The Dallas Stars have made it to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they will be taking on the Vegas Golden Knights. The Stars have fought in the Wilderness and at Sea so far which has prepared them for Vegas. Just like in the past two series, we have put together our thoughts on how the series will go with our prediction articles.
Mahima Masih, Blackout Dallas Contributor-Stars in 7
The first round against Minnesota was heavy and antagonistic. The second round against Seattle was fast and high-scoring. The third round against Vegas should be the Dallas Stars’ toughest challenge yet.
There are so many storylines to focus on for the upcoming Western Conference Finals. The resurgence of Jack Eichel or a rematch of the 2020 bubble playoffs is just a couple. The most prominent one is easily Pete DeBoer facing his old team. Will he be able to exploit the chinks in his former Knights’ armor?
The Vegas Golden Knights had to get through the Edmonton Oilers in round two which is not an easy task. They’re a very complete team aside from their goaltending but Stars fans should know better than anyone to not doubt the power of a backup goalie’s magical run.
Jack Eichel will be a player to watch. He got the surgery he desired. Now finally healthy, he’s put up six goals and fourteen points in the postseason.
It’s probably not getting talked about enough nationally how good Dallas is. Roope Hintz is crafting his Conn Smythe portfolio. Miro Heiskaren is a steady highlight reel of defensive excellence. Joe Pavelski’s house is clearly full of magic food.
The kids are brilliant. Wyatt Johnston has two series-clinching goals and is playing with confidence far beyond his years. Thomas Harley has flawlessly transitioned to the NHL and brings much-needed offense from the blue line. The Stars have three lines that can score and a fourth line that’s relentless and effective.
There are still questions. The defense is a weakness. Still, the Dallas Stars showed in game 7 that when they play cohesive team defense, they hide those deficiencies. Can Jake Oettinger bounce back from bad goals the way he plays with a vengeance after losses? Will Jason Robertson get the monkey off his back and return to the scoring machine he was in the regular season?
Above all else, this team has belief. They rally around each other in a way that’s visible on the ice and also in their quotes off the ice. They want to win for each other and not just themselves, and that’s creating a bond that’s almost tangible to us watching.
This matchup feels like a battle till the end.
I say the Stars will win in seven games.
Giovanna Mengarelli, Blackout Dallas Contributor- Dallas Stars in 6
The Dallas Stars just closed out the complete BLOOD BATH against the Seattle Kraken. There were so many times during that series that I counted both teams in and out. But that is not in the past and we much now focus on the future.
The Stars’ next opponent just so happens to be The Vegas Golden Knights and let me tell you: if you thought that the Stars/Kraken series was insane, then get the nearest asylum on speed dial because this series is going to be even wackier, crazier, and anxiety-inducing for either team’s fans.
The D-men on the Knights are a lot more aggressive than some of the Dallas D-men; however, I think that both teams are hungry for another Dub-filled around and it will be a decently even match-up on a few different perspectives.
Some of the Knights members to watch out for are the following: Jack Eichel, William Karlsson, and Phill Kessel. One of their strongest players Jack Eichel has led the team in three separate categories: points, goals, and assists. Another super strong player on their team is Keegan Kolesar who leads the team in penalty minutes, and then there’s always Jonathan Marchessault who leads the Knights in his plus/minus statistic.
The Dallas Stars know how to score, they had a pretty decent PK but they were still beatable in their previous series. This series will be nothing different as I don’t think that a sweet from either team is possible. COULD they win the series in less than 6 or 7 games? Sure why not! But for now, I don’t think that series will be over THAT soon.
As far as their first game of the series goes, it is this Friday, May 19th, 2023 at 7:30 PM CST in Las Vegas, Nevada. Playing in that T-Mobile Arena is like no other. First game score: Vegas wins 4-2. Conference Final Series: Dallas wins in 6 games.
Samantha King, Blackout Dallas Contributor-Dallas Stars in 6
The Dallas Stars returned from odds stacked against them with the Minnesota Wild in Round One. They threw some choice aces onto the table against the Seattle Kraken with incredible, clutch performances from Roope Hintz and Wyatt Johnston. I think the odds are in Dallas’ favor for round three against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Already the Stars have shown that they aren’t a one-line pony show and have had success despite one of the teams’ top scorers being kept mostly off the board in terms of goals. While it’s generally advised not to bet against the house, I think Dallas will succeed at Vegas’ table.
This’ll be a series of Texas Hold ‘Em. Hold the Knights’ top 4 scorers off the board – without under crediting the rest of the team’s potential. Hold their goalie at the crease until the pucks get through. Hold the cards by getting plenty of shots on goal. Hold Vegas off the board with playoff Otter style. Hold the line and avoid being pushed out of the offensive zone without quality chances being taken.
There have been some glaring weak points in Dallas’ game and lots of momentum shifts to work through. However, the Stars have been able to seemingly maintain their health, adapt to each presented challenge, and thus far, rise above their opponents’ very different playing styles. I’m hoping for the Dallas Stars in 6.
Nick Lacoste, Blackout Dallas Contributor- Dallas Stars in 6
The Dallas Stars can beat the Vegas Golden Knights in the third round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It comes down to two key areas: 5v5 shot quality, and the PowerPlay. Looking at Dallas’ regular season success against Vegas using NaturalStatTrick’s Head-to-Head tool, we can see that Dallas operated at 46.35 unblocked shot attempts per 60 minutes against Vegas whilst giving up 37.66 per 60 minutes, taking 55% of the share at 5v5 (Fenwick).
This is impressive because taking 55% of the unblocked attempts share against one of the best teams in the NHL at 5v5 is unlikely to happen against such a strong team. Great teams will either take the puck from you before you shoot or block anything you want to throw at the net, and Vegas takes pride in their relentless DZ coverage under coach Bruce Cassidy.
The only other teams where Dallas had a better % of unblocked shot attempts were Vancouver, Anaheim, Chicago, Toronto, St. Louis, and Detroit — only 1 playoff team. This is a good sign for the series if Dallas sticks to their gameplan and tries to open up the ice through their speed and playmakers, making sure that their shots are coming from dangerous areas in the offensive zone and therefore having a better chance of going in and not being able to be blocked.
Furthermore, as things have tightened up in the playoffs, the Dallas Stars has not seen such strong shot numbers against Minnesota or Seattle, finishing with roughly even attempts either way. Looking back at the regular season, Dallas was unimpressive against both the teams they knocked out from shot-generation perspectives, so the fact that they were so strong against Vegas helps their case for beating the seemingly toughest opponent yet.
Also, between the Seattle and Minnesota series, Dallas only outscored the teams by 1 goal combined (9-9 against Minnesota, 20-19 against Seattle). They found a way to win both series despite rough 5v5 scoring overall and at least one “dud” game in each series where Oettinger was both not helped out at all and was not at his best.
Finally, the PowerPlay is currently running at 32% in the playoffs, which critics would say is unsustainable long-term. However, we only need to sustain it for a few more weeks so why don’t we try to keep it going? If Jason Robertson is going to score goals when every team is game-planning on him and Hintz day in and day out, Robertson will likely find twine through a go-to “push and pull” PowerPlay high slot shot where he pushes the puck towards the left side from the right flank and then pulls the puck back across his body to shoot ‘high glove’ or sometimes ‘high blocker.
This worked all season long, so I hope he keeps trying it. Overall, Dallas seems to have the best regular season statistical success against the Vegas Golden Knights out of all their playoff opponents so far, so no matter what Vegas thinks, the odds may be in Dallas’ favor. I think the Stars win in 6.
Caleb Garrison, Blackout Dallas Contributor- Dallas Stars in 7
With 55 wins to their ledger this campaign, the Dallas Stars find themselves 8 away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. If it’s meant to be, half of those will come at the expense of Pete DeBoer’s previous employer. We’re a year removed from his, in my opinion, his wrongful termination and Vegas is showing the benefits of a new voice just as much as we are.
All told the pure hockey theatre of a DeBoer revenge tour is fun enough to those on the outside. The part that should get Stars fans excited is what’s going on inside. Steve Spott & Pete DeBoer’s familiarity with our Western Conference foes will tilt the scales in our favor. Understanding said weak points will be key to unlocking Jason Robertson’s game, as he’s struggled to find the back of the net this postseason.
Outside of empty net opportunities the simplest way to kickstart a slumping Star has proven to be the power play. Surprisingly enough, Vegas’ special teams were below average with a man advantage and on the penalty kill. To their credit, Vegas is built to withstand the offensive inevitabilities that the Stars’ top lines present.
Led by former Blues Captain Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas’ defensive core plays a stout game at even strength. I was most impressed with Shea Theodore during the bubble run when these teams met for the first time, and the core has grown around them since then. While the Golden Knights do have back-end skills that dwarf Seattle’s, they are quite a bit leakier.
Behind them rests newly appointed netminder Adin Hill, and he hasn’t quite convinced me that he’s going to swoop in and guide them to a cup. While many storylines unfold, these drums will beat the loudest as Pete DeBoer remains undefeated in game 7s and the Stars take it in seven games.
Brian Sweet, Blackout Dallas Site Expert-Stars in 7
The Dallas Stars have officially reached the Western Conference Finals for the second time in four seasons. The Stars basically took care of the business against them in the bubble back in 2020. It’s not going to be as easy as it is in 2023. The one thing that is going in the Stars’ favor is hiring their former Head Coach Pete DeBoer during last year’s offseason after Rick Bowness resigned as Head Coach. He should know how that team works and where their weaknesses are.
The Stars are going up against a juggernaut that is healthy again compared to the regular season. Unlike in the first two series where there was one scoring threat, the Stars have to go up against four of them. Miro Heiskanen can’t defend against all four players so some defensemen are going to have to pick up the slack in this series.
As for the Stars’ offense, I’m not as worried about that. Joe Pavelski is on a streak right now along with Roope Hintz. Trade Deadline acquisitions Maxi Domi and Evgenii Dadonov have chipped in as well. I hope that Jason Robertson has been working on his shot selection during the brief break the Stars have had this week. We are going to need him in this series if we want to win and advance.
The Stars need to take it one shift at a time in this series. If the Stars can take it one series at a time and score goals to help Oettinger out, the Stars can prevail and get to the Stanley Cup Finals. I think that the Stars can win it in seven games.