on the road, starting on Monday in Chicago. Dallas has one more back-to-back when they host Vancouver then travel the next day to St. Louis. Before they have the last two games of the year at home, they’ll travel to the West Coast for the last time as members of the Pacific Division to face LA and San Jose.
The last two games which will be at the American Airlines Center, the Stars face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings. Normally, two games against non-divisional foes, who happen to be two teams that are transferring to the Eastern Conference for the 2013-2014 season wouldn’t be cause for a big stir. However, after the Stars victory against the Sharks, the Stars moved into the final playoff spot by virtue of the ROW tiebreaker (Regulation/Overtime Wins). The two teams that Dallas jumped ahead of: Columbus and Detroit. You can bet all three teams will be fighting for their post season lives during the last week of the season.
The Stars were supposed to be done last week. A team that had no real identity shipped off their captain and a hall of famer with a month to go in the season as they sat 4 points out of a playoff spot. The Stars aren’t playing nice. They are making other team’s lives hell by not rolling over. Dallas may ultimately fall short but the league is on notice: these young shooting Stars are to be taken seriously or it will be Dallas laughing their way back to the top of the standings.