It's finally Christmas Day, and most Americans are with friends and family. Kids are opening the gifts that Santa Claus left them under the tree. However, here at Blackout Dallas, we have a different Christmas list. Here are some things we want to see happen with the Stars going into 2024.
All I want for the goaltending is… good health. Funnily enough, this is what I wished for last year. The position of goaltender is inherently the most fragile. It’s built upon one or two people and, any ailment can derail things. The Stars have kept the same tandem of Jake Oettinger and Scott Wedgewood. Currently, Oettinger is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.
Wedgewood has taken over and has a 9-1-2 record this season. But if anything were to happen to him, the situation would become more vulnerable. That’s not to discount Matt Murray (Dallas edition), but behind a somewhat shaky defense, it’s a huge role to play. This leads us to our next wish.
All I want for the defense is… a right-handed defenseman. Ideally, this would be Nils Lundkvist stepping up and filling that void, but if that doesn’t happen, the Stars may need to trade for one.
Having one would help in many ways. Most predominantly and ideally, Miro Heiskanen would not have to play on his weak side, and Ryan Suter could be bumped down the lineup. This keeps coming up in conversations surrounding Dallas’ defense, but optimizing Heiskanen should become a priority instead of using him as a crutch.
Thomas Harley and Heiskanen have been unleashed a few times with great flourish, but this leaves the rest of the defense pairings even stiffer. Having a fluid right-shot defenseman, as Lundkvist should be, would help the most. But at this point, any right shot would help.
All I want for the forwards is… for them to keep doing what they’re doing. The resounding success of the Tyler Seguin, Matt Duchene, and Mason Marchment line has increased the depth of this forward group.
Seeing how they’re tearing it up the AHL, it would be fun to see Logan Stankoven and Mavrik Bourque get a turn in the NHL. But with how well things are going (barring injury – which we do not want) it's hard to figure out how they’d get time.
The top line of Joe Pavelski and his sons hasn’t hit the rapid-fire pace we’ve seen them reach before, but I won’t get greedy. Eight forwards have 20+ points so far, and that depth will serve them well.
All I want for Pete DeBoer is… a smile. This is a joke, of course, he smiles. But the memes are funny, and his lack of expression is the steadiness we all need. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers and friends! Cheers to another year of Stars hockey and fun memories.