The NHL Playoffs kick off later today and the Stars have to wait until tomorrow to get things going against the Calgary Flames.
At Blackout Dallas, our staff put out their predictions for who they think will win the series between Dallas and Calgary. Here are each of our predictions below. Spoiler Warning, you might not like some of the outcomes.
Ryan Chambers-Calgary Flames in 7
When you look at the offense for each of the teams, both teams have 1st lines that have been in the running for the best line in the NHL. The Stars’ top line of Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson, and Roope Hintz have accounted for almost 46% of the Stars’ overall goals while the Flames’ top line of Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau, and Matthew Tkachuk have all scored forty goals each this season. Gaudreau should be up for the Hart Trophy consideration.
But, unfortunately, that is where the Stars’ offense ends other than Tyler Seguin with 24 goals. The Flames have several other players including Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane (one of my favorite non-Dallas Stars players) who can provide secondary scoring, so I give the Flames the edge when it comes to forwards.
With defensemen, I give the Stars a slight edge because of one person; Miro Heiskanen. He is a true, bonafide, number one defenseman which is something that I don’t believe the Calgary Flames have. However, that does not mean Calgary has a terrible defense core. The Flames’ defensemen play great together as a group and their third pairing of Gudbranson and Zadorov is enormous and huge.
The part of the game that is up in the air is goaltending which is in my opinion the most important, but I still would give the advantage to Calgary. Which Jake Oettinger are we going to see in the playoffs? The one we saw that played against the Golden Knights and shut out the Lightning or the one that was at best average coming down the stretch? Meanwhile, Jacob Markstrom has had a fantastic season with 2.22 goals against average, a .922 save percentage, and a league-leading nine shutouts.
As much as I want to be a homer here and pick the Stars to win this series, I can’t. I think the Flames will win the series in seven.
Mahima Masih-Flames in 6
The Dallas Stars are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2020 and just like that year, they are facing the Calgary Flames. This team has a lot of playoff performers and a key mix of veterans and young players that are all hungry to win. However, the deficiencies of the Stars may ultimately be too much to overcome against a team as complete as Calgary.
Head coach Rick Bowness has a tendency to scratch his young speedy players. It seems like Denis Gurianov only gets to make one mistake before being demoted, benched, or scratched. In fact, Bowness has already said that Gurianov will not be on the second line to start the series.
Jacob Peterson is often scratched despite having twelve goals, all at even strength and five of them game winners, with fourth line ice time. Thomas Harley still has not seen powerplay time. Given Bowness’ tendencies to play veterans to dust before inserting young talent, this could end up harming the Stars as only the top line is productive. Since the Stars start the series on the road, they lose the ability to make favorable matchups for that line as well.
Considering these factors, I predict the Flames will win in six games.
Brian Sweet- Flames in 6
You’re wondering why I have the Flames in 6 since I write for a Dallas Stars page. It’s pretty simple, they have more talent than the Dallas Stars have right now. Also when Dallas only won one game against the Flames this season, it’s pretty tough to pick them to advance.
Right now the Dallas Stars are having a tough time getting the other lines to help on the offensive side of the puck. It has felt like over the last two months that Jason Robertson Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski count for more than 75 percent of the offense. Them playing a full 60 minutes is just not happening.
The Calgary Flames have a solid team with Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Matthew Tkachuk being the top three scorers on the team. Each of the players has over 40 goals scored which is one of the main reasons why they are in the playoffs.
The way the Stars run that zone defense has been a cause for concern in this series because the Flames are quick on their skates and can easily score and get into Jake Oettinger’s mind which is the last thing the Stars need.
The Stars are lucky to be back in the postseason, but they end up going against a team that has had their number all season long.
If the Stars can get the offense flowing on the other lines and the defense shutting down the Flames defense, I could see them winning the series. However, that’s likely not going to happen and that’s why I have the Flames in 6 over the Stars.