For The Dallas Stars, This is It
Ten games. 20 available points. That’s all that’s left for the Dallas Stars in the 2013-2014 regular season. If there is to be additional hockey in downtown Dallas for the first time since 2008, the Stars’ margin for error is ever-so slim. In fact, using t he prediction of James Mirtle from The Globe and Mail in Toronto at the beginning of the year, the Stars need to capture 13 of the available 20 to reach 92 points. Even in a normal schedule (and thanks to the Olympics, this schedule is anything but “normal”), this i s a tough order.
But not impossible.
Even though the Stars hold their own destiny, thanks in large part to have two games in two teams they're chasing, Minnesota and Phoenix, obviously a little help would go a long way. Before taking a look at the schedules for the Wild and Coyotes vital that we see what realistic wins should happen with the Stars's remaining schedule.
One of the two games against Nashville, one of the two games against the Blues, Washington, Carolina and Florida. There’s 10 point s right there. Of course, this time of year, there is no such thing as a “gimme” or “sure thing,” but the Stars have shown they play very well against the top teams like Chicago and St. Louis, so Dallas should stand a good chance at “stealing” a win from the Blues. Nashville scares me. Here’s a team that for whatever reason, seems to raise their game to a higher gear, but hopefully the Stars realize what i s at stake and will match or exceed the energy level the Preds will bring. Carolina and Florida will be potentially vying for the number one overall draft pick (though, thanks to Buffalo and Edmonton, will definitely settle for top-5 picks). Washington will be the wild card of the group. The Stars beat the Caps earlier in the season and if they can contain Alex Ovechkin8, while knocking Washington out of the picture in the East.
Of course, the most important game remaining on the Stars schedule is the last game that takes place is and Coyotes schedule, the Star s may look to move their target from Phoenix and place it on the team that knocked them out of the top- 8 on the last day of the 2010-2011 regular season. Minnesota has drawn perhaps the hardest schedule of any team in the league. The cumulative total of points of their remaining opponents is 735 and that includes against 4 of the top 5 teams in the league. Starting with the red hot Coyotes this Saturday, the Wild then face the Kings followed by the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. After taking on the Penguins and before ending their season taking on Nashville, Minnesota will host the two best team s in the league starting with Boston and then two days later, the Blues roll into town.
Phoenix, who has caught on fire as of late (like they usually do this time of year) has a substantially lighter schedule. Their opponents have garnered a total of 642 points and the best team they face, in regards to standings is the San Jose Sharks. Of their 8 remaining games, half are against teams that currently hold playoff positions.
Dallas definitely controls their fate. Win the games they “should” and take care of business on the last game of the year against Phoenix and Dallas should break their dry spell and return to the post season . Sure, most “experts” will claim we won’t stand a chance, but at this stage, the diehard Stars fan can get caught up in post season match-ups. DFW is hungry for the Stars to return to spring hockey. The atmosphere is unbelievable and sadly, there are a lot of people in the area who have forgotten what that feeling is like.