The NHL has released its schedule and with it, the new division realignment for the 2013-2014 season. While the Detroit Red Wings will be departing the West and the Central Division for the “greener” pastures of less travel of the East, the new Central Division has added three new teams; the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, and the Minnesota Wild. In this 4-part series, we’ll take a look at the new teams who were added and why it won’t take long to start hating them.
History Lesson: Stars and Predators
Predators All-Time Record vs. Dallas Stars:
These numbers won’t exactly have Barry Trotz and the Predators licking their chops when looking at the Stars games circled on the schedule. In the 55 games played against the Dallas Stars, the Predators have only won 23 of the games, with a minus-27 goal differential in the series.
Although the history between the teams has favored the Stars, the 2012-13 season saw the Predators finish with a 2-1-0 record against the Stars, with a plus-2 goal differential in the series. While the Predators are one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, in the 3-game series, the Predators tallied a total of 11 goals, an average of 3.66 goals per game.
Why You’ll Hate Them
You won’t hate them because they’re old, which they aren’t really that old anymore, coming in at an average of 28.6 for the 2013-14 season, good enough for 9th oldest team in the league. You won’t hate them because they choose to unveil new jerseys and logos every few years, including the new jerseys, logos, and colors that the Stars revealed this year.
You’ll hate the Dallas Stars this year, because they’re getting better. The Stars have been a mainstay in the battle for the last playoff spot in the West for the past few years, but this offseason, new Stars GM Jim Nill has already looked to give the team a new identity.
First, Nill traded for the rights of veteran offensive defenseman Sergei Gonchar, to help not only provide an offensive boost to the offensive, but to reunite him with Alex Goligoski, to continue the professional development that Gonchar was providing Goligoski with in their brief time together in Pittsburgh. As if the offensive boost on the blue line wasn’t enough, Nill thought the forward corps could use a change and went out and picked up potentially troublesome forward Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley in exchange for Loui Eriksson. The Stars even went as far as to try to infuse offense into their lineup by getting Shawn Horcoff in a trade for Philip Larsen.
While Gonchar, Seguin, Peverley, and Horcoff may not exactly be what most fans would expect as potentially troubling, the reality is that the Stars lineup is significantly more offensively talented than that of the Predators, even with the additions of Forsberg and ilk to the lineup. Throughout the intersection of the two teams franchise histories, the Predators have not only had trouble scoring goals, but preventing them and the changes to the Stars lineup could spell continued trouble for a team that will most likely have trouble scoring often.
Join us next time for the third installment: Better Know Your New Predators Rival: Colorado Avalanche