As we all know, the Dallas Stars 2020-21 season is over, which sucks, and it’s completely understandable as to why their season could be considered a complete failure. However, when we look deeper into this season, we can see that this bizarre year revealed a few good things about this Stars team.
Stars Rookies Oettinger and Robertson Showed the Future Is Bright
One of those things was the development of Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson. When Ben Bishop was unable to play, and Anton Khudobin moved to the starter role, the Stars looked to Jake Oettinger to step up and be his backup. He did just that. Going into the season, the 22-year-old goaltender had never started an NHL game. He had just two appearances prior, both being from coming into playoff games in relief. This season, he had a goals-against-average of 2.36 and a save percentage of .911.
Along with Oettinger’s impressive season, another Stars rookie was stealing headlines. By mid-March, Robertson had emerged as one of the best rookies in the league. As he got more and more ice time each night, we saw just how talented he is. He put out an explosive amount of offensive production as he gained more confidence and skill. Through 51 games, he totaled 17 goals and 28 assists for a combined 45 points.
Since the end of the season, both Oettinger and Robertson have been playing in the 2021 IIHF World Championship for Team USA. The two continue to impress and show that the Stars have a very bright future with rookies like them in their arsenal.
Stars Were Still in the Playoff Race Until the Very End
The Stars were still in the playoff race until their final few games, but the final seven-game road trip that was critical to their chances at making a final playoff push didn’t quite go how they had hoped. However, they were still (technically) in the race until the very end. Despite their bizarre schedule that was altered many times throughout the season, the Stars were able to bounce back from that adversity in order to even have a chance.
While they were unable to reach their ultimate goal in the end, the fact that they were able to remain in the race revealed a very positive attribute in this team. It showed that they have grit, which is something that any team needs in order to be successful.
They Persevered Through Adversity
Grit on its own means nothing though if a team can’t execute. On the surface, it might seem like the Stars fit into that category. However, if you look at all they went through during the 2020-21 season, it might make you rethink that. Going into the season, they already knew that they would be down two of their best players in Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop, as they were still recovering from surgeries.
Then, as the rest of the league was gearing up for the start of the season, the Stars were dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that kept them off the ice for several days. Despite that, they came out of the gates hot. The next major setback Dallas faced was the winter storm that swept through Texas. Due to the dangerous conditions and to conserve power, the team was again off the ice for a few days, which led to the schedule being condensed.
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The schedule the club faced in the last month and a half of the season was brutal, and led to an extremely fatigued and injury-riddled roster. Nevertheless, they persisted through it all, with many players playing through injuries.
It’s extremely impressive that despite the adversity the Stars faced, they ended up being just one spot out of playoff contention. The race in the Discover Central Division was extremely close for most of the year, and Dallas being able to be a part of it was extremely impressive given all they went through.
Every team’s goal going into a season is to win the Stanley Cup, obviously. In the end, only one team can reach that goal, and this year, the Stars weren’t that team. So, while they didn’t reach their ultimate goal, the Stars can look back on this season, and build upon the positives going forward.
Hi everyone, my name’s Maddie Manfredi! I’ve previously covered the Boston Bruins and I’m excited to start a new chapter covering the Stars! I love writing and sports and I am excited to share my two passions with the world!