2020 might be the worst year in modern history for partying, but Stars fans could still yet party like it’s 1999. Even if we have to celebrate alone, getting our first Cup since that glorious year will be just as sweet.
Besides Manchester United and all the back room bribing they pulled off during lockdown, no team in sports benefited more from covid shakeups than the Dallas Stars. First off, we finished normalcy era in an absolute funk with a six game losing streak and we’ve had months to shake those jitters off. Most importantly, the new format will give us a fairer seed and make our playoff matchups MUCH easier than expected.
Normally, schedules are weighted by division and then the playoff bracket is set up to make division matchups in the first two rounds. For us, that meant despite being a consensus top three team in the conference, we would’ve had to beat both St Louis and Colorado (the other two of the consensus top three) in the first two rounds just to make the conference finals. It’s dumb and annoying as hell, but the NHL needs to do it for ratings because the simps are still too obsessed with watching shitty basketball games.
This year, however, the league is resetting the top four seeds after a quick round robin series. From there on, the bracket will be reseeded each round. We now have a shot at jumping to the 1 seed over three games and getting an easy as fuck path to the conference finals. Awesome!
Can we capitalize? Maybe. Hopefully. We certainly have the talent to do it and go all the way, but we also have the potential to fuck up. You can get a feeling as to why when reviewing the topsy turvy path we took to get here…
Last year, we took the cup champion Blues to Game 7 overtime and got screwed over by the refs by not having a single power play. It wasn’t the only game in that series we got screwed in, but it was the one that hurt the most.
Wide open tap in to clinch the series. Zucc gets interfered out of desperation. No goal. No call. Stars end up losing. Fucking ridiculous. We should have been champions last year, but the future still looked bright after getting that far with phenom 1st year coach Jim Montgomery.
We entered the year with a ton of hype. Apparently things were looking gooood in training camp. But we started the season 1-7-1 and major panic ensued. Montgomery, the phenom we were so giddy about having just one month prior, was one period away from getting fired before a five goal 3rd period kickstarted a 12 game point streak to save his ass.
Unfortunately, Monty still ended up fired in December. Not because of our play on the ice, which was rolling at full tilt again, but rather because he couldn’t control his alcoholism. It’s alleged around the internet that he got drunk and banged an ice girl at the holiday party a few days prior. Fucking crazy!
Monty’s replacement, Rick Bowness, is a bit of an enigma in the NHL. He started coaching pro hockey as a player-coach for the Jets in 1982. That’s 38 total years! Nobody has coached more games than Bowness. He’s served most of them as an assistant because his HC record is among the worst all time. However, most of those losses came with really shitty expansion teams where he couldn’t do much.
On the ice, the Stars haven’t looked different at all under Bowness as they did under Monty. Mostly it’s been awesome, but that six game losing streak to end the season was as worrying as the 1-7-1 streak to start it.
Goaltending is incredible. Defense is pretty good. Offense has talent, but its inconsistency has been the weak link. We can get to the nitty gritty in later blogs because we’re running out of room here, but I’ll leave you this great Sports Sturm breakdown of the offensive woes back in October. Not much has changed since then.
We have the potential to do it all this year. We basically proved it last year, and we’ve shown it in bits and pieces this year. Can we put it all together and lift the cup this year? Sure! Why not? All of those playoffs runs in the glory years started with beatdowns in Edmonton. That’s where all our games will be this year. We dominate in that building.
The journey starts tonight against Vegas. When it ends, we’ll be partying like it’s 1999. Let’s get after it.