The Dallas Stars have worked hard for six long grueling months to return to the NHL Playoffs. They were just so close to coming away with the Central Division title and playing the Seattle Kraken in the first round. However, they got second place in the Central Division and will take on a divisional foe. They will look to put last year’s playoff exit in the past as they take on the Minnesota Wild in the first round this season.
If you watched any of the regular season matchups this season between both teams, you know that the bad blood will spill over into the playoffs. This will be an interesting series for a number of reasons. Jamie Benn and Ryan Reaves jawing at each other on the ice will certainly happen. Let’s take a look at some of the other major storylines in this series.
Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild Playoff Series: 1. A young superstar returns home
There is one player that will be mentioned so many times by the announcers that fans of both teams will be sick of it by the end of the series. That player is Minnesota’s own Jake Oettinger also known as Otter down in Texas.
All eyes will be on the Lakeville, Minnesota native as he looks to put last year’s depressing game seven loss in the past and advance to the second round. The one thing that Stars’ fans need to be somewhat concerned about is how he plays in his home state in games three and four. I think some of the emotions of playing playoff hockey in his home state could get to him in the middle of the game. I’m not really concerned about that but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild Playoff Series: 2. USA vs Russia
I remember when both fanbases were going at it when Jason Robertson and Krill Kaprizov were finalists for the Calder Trophy. This will be an exciting matchup to keep an eye on as both players are the top goal scorers for their respective teams. Krill Kaprizov leads the Wild with 40 goals and 35 assists going into this series. Jason Robertson leads the Stars with 46 goals and 63 assists. Let’s see which player has truly improved from their rookie season.
Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild Playoff Series: 1. How will Wyatt Johnston perform under playoff pressure?
The last thing to keep an eye on in this series is how will Stars rookie Wyatt Johnston perform in his first playoff series as an NHL player. Wyatt Johnston shocked many fans as he passed his nine-game tryout and made the roster as a 19 year old. The front office could have shipped him back to the Windsor Spitfires for another year but have succeeded in his rookie season.
He is even up for the Calder Trophy this season which will be awarded to the top rookie. Now let’s see how the young gun handles playoff games. Dallas Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer will be expecting to see some production from him against the Wild. I think he will do just fine and create some pressure in the offensive zone and get some goals during this series.