Welp. You can’t win em all. The Stars fought valiantly last night but could not find a way to squeak out another 2 points that would ultimately put them as close as they can get to the postseason without clinching. Although they were tripped up by a very determined Blue Jackets team and an almost perfect Sergei Bobrovsky, they are still in the driver’s seat for eighth and still entirely in control of their own destiny.
Here’s a breakdown of their final 2 games and what this loss means to their playoff chances and what new situations arise in the final days of their playoff hunt:
1. Stars vs. Blues Friday April 11 7:30 PM
Don’t let the opponent scare you. No matter how good St. Louis has done this season, they still only hold a 2-1-1 record on Dallas, the same as the Stars hold on Saint Louis. The last meeting between these clubs saw a determined and surprisingly energetic Stars team cruising to a 4-2 win at the Scottrade Center after smashing a Nashville squad the night before 7-3. This game means a lot to the Stars if Nashville cannot get it done against Phoenix tonight and 2 points would greatly help their cause. If Phoenix can take a regulation loss against NSH tonight and the Stars can win tomorrow against a STL team looking for revenge, THEY ARE IN. No doubt about it. If PHX ends up winning tonight, they will tie for eighth in points though Dallas will still hold control due to the tiebreak between the two teams. Many familiar faces will be visiting Friday night as Steve Ott, Derek Roy, and Brenden Morrow come back to town. The Stars will definitely need a win in this one if PHX takes a win tonight. STL is known for their fast paced offense and stealthy defense as well as their new net-minder Ryan Miller, though Dallas ha snot seemed to have any problems against Miller this season, having scored 8 times in the 2 games they have met up with him in. If they can start strong like they did a few weeks ago, STL honestly should not be a problem at all. Play like they did in the third period last night and everything will be smooth sailing.
2. Dallas @ Phoenix Sunday April 13 8:00 PM
This game is looking less and less like it will mean that much to the battle for eighth place (sorry thrill seekers), unless the Stars lose to STL and PHX defeats NSH and SJ. So this game might turn out to be a chance for the Stars’ top liners to take the night off and recuperate for the playoff push, barring any setbacks. Now, if the situation mentioned above does happen, this will be a dog fight till the clock finally strikes 0:00 with one team having scored more than the other. The Coyotes have looked depleted as of late, having lost two straight in a SO to the last place Edmonton Oilers and in OT to the surging Columbus Blue Jackets. Their offense has looked tired and their defense has just looked as if they don’t care. The point is they are playing at the moment like a team that has already been eliminated and is peering over the hill looking for next year. Their starting goalie Mike Smith remains benched with a leg injury and their backup Tanner Greiss has looked better than he is looking now. If this team does not turn things around, the Stars don’t have to worry about winning any other games and riding the 2 pt lead they have now into the postseason. PHX usually tends to have an explosive offense mixed with a very precise yet sometimes faulty defense. If we see this team in the above situation, things will be difficult. But then again, there’s always room for error. The Stars still hold the upper hand and looks as though they will grasp it the rest of the way unless PHX and DAL trade styles of play in the next 7 hours.
Though the loss is tough to bear, it has no immediate effects on their standing. I’ll take the time now to mention that Dallas’ magic number is 4. If their points gained plus Phoenix’s points surrendered, or their total points gained, or Phoenix’s total points surrendered matches this number, get ready for playoff hockey Stars fans. Nothing can be rightly assumed until 10:00 tonight when we find out who the victor is from tonight’s NSH-PHX showdown. NSH is a team with nothing to lose now thanks to Tyler Seguin’s wrister 2 nights ago (teehee). They will be looking to play spoiler on PHX’s wild card dreams which would greatly boost Dallas’ chances and give them the necessity for just 2 more measly points. Stars fans, do not discourage. Dallas still holds the better cards and will look to set them into place on Fri and Sun (a little help from NSH and SJ might do some good too). Right now all the Stars need to focus on is how they will attack STL on Friday. Let everything else pan itself out. So keep the flags flying high and Go Stars/Predators!