Dallas Stars abandoned their one mission last night against the Winnipeg Jets

The Dallas Stars had one job last night by wrapping up the Central Division title race with a win. They would have gotten a second present if they didn't lose 3-0 to the Winnipeg Jets. Here are the three takeaways from the loss last night.
Apr 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) and center Matt Duchene
Apr 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) and center Matt Duchene / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars had a golden opportunity to take the Presidents' Trophy lead against the Winnipeg Jets. All they had to do last night was beat the Jets to lock up the Central Division title and take that lead. However, the team didn't show up at the rink to take advantage of the golden opportunity. The Stars lost 3-0 to the Jets as they allowed the Colorado Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets to remain in the race for the division title.

This loss will sting more with the team than the fan base. They had a shot to take the lead in the Presidents' Trophy race and squandered the opportunity. Now, the Stars must worry about the Division lead slipping through the cracks in the final two games of the regular season. While it seems the Stars will still wrap up the Central Division, you can't count out the Seattle Kraken or the St. Louis Blues making things intriguing at the finish line. That loss to the Blackhawks might haunt them if they end up in second place.

Before we get to the three takeaways of the game, I must bring up something I saw on social media. Some fans were getting on Logan Stankoven for being underwhelming last night. While he's not finding the scoresheet every game, he still contributes a lot on the ice. The reason why his presence wasn't felt was because the Jets have physical wings. They were able to take advantage of his height and shut him down.

Stankoven is still finding his way in the NHL after being here the last couple of months. Fans must realize he wouldn't immediately average two goals a night like he did in Kamloops and Cedar Park. The NHL is a different breed of hockey, and it will take him a season to adjust to the faster pace. If he didn't play to the coaching staff's expectations, he would be back down with the Texas Stars already. He's earned his spot in the lineup and should be a factor in the playoffs. Here are the three keys takeaways from last night's loss to the Jets.

Dallas Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets: 3. Good night for the Winnipeg goaltender

The Stars ran into a brick wall against the Jet's backup goaltender, Laurent Brossoit. There will be nights in the NHL where the backup goaltender forces their opponent to lay a goose egg. The Stars were a victim of that last night. All the Stars can do is shake off the loss and prepare for the Seattle Kraken on Saturday. As for Brossoit and the Jets, I hope they can tucker out the Colorado Avalanche in a seven-game series.

Dallas Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets: 2. Be selfish

To be the best at hockey, it takes a team effort to hoist the Stanley Cup. However, there are nights when players have to take over and be selfish. Wyatt Johnston and Roope Hintz needed to be like that last night against the Jets. With the Stars' offense in neutral, a goal or two from them could have sparked the Stars to a win. The Stars might have to be like that in the playoffs to have a deep run.

Dallas Stars vs. Winnipeg Jets: 1. Decide what you want to do with Nils

I'm starting to get on my nerves that Pete DeBoer is holding Nils Lundkvist back from his full potential. When he's on the ice, Lundkvist opens up the zone and gets the puck moving. Fans have seen that in multiple games this season. At least Taylor Baird of Defending Big D called out DeBoer for Lundkvist's lack of playing time tonight. DeBoer must realize by now that Jani Hakanpaa isn't adding much to the lineup over Lundkvist. Either trade him to a team that will use him next season or insert him into the lineup every game.

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