Welcome cooler weather, and welcome back hockey season. And with the dawn of the 2014-15 NHL season at hand, the Dallas Stars are no longer expecting to just play a rebuilding seaon. This year, they plan to do some damage. Are they ready?
Well, yes, actually, they are. The Stars, in fact, should be a playoff contender and there’s no reason to think they couldn’t go far. Last season was a lot better than anyone expected, and the young team ‒‒ captained by 25-year-old Jamie Benn ‒‒ is more confident and experienced. Their play t the end of last season was better than their play at the beginning, and the Stars’ playoff run did a lot more damage to the Anaheim Ducks than anyone thought.
This year, the Stars are taking their experience in the season and the playoffs and wrapping it up in a series of players who are entering their prime years. This could be a devastating combo come April, when the hunt for the Stanley Cup kicks into overdrive.
What the Stars have this year is a powerful power play squad and an all-around, blue-collar team unafraid to get dirty and play hard. There’s also newcomers like Anders Lindback, who will be the backup to ace goalie Kari Lehtonen, and the much-anticipated Cody Eakin and Brenden Dillon, who recently signed onto the Dallas bench and are likely to add some needed speed and muscle.
Also hopeful this year, is the return of forward Rich Peverley, whose on-bench collapse last year sidelined him while doctors tried to mend his irregular heartbeat. Though not cleared for play yet, Peverley is working out with the team and could see some action some time this year.
Either way, the Stars are loaded for bear and ready for the ice this season. And there’s no doubt that this year’s club actually could give Big D a reason to cheer on a championship contender.