Monday was the busiest day of the year in the NHL. The trade deadline did not disappoint fans hoping their teams would improve the roster before the final push for the playoffs. A total of 18 trades were made near or at the deadline most in which happened in the tight Western Conference.
Non in which involved the Dallas Stars.
Jim Nill and the Stars stayed put during NHL’s final trade period. They watched on as Winnipeg, Nashville, Minnesota, San Jose, Anaheim and Las Vegas made moves to boost their roster.
The Dallas Stars had reason to add to their roster. The organization has young talent sought out by other NHL teams. Guys like, Miro Heiskanen, Juilus Honka and Jason Dickinson, would have brought back big pieces for the team right now. Instead, Jim Nill kept his future hoping this current team would be enough to get into the playoffs.
Recent struggles warranted an outcry by fans to make a move. The Stars are in a slump, losing four out of their last six all within the conference. In the middle of their most important stretch of the season, adding a top forward or defenseman might have lit a spark in the locker room.
Yet, the trade deadline passed and the Dallas Stars are moving forward with the team they have trusted all season. Despite their recent struggles, they still hold a playoff spot and have the opportunity to move up in the division. But with 20 games left in the season, Ken Hitchcock and his team have to get back on track. The playoffs are not guaranteed in the historically competitive Western Conference. You can bet if this team does not make the playoffs, criticism will go back to the inactive trades near the deadline.
The Stars had a couple days off to recoup from their blowout loss against the Sharks. On Wednesday, the California road trip continued with a trip to Anaheim. Dallas improved their play against the Ducks. They dictated play and kept most of the offensive possession. But the offense was shut down by goaltender Ryan Miller. The 37-year-old goaltender made 41 saves, 24 of them in the third period. Hampus Lindhoim scored for the Ducks in the first period after a penalty by Antoine Roussel. Then Ryan Getzlaf capitalized on a turnover by the Stars on the power play and gave the Ducks the 2-0 win.
Dallas was awarded with their dominating play against the Kings. In Los Angeles for the finale of their California road trip, the Stars picked up a much needed win against a team in their crosshairs. This one was scoreless through two periods. Kari Lehtonen and Jonathan Quick had two outstanding periods, shutting down nearly 30 total shots. Tyler Seguin finally broke through Quick on a deflection after a faceoff win. That goal would be plenty for Lehtonen. The Stars’ goaltender saved 18 shots to record his first shutout of the season. Alexander Radulov added an empty netter to give the Stars a 2-0 win.
The Stars were back in town to host a game against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets have flat out owned the Stars in recent match ups. Six straight wins against the Stars from the team in front of them in the Central. Things did not change on Sunday. It started out promising as Tyler Pitlick opened the scoring in the first period on a wrist shot off a faceoff win.
But the Jets erased that lead quickly in the second period on a blast from Nikolaj Ehlers. They would then rattle off four more in the second period to blow the game wide open. The Stars would tally two more, but it would not be enough, 5-3 loss. The Jets have now out scored the Stars 14-6 in the season series.
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
2/27 vs Flames 7:30 p.m.
3/1 vs Lightning 7:30 p.m.
3/3 vs Blues 1:00 p.m.