Stars fall short once again
It is a pretty frustrating time to be a Dallas Stars fan at the moment. A few weeks ago, things were looking bright as the Stars sat on top of the Pacific division for a while and a playoff spot looked highly likely. However, they finished the 2011/12 season with 5 losses, resulting in no playoff hockey for 3 straight seasons.
I can’t help but feel that it is time for a bit of change in Dallas. Brenden Morrow has done great things for the franchise, but this season has showed why his NHL career is coming to an end. He has picking up more and more injuries and has lost the great physical edge that he brought to the Stars' game for many years. Morrow still holds a decent value on the trade market, which could result in Dallas getting a decent player in return.
The Stars need to make a big addition in the off-season to bring in a top 6 forward. New owner Tom Galardi seems to be a great guy and will benefit the franchise a lot. Not only has he improved attendances dramatically since being in his new role, but he has also expressed how he is willing to improve the squad. I think a big signing or 2 will happen in the off-season.
Despite no playoff hockey for a while, it isn’t all doom and gloom in Texas. Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson continue to develop at a quick rate every season and they can now be classed as elite forwards in the NHL. The signing of Michael Ryder in the 2010/11 off-season was a stroke of genius from GM Joe Niuwendyk. Ryder has showed high levels of talent on his way to topping the Stars in scoring, with 35 in 82 games. These 3 guys will be massive players for the Stars next season.
With the talent that the Stars have on their roster going forward with the puck, they have also established a decent goaltending unit this season. Words can’t describe how awesome Kari Lehtonen has been this season, keeping the Stars in many games as well as producing several mind-blowing saves. Richard Bachman completed his rookie season this year and provided a decent backup for Lehtonen. These 2 will provide consistency to the goaltending next season, something that didn’t happen this regular season.
It is obviously disappointing for the Stars not to make the playoffs yet again. With a lot of talent and a committed owner, I think that next season could be a much better one in Dallas.