Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Would Make Exciting Playoff Series

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21: Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) and Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) chase the puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks on December 21, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Dallas defeats Chicago 4-0. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21: Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) and Chicago Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) chase the puck during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks on December 21, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Dallas defeats Chicago 4-0. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks must really enjoy hating each other. And after last night’s exciting game, the question has to be posed: what would happen if these two teams met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

The NHL is full of all kinds of rivalries, both old and new. While many teams have their own specified rivals, the Dallas Stars really don’t have any established rivalries.

Sure, there are some teams that Stars fans hate a little bit extra or opponents that Dallas always seems to bring a new level of energy against. But as for established rivalries that you hear about on “Wednesday Night Rivalry” on NBCSN, no such luck.

But over the past few years, the Dallas Stars have been slowly building rivals through their play. The Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild are two teams in particular that the Stars are breeding a new level of competition with. Their games against these two teams are always filled with plenty of intensity and even a little bit of hatred, and each game brings something new to the table.

While those matchups are fun, there is one team in particular that the Dallas Stars seem to hate just a little bit more every time they square off. That team is the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars /

Dallas Stars

There may not be a complete rivalry between the two teams formed just yet, but things are certainly trending in that direction. Ever since the NHL realigned in 2013 and clumped the Stars and Blackhawks in the same division, things have gotten increasingly more tense between the two clubs.

Every time the Stars and Hawks meet, there always seems to be a new level of energy promoted by both sides. The motives aren’t entirely clear in each game, but there is definitely a spark present.

Maybe it’s the division rival connection. Or perhaps it’s because both clubs are known for being particularly scrappy and physical. Maybe it’s due to the fact that both teams are loaded with talent and are always projected to be fighting for the top spot in the standings.

Whatever the case may be, there’s always something that clicks. The two sides are scrappy on the puck, get dirty in the corners, throw around some shoulders and maybe even some fists, and make it their goal to humiliate the other squad as much as possible. Verbal arguments and physical encounters make up a large part of the Stars and Hawks rivalry.

The crazy thing is that it happens every game. There’s never a quiet or civilized matchup between these two teams. Whether they are battling for a spot in the standings or one team is at the top of the division while the other is near the bottom of the conference, they are always going at it for a full 60 minutes.

Last night was yet another installment in what could be a budding rivalry. The Stars and Blackhawks, both locked at 39 points and on the playoff standings bubble, met up in Dallas for an intense showdown. And though Dallas trounced Chicago 4-0, the game was much closer and more entertaining than the score shows.

Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks /

Chicago Blackhawks

There were big hits, plenty of verbal battling, a plethora of kerfuffles (as Sean Shapiro would say) following whistles, and an overall feeling of hatred that spread throughout the entire arena. And don’t even get me started on the fans.

As I was making my way through the halls of the lower level during the second intermission, I happened to be following a group of Stars fans chanting, “DALLAS. STARS. DALLAS. STARS. BLACKHAWKS. SUCK.” They got a good number of other Dallas fans to join in as they walked through.

And, as you probably know from watching a Stars-Blackhawks game, there are always plenty of Chicago fans present. They did not take too kindly to the chanting and would respond with “FOUR CUPS” or “WHO HAS THE BETTER HISTORY?” At one point, a Blackhawks fan yelled at the Dallas ringleader “WE STILL HAVE MORE CUPS THAN YOU,” to which the Stars fans responded, “WELL DON’T FORGET WHO IS WINNING RIGHT NOW.”

“It’s always fun to win at home, especially when there’s some other fans in the stands,” Stars goaltender Ben Bishop said. “It’s nice.”

The Dallas Stars are now an undefeated 3-0-0 against Chicago this season, a feat they have never accomplished since joining the Central Division. But two of the three games have gone past regulation and involved plenty of spirited back-and-forth play between the teams.

With all of this current hatred ranging from on the ice to in the stands, the question has to be posed: what would a Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks playoff series look like?

Messy, that’s for sure. But boy would it be a fun one.

Not only would things get physical and violent on the ice, but there’s a chance that there would be some unrest in the stands as well. Say what you want about non-traditional hockey markets, but the Dallas Stars’ faithful are a passionate bunch. They love their team and will do anything for a W, even if it means going to war with an inordinate amount of Hawks fans in the stands.

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These two teams really don’t like each other on the ice, and to see that hatred unfold in a seven-game series would be something else.

At the current moment, it doesn’t really look like a Stars-Blackhawks series is in the cards, at least for the first round. Though there are still over 40 games left to be played, the Predators, Blues, and Jets don’t look as though they will budge in any way. The Stars or Hawks might be able to hop one of them, but there’s a very little chance that Dallas and Chicago end as the second and third best teams in the division or end in first and a wild card spot. The odds just aren’t there.

But stranger things have happened. At the moment, however, both teams are simply fighting to stay in the playoff race. With the win last night, Dallas moved into the first wild card spot and Chicago fell to the second wild card spot.

The Stars are finally starting to succeed against a team that seemed to be one of their biggest weaknesses when they started out in the Central. And that success is translating into confidence.

“I think it’s respect,” Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock said about the intensity that builds when the Stars and Hawks have met this season. “We have so much respect for them and I think they’re giving us the respect we’re due now.”

Though it doesn’t look promising at the moment, the thought of those two teams playing in Dallas up to three times with even more on the line is entertaining to say the least. Not only would the players get into it on the ice, but the fans would also have quite an entertaining time.

“It’s always fun,” Stars forward Antoine Roussel said about playing the Blackhawks. “There’s a lot of Chicago fans that come to our game here, so it’s always fun to shut them down.”

Next: Dallas Sports Are A Bad Time. The Stars Are Not.

A Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks playoff matchup would likely be one for the history books. But with how this current Stars team is performing, a playoff matchup against any team would likely bring plenty of fireworks. It’s just how they are built.

But man, green vs. red would be quite the show.