Dallas Stars Are Starting To Make A Bold Statement

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21: Tyler Seguin
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 21: Tyler Seguin /

Although parts of their season have been lackluster, the Dallas Stars look like they’re gearing up to send the NHL a message: new year, new me.

After Christmas comes in all its whirlwind magic and excitement, we can be left feeling a bit of a void the day after. That is, until we orient ourselves toward contemplating the year behind us and the one ahead.

Did we achieve the goals we set for ourselves last year around this same time? Did we stay true to the changes we wanted to make and the ways we promised that we would better ourselves? Will some of our same year-old (and older) resolutions plunge forward along with us again into this new year?
As we are taking stock of the time we’ve spent and how we’ve spent it, the Dallas Stars are likely doing the exact same thing. Just as many of us have enjoyed a few days off and used the quietness that comes with it for some introspection, the Stars could be using their break for the same purpose.

The timing of this break for the Stars is well-suited to this activity. Approaching the start of 2018, it’s a good time to look back at the 2017 part of the Stars’ current campaign and see where it lived up and where it fell short.

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I think it’s obvious that the Stars wanted to be in a different place at the close of this year. Although it’s true that if playoffs were to come early this year, the Stars would be in position for a wild card spot, I don’t think that’s how the Stars envisioned the ascent of their season.

It’s had much more of an ebb and flow, up and down vibe to it than the pillage and plunder attitude that seemed to be the aim of the newly-assembled off-season version of the Stars at the close of the summer. If Hitch’s goal was to raise the 15-16 Dallas Stars from the dead, that dream has not quite been achieved yet in its full glory.

The Stars sit currently in the upper middle of the Western Conference, and in the complete center of the Central Division, sandwiched with their 43 points between Winnipeg (46) and Chicago (39). It’s clear that, like many other teams in both their conference and division, they’ve struggled to find their identify and their consequent place.

However, the Stars made a huge statement about their intentions in the New Year by going into their break with a tooth and nail, over-time comeback victory against the dominant Nashville Predators. To beat a team that sits atop the division standings sends a clear and decisive message to the league and to the fans about the Stars’ New Year’s resolutions.

The Stars have had good luck this year for converting early leads into wins. So much so that this formula for Dallas almost seems guaranteed. And falling into an early deficit has spelled out disappointment time and time again. Still, the Stars rallied back from a multiple-goal deficit in the first period against Nashville.

These kind of decisive and nearly epic-feeling victories haven’t been foreign to the Stars this season. But they have been unpredictable, coming in and out of hiding and giving the Stars a good-twin, evil-twin dynamic that has been hard to read.

Next: Dallas Stars Holiday Wishlist: 2017-2018 Season Edition

But we have reason to hope and believe that Saturday’s win was a little different. For a team that recognizes the obstacles they’ve tripped over in attempting to meet their resolutions, a well-timed victory against such an opponent is meaningful and can be the beginning of an upward trajectory for the Stars in this approaching new year.