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Stars Look to Avenge West Final Loss

The Dallas Stars become the first West team to clinch a spot in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 24 days ago 3 min read

Three East teams had chances to clinch playoff spots, and they all did. Three West teams had that same chance: the Dallas Stars, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Colorado Avalanche. All three scenarios involved the St. Louis Blues losing in some fashion, but the Blues won, 5-3, over the Calgary Flames. With that, the Avalanche's scenario was kiboshed, but the Stars and Canucks could still get in with a win. Here's the thing: the two teams faced each other, and it was 1-1 late in the third period.

Of course, I was hoping Vancouver would win, because the Avs would remain one point behind if Dallas lost. Unfortunately, Dallas got two quick goals late in the third, and that was that. So the Canucks, again, had to wait, and the Stars earned the distinction of being the first West team to clinch this season.

It's been an interesting road for the Dallas Stars in the last few seasons. 2019 saw them lose a thrilling Game Seven to the St. Louis Blues--that was the game where Ben Bishop stood on his head for the whole game to keep things afloat, until he couldn't anymore. 2020 was the bubble year that saw the Stars reach the Cup Final, though they would miss the playoffs in the following year. 2022 was Jake Oettinger's turn to be let down in a Game Seven--a 64-save performance that ended with Johnny Gaudreau beating him in OT. Last year saw Dallas reach the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2020, but they couldn't survive a Vegas Golden Knights team who was on a mission. Even so, it was an absolutely amazing run from the Stars.

This year's Dallas Stars team still has a lot of that "oomph" from last year. A lot of key players on this team; Jason Robertson, Matt Duchene, Roope Hintz, Miro Heiskanen, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and of course, Jake Oettinger in net. They are all doing their part this season, but there's one player who I really want to talk about.

Seriously, does this guy ever age? Has Joe Pavelski forgotten that he turns 40 this July? He's out there outplaying the youngsters in the NHL. He's second on the team in points with 62, and his 25 goals also trail only Robertson (who leads the team in goals and points), but not by much. Pavelski is playing at a whole other level right now, and we know the reason why: he wants a Cup, finally. All those years in the NHL and he's reached the Final twice--2016 with the Sharks, and 2020 with Dallas. He's definitely a hard luck case like his now-retired former teammates Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

The Dallas Stars are in first place in a Central Division that is loosening up a bit, but not too much. Most of the division's looseness is caused by the Winnipeg Jets falling off very recently, but there's still a tight head-to-head race between the Stars and the Avalanche. Right now, Dallas has the top spot in the West, and if the Central winner has the top spot in the conference, that could be a big difference. That spot could face either Vegas of Los Angeles, instead of either Winnipeg or a very red hot Predators team. The final three weeks of the season should be quite interesting, especially as the rest of the Western Conference's playoff field fills up.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

Twitter - Facebook - Tiktok - Instagram

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