The Dallas Stars have failed to make a major impact on the National Hockey League since reaching the Stanley Cup Finals series in back-to-back years at the end of the millennium. Back then, the Stars lifted the title in 1999 before coming up short the following year. However, they failed to build on their brief era of dominance and this is just the second time that Dallas have reached the playoffs in the last eight seasons. Can they go all the way and lift the Stanley Cup at the end of the grueling postseason? Only time will tell but they’re certainly good enough on current form.
Right now, the Stars are firing on all cylinders and Lindy Ruff’s side are looking strong ahead of the playoffs. Dallas won eight of their last ten regular season fixtures to ensure confidence will be high ahead of what could be a difficult seven-match series against the Minnesota Wild. As of April 11th, 32Red Canada price Dallas at 10/1 to win the Stanley Cup this season and, with a bit of luck, there’s no reason why the Stars cannot go all the way to the finals. After all, they’ve been one of the most impressive, exciting and consistent teams during the regular campaign.
Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin have both been simply sensational throughout the regular season and are key reasons for Dallas’ prominent position in the push for the Stanley Cup. While the likes of the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks both have impressive recent records in the NHL playoffs, the Stars can end the monopoly and win a second Stanley Cup if they perform at their best and tighten up defensively. Offensively, the Stars are one of the best sides in the league but they can be caught out at the back, especially with the inconsistent Antti Niemi in goal.
And although many Dallas supporters are pondering over Niemi or fellow goaltender Kari Lehtonen, it’s a no-brainer. It has to be Lehtonen. On his day, Niemi can be almost invincible but Lehtonen is the more reliable stopper and consistency is exactly what is needed in the playoffs. In a one-off game, it might be worth risking Niemi but when it matters most of all, Lehtonen has to start. In recent weeks, he has led Dallas to victories against the Kings, Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators which is no easy feat. Read the rest of this entry →