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Round One Preview: Dallas Stars

After a shaky Round-Robin Dallas Stars just managed to grab the 3rd seed in the west. It took a late equalizer and a shootout win over St Louis Blues in their final game, however, it set up a meeting with the Calgary Flames in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Can the Stars extinguish the Flames, or will they burn before the sea of red? 

The Schedule:

All Times are in Central Time:
Game:

1: Tuesday, August 11 at 4:30 PM

2: Thursday, August 13 at 9:30 PM 

3: Saturday, August 14 at 9:30 PM 

4: Monday, August 16 at 1 PM 

5: Wednesday, August 18 TBD – If necessary

6: Friday, August 20 TBD – If necessary

7: Saturday, August 22 TBD If necessary

What Does Dallas Need To Win?

There is an old saying that Defense wins championships, while offense sells tickets. The Stars have to hope there’s truth to this if they want to win the round one matchup. On the offensive side there are beat heavily by Calgery who scored 2.91 goals per game so far this season. Dallas on the opposite end only scored 2.58 goals per game.

Quite the cap but not quite as big as the cap on the defensive side. Dallas only allowed 2.52 goals per game, where the Flames allow 3.06 goals per game. This is where Dallas can win the series. They need great goaltending from Ben Bishop or Anton Khudobin. Two goalies that on their day are among the best in the NHL.

Photo by: Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d)

Outside that they need Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, and Esa Lindell to play great defensively. Without that, they will be struggling against a goalscoring Calgary roster.

Finally, they need their depth to step up. Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, and Mattias Janmark to step up. With scoring from depth players, they have a chance of making a lot of noise. Especially with a dangerous first line with Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, and Tyler Seguin.

How Could Dallas Loss In Round One?

The main reason this matchup could turn into a nightmare for the Stars is due to the special teams area of the game. The Stars have had major issues on the powerplay in the round-robin, and especially in their last games against the Blues, it was awful. They rarely created chances on the man advantage and that was despite around 7 chances on the powerplay. 

Calgary on the other hand was much more clinical when they got the chance on the powerplay against the Jets, and this could prove costly. We saw last year how Dallas punished Nashville in the playoff to advance and won their series in 6 games. Most of these games were determined by the penalty kill and powerplay. This year it could be the Stars turn to be the victim of lackluster special teams.

Photo by: Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d)

One final thing to note is the undisciplined games the Stars had in the round-robin. They took far too many lazy and stupid minors and as mentioned before, special teams can rule in the playoff. They have to stop or they will fall into too many issues. Especially against Matthew Tkatuck who is guaranteed to bring a physical and pestering game to the round one series. 

Final Prediction

Sadly the first round will be the final stop for Dallas. They might have an amazing team on paper and defensively is sturdy as a rock, but they have been creating next to nothing in the round-robin. This combined with their worrisome special teams stats and far too undisciplined showing in the round-robin, will cause too great issues to give them the win. Calgary wins in 6.


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