The Stars returned to the playoffs this year, locking up the first wildcard in early April using a stingy defense and a great goaltending tandem to earn themselves a 4th place finish in the Central Division, and tied for 15th overall. They followed it up by knocking off the Nashville Predators in the first round before getting knocked out by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues.
Additions: Joe Pavelski, Corey Perry, Andrej Sekeral
Subtractions: Ben Lovejoy, Brett Ritchie, Tyler Pitlick, Mats Zuccarello, Jason Spezza, Marc Methot, Valeri Nichushkin,
After finishing tied for the third least amount of goals scored this season, it’s safe to say this is a big weakness for the Stars. This offseason they made an attempt at strengthening their top-6 but we still have them ranked bottom-5 there. Adding Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry should spark their offense a bit but there are plenty of question marks when you add two guys in their mid-30s. Expect the majority of the Stars’ goals this season to come from the dirty areas where both Pavelski and Perry love to spend their time.
The Stars defense doesn’t rank all that high right now but they have plenty to be excited about. Miro Heiskanen showed signs in his rookie season that he’s one of the best up-and-coming defensemen and John Klingberg is already a beast on their backend. Between the two of them and Esa Lindell, the future is bright for the Stars back-end but past the three of them it thins out pretty quickly.
Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin were arguably the best goalie tandem in the league this season with Bishop being named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. The Stars helped out their goalies by allowing the 4th fewest shots from the slot last year and the 2nd least from the inner slot. They played a strong defensive system that allowed Bishop and Khudobin to really excel in their net.
The Point Prediction:
We have the Stars regressing a bit this season, but they still find themselves making the playoffs sneaking into that last wildcard spot in the Western Conference. The Stars will need that stingy defense to be just as good because as we said earlier the Stars will continue to struggle finding the back of the net. At the very least, Miro Heiskanen will be a marvel to watch.
(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)