The 2022-23 season wrapped up last night as the Vegas Golden Knights won 9-3 against the Florida Panthers and hosted the Stanley Cup on home ice. Even if you hate how they were 16 million over the cap, they followed the league rules and won the cup fair and square. The Dallas Stars were so close to actually being the Western Conference representative this season.
All they had to do was focus and not make so many mistakes and we would have had a shot against the Golden Knights. Another thing is if they closed out Game 2 and played better in Game 3, the Western Conference Finals would have shifted towards the Stars. They weren’t disciplined and the Golden Knights were, simple as that.
If the Stars didn’t run Jake Oettinger into the ground and had a better defense, this season would be a different story. Let’s take a look at three lessons the Stars can take from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Dallas Stars Lessons: 3. Be patient with the puck and get out to an early lead
If you watched any of the Western Conference Finals, you would know the Stars really didn’t get out to quick starts against the Golden Knights. The main reason why the Knights hosted the cup last night was they took care of business early. Dallas Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer has to talk with his squad this summer about how getting out to fast starts. This could have been the difference between them playing in the Cup Finals instead of watching it on the couch.
Dallas Stars Lessons: 2. Defense wins championships
Another thing that the Stars learned from the Vegas Golden Knights is defense wins championships. One of the main weaknesses that the Stars had this season was the defense wasn’t really that deep. Ryan Suter and Jani Hakanpää were defensive liabilities and hopefully will not be on the team next season. If the Stars can learn from how good the Golden Knights’ defense was, the Stars will be right back in the hunt for the Cup next season.
Dallas Stars Lessons: 1. Don’t run your goaltender into the ground
The Vegas Golden Knights had a lot of goaltender issues and when the opportunity arose, Adin Hill stepped up. The Stars however didn’t have that luxury the Golden Knights had. Matt Murray was the backup when Scott Wedgewood went down with an injury. However, DeBoer was so afraid to play Murray that Jake Oettinger had to play throughout the entire injury.
Oettinger basically hit the fatigue wall in the Western Conference Finals. The Stars have got to start looking for a solid number three goalie this offseason. Oettinger can’t play another 80 game season. If the Stars can find an “Adin Hill” that can step up to the plate if Wedgewood or Oettinger were injured, they could have a shot at hosting the Stanley Cup next season.