Should the Dallas Stars rest players once they clinch the division?

The Stars are nearing the NHL playoffs with only three games remaining this season. Some key players like Chris Tanev and Tyler Seguin could use a game to rest their bodies before round 1 of the playoffs. Here's why the Stars could benefit from this.
Los Angeles Kings v Dallas Stars
Los Angeles Kings v Dallas Stars / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

With the Stars inching closer to winning the central division and only three games left, a question arises from the mist. Should they rest some players in the three remaining games of the regular season? It's a complex question for the Stars because while they want their key players to get playing time, they don't need injuries going into round one of the NHL Playoffs. So, should Chris Tanev and others get time off, or do they chase the Presidents' Trophy?

The Stars have sat Tyler Seguin out for a few games with the lower body injury he’s been battling. With his history of injury and surgery, rest for Seguin has never been more vital with Chris Tanev’s scare against the Seattle Kraken, where he had to leave the game. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say some rest might help him.

It’s impossible to tell if he’s injured with how tight-lipped the NHL is, but it wouldn’t do any harm. The Stars have three games remaining in the regular season. They’ll face Winnipeg, Seattle, and St. Louis in that order. Only the Winnipeg Jets are in a playoff position, as the Kraken have been eliminated, and the Blues are on the brink of elimination from playoff contention.

Even if Tanev were to play against the Jets, it would be easy to rest him for the last two games. Beyond Tanev, another candidate for rest is Miro Heiskanen. The most overworked member of the Stars, his time on the ice will only increase in the postseason. He’s never a liability, but rest would make his best even better.

Heiskanen and Tanev are easily the key players of the defense. Both players before the postseason are paramount for both and the team. Resting either of these players would also (hopefully) force Pete DeBoer to play Nils Lundkvist more.

For some reason, Lundkvist has evaded his coach’s trust, but his presence speaks for itself. The Stars were on a 17-game win streak, with Lundkvist playing until the recent game against Chicago. Of course, it’s not an exact correlation. There are many other factors at play. But still, it can’t be easily ignored.  

This team is a well-oiled machine. Avoiding injury and optimizing health must be at the forefront of the Star's minds as they finish their stellar regular season. That means not trying to win the Presidents' Trophy with the three remaining games this season.

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