As the Dallas Stars are entering their final seven regular-season games, they face the most daunting stretch of contests thus far. After hosting their last home game of the year, they will play their remaining seven games on the road. With three of their final seven games being against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, it’s safe to say these crucial wins will not come easy for the Stars.
Seven Road Games Will Not Be Kind to a Fatigued Stars Roster
The Dallas Stars have had a jam-packed schedule since early March, which has led to a roster riddled with injuries and exhaustion. Their schedule remains unrelenting as the Stars will have to make their final playoff push on a long seven-game road trip. The last time Dallas was on a road trip of that length was during the 2002-03 season.
The long road trip is a result of rescheduled games from the early COVID-19 outbreak and the winter storm that swept Texas. While they’ve adapted to playing games with at most one off-day between, the physical and mental fatigue is still very present in Dallas’ roster, especially when it comes to road games. Per the NHL’s COVID-19 restrictions, players aren’t able to do what they typically do on road trips. They are mostly confined to spending time in their hotel rooms which, although, is a necessary precaution, isn’t ideal (and let’s be honest, not much has been during the pandemic).
It’s important now more than ever, for the Stars to focus on one game at a time. If they focus too much on their next game rather than the one at hand, that fatigue is going to set in even more, especially while they’re on the road.
Many of These Games Are Must Wins Against Good Teams
The Stars currently sit fifth place in the Discover Central Division, and entering their first game of the road trip Thursday night against the Lightning, are just two points out of a playoff spot. This road trip is Dallas’s final chance to make a playoff push.
The Stars have overcome tremendous amounts of adversity to be in the position they’re in now. At the end of February, they were dead last in the division, and hope in a potential postseason run was quickly dwindling. Since then, they’ve found their groove. They’ve moved up to fifth in the division and are very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.
One of the final seven games is against the Nashville Predators, the team currently fourth in the division standings. The Stars have two games in hand over the Predators. Having those two games over Nashville gives the Stars a golden opportunity to secure that final playoff spot. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. The Stars are playing seven games against seven very talented teams.
It Won’t Be Easy but It’s Doable
John Klingberg describes exactly what the Stars need to do on this long road trip.
“We’re just going to have to grind it out and get points.”NHL.com
It sounds simple but it’s true. The Stars will have to do what they’ve done all year; overcome adversity.
Getting the points they need to move into the final playoff spot in the division won’t be easy, but it’s doable. The Stars are a talented team. They have a great group of players already, and with the potential of a Tyler Seguin return within the next few games, things are looking promising for the Stars. It’s going to take a strong team effort, but they have what it takes.
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!