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Stars vs Avalanche Second Round Playoff Series Review

Stars vs Avalanche

The Dallas Stars are the ones shining bright after beating the Colorado Avalanche in six games. Dallas got a goal in the second overtime from Matt Duchene to book a spot in the Western Conference Final. The Stars vs Avalanche was a series that showed defence was just enough to beat offence. However, there were some twists and turns a long the way in the Stars vs Avalanche series. We’ll look over a few main points from the Dallas 4-2 series victory over Colorado. The winner of the series awaits the victor of the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. Times and dates for the Western Conference Final have yet to be determined, but more will be known after Saturday’s Game 6.

Stars vs Avalanche Recap

Road Warriors

What a rush! The Stars have been excellent away from home this entire post-season. Dallas is 5-1 away from the Lone Star State this playoff run. The Stars only road loss was to the Vegas Golden Knights in a desperation Game 6. Vegas needed a stellar performance from Adin Hill in order to prolong that series.

Championship contending teams have to win the tough games away from home and the Stars have done that a bunch this post-season. Dallas has fallen behind after Game 1 in each of the first two series. That’s usually a recipe for disaster, but the Stars have fought their way out of trouble in both series. The most surprising fact is that Dallas won all three games at Ball Arena in Denver. Colorado was the best team at home during the regular season with a 31-9-1 mark. It’s never easy to play against the Avalanche and at home, but the Stars handled the hostile environment just fine.

Homegrown Stars

It’s one thing to acquire big-time players via free agency or trades. However, it’s another thing to build your own from the ground up. Dallas has been able to use its great draft classes thanks to General Manager Jim Nill putting together a strong nucleus.

The backbone of this team is the 2017 NHL Draft class, which we called the best in franchise history. Miro Heiskanen, Jake Oettinger, and Jason Robertson are three players from that class that have powered Dallas all post-season. Heiskanen and Robertson are first and second, respectively, on the team in post-season points.

Wyatt Johnston continues to be a revelation for the team and was drafted in the 2021 first round. Even some of the more veteran players like captain Jamie Benn and defender Esa Lindell are originally Dallas Star draftees from 2007 and 2012, respectively. The Stars have built their foundation with great picks and solid scouting. It’s a testament to how well they’ve done over the years in finding the right type of players to fit their team.

The Old Adage

We all know about that old axiom of defence winning championships. That principle rang true in this series between Colorado and Dallas. The Avalanche had shredded a pretty good defensive team in the Winnipeg Jets in the first round. However, Dallas was able to stifle Colorado for big portions of the series. With the exceptions of Game 1 and Game 5, the Stars were able to impose their will on a really skilled offensive team.

One note that jumped out was Cale Makar was held without a point for three straight games. Limiting Makar is usually a tough task, but the Stars were able to handle that fairly well. The former University of Massachusetts product did score twice in Game 5, but Dallas took care of business against one of the most offensively creative defenders in the league.

Oettinger also outdid counterpart Alexandar Georgiev in the pipes to give Dallas the series victory. The former Boston University goalie struggled at times during the regular season. However, he’s really shone bright this Stanley Cup Playoff run. A keyed-in Oettinger is going to bolster the Stars’ chances of hoisting the team’s second Stanley Cup in franchise history. The only Stars cup team was captained by Derian Hatcher and their leading scorer Mike Modano was back in 1999.

What’s Next After Stars vs Avalanche

Dallas awaits the winner of the old Canadian rivalry between the Canucks and Oilers. The Canucks have a good balance with their lineup while the Oilers are a high-scoring club. Either team is going to be a challenge and won’t be a pushover as the Stars seek their second Stanley Cup Final berth since 2020. The Stars might be in for a more physical series against the Canucks, but the Stars defence would get tested against the dynamic Oilers offence.

Colorado goes into the offseason thinking about what might of been. The loss of Valeri Nichushkin and the Jonathan Drouin injury did show through for the Avalanche in this series. This team is still a contender, but some questions need to be answered this offseason. What does the front office do to get this back to another Stanley Cup Final? This Stars vs Avalanche series could be a crossroads for both teams.

Main photo by: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


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