The Dallas Stars can advance to the Second Round for the first time since 2016 and I’ve never been so stressed in my life. That’s a lie, being a Chicago Cubs fan during 2016 was stressful.
This definitely takes 2nd place.
During this whirlwind season for the Stars, there have been moments where you could feel that the team didn’t have the confidence it needed to keep fighting and that reflected on the ice. Right now, the Stars are hot. In the first 5 games of the series, the Stars have gone 3-1-1 with 16 goals for and 11 against. They’ve been absolutely electric.
The power play and penalty kill have done amazing. On 21 power play opportunities, the Stars have 4 goals. They’ve only given up 11 power play opportunities against and they haven’t allowed the Nashville Predators to score.
At even strength the team had done well to keep some of the Preds dangerous scorers off the sheet. Viktor Arvidsson was deadly for the Preds this season, scoring 34 goals in the regular season in just 54 games. He has 0 points in the playoffs even though he has 30 total shot attempts. It seems that Tyler Seguin’s “Hitting the Post” Curse has spread.
Anton Khudobin hasn’t seen the ice yet but, Vezina nominee, Ben Bishop has bounced back to keep himself consistent for the Stars. In playoffs, Bishop has a .935 save percentage and a 2.18 GAA.
My favorite part about this playoff series so far has been Jamie Benn. Benn is a special kinda player, not only is he talented but he can take people out and it petty as fuck. I love it. In Game 5 alone, Jamie had 3 assists and 2 “registered” hits. But Big Benn was in beast mode and it was fantastic to see after Beast Mode Benn’s disappearance during parts of this season.
Not to mention that the depth for this team has improved dramatically. They’ve had players on every line contribute and it’s been a boost to the level of teamwork being put up.
I can go on about how their play on the ice is fantastic and that’s been a definite improvement but it’s not the reason I’m most excited for this game. There’s been times during the season where the locker room has felt a little dead.
Spirits weren’t as bright and you could just feel the weight of the world that rest on some of these guys’ shoulders. After the Lites incident, you could feel it.
But this team’s resilience is the reason they’re here.
Right now, this group has energy. They’re flying high, they’re (kinda) carefree and fired up which has given the fans even more to be excited about.
Featured Image: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey