Yogi Berra once said, “it ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
But for the Dallas Stars, the season is basically all but over for them.
The Stars currently sit last in the Central Division with 66 points in 64 games. Overall in the Western Conference, Dallas is third from the last with only miserable Arizona and Edmonton keeping them off of the bottom. To get into the final playoff spot for the conference, the Stars would have to make quite a run to eliminate the nine-point deficit on Minnesota, while getting lucky that no other team above them goes on a similar run.
But while it looks like that nine-point deficit is erasable, with the way the Stars have been playing as of late, it’s basically over.
This season for the Stars has been incredibly frustrating to watch. I can’t exactly remember how many times they held third-quarter leads, and multiple goal leads at that as well, only to find a way to blow that lead and lose either in regulation or in overtime or a shootout. Aside from the obvious blow to the team’s mentality (and the fans’), those one or two point differences have stacked up over time. If a number of those game go the other way, Dallas could be sitting closer to the Wild Card position or possibly in one of the playoff spots.
But it just hasn’t been there for the Stars. The biggest reason is the play from their goalies. Kari Lehtonen has been a porous wall in net, allowing 144 goals this year and most of those were soft goals that he should have saved easily. And Jhonas Enroth, who the Stars traded for over a month ago has been a complete failure, going 0-4 in the four starts he has made for the team and allowing 16 goals in five games played in.
That poor goal keeping, along with the up-and-down play of the defense in front of the goalies that doesn’t show up in the box score, has hurt the Stars so much. Dallas has actually been quite strong on the offensive front, scoring 3.08 goals per game, good enough for fourth in the league; however, the Stars have given up 3.29 goals per game, third-worst in the league, to neutralize that advantage on the other end.
And of course with center Tyler Seguin out for a prolonged period of time, things probably aren’t going to get any better. He (still) leads the team with 29 goals this season and, for a chunk of the season, was a key part of the Star’s offense. With him out, Dallas has won exactly one game.
Of course, the poor finish to the season should result in a high draft pick in the offseason, which hopefully will result in a player that can come into the squad and stabilize the team.
But that’s the only positive that’s coming out of this season for the Stars this year. It’s been a massive disappointment, especially after what happened last year. And, despite whatever Berra might think, this season is basically over for hockey in Dallas.