Stars: Playoffs Clinched, Positioning Still to be Determined

Kari Lehtonen seems to be the number 1 goaltender down the final stretch, will he be in the playoffs? Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Kari Lehtonen seems to be the number 1 goaltender down the final stretch, will he be in the playoffs? Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Stephen Elliott

The Dallas Stars clinched a playoff berth with a 6-2 win on Tuesday against the Blackhawks. The win secured the Stars second playoff trip in the last three years.

Yet, playoff seeding is still in limbo.

The separation is minimal for the top four spots in the conference. With six left to play, the Stars are tied with the Blues atop of the Western Conference (99 points). Closely behind are the Kings and Blackhawks at 95 points each.

The four point difference adds pressure for the Stars final games. A good finish and they can get the number one seed in the conference and play a Minnesota team who fired their head coach earlier this year. But if the Stars struggle, they could easily slip to the 4 spot and play the Ducks. Remember them two years ago?

Weekly Recap
Clinching the playoffs isn’t that monumental for this Stars at the moment. It was something that had to happen if they continued to win, which is what happened.

Tuesday, the Stars finished their season series with the Blackhawks with a 6-2 route.  In back-to-back match ups, the Stars put an insurmountable early lead against the Blackhawks with four goals, two by Vern Fiddler, in the first period.

The win gave the Stars four wins in five games against the Blackhawks. In the past two seasons the Stars  have lost just two in ten games against the conference’s power house team.

The Stars travelled to Arizona to play the Coyotes. Penalties plagued the Stars in a 3-1 loss, even though the Coyotes did not score on the power-play. Saturday the Stars finished up their road trip against the San Jose Sharks. Mattias Janmark returned from injury after missing six games and scored two goals in the 4-2 victory.

The Stars head back home this week to host two games before heading on a west road trip.

Upcoming Weekly Schedule – All Times Central
3/29  vs Nashville     7:30 pm
3/31  vs Arizona        7:30 pm
4/2    at Los Angeles 7:00 pm