By John VibesPublished Dec. 25, 2017 12:05AMThere was a time when it seemed like a given that the Dallas Stars would win the Stanley Cup.
That was in 2010, when they beat the New York Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference finals.
That team won it all.
The Stars are a different team this season.
This time last year, the Stars were playing a team that was just one game away from tying the franchise record for most wins in a season.
The Stars are just one win away from that record.
That’s good news for a team trying to rebuild, which is exactly what coach Lindy Ruff said during the team’s offseason.
It’s also good news that the Stars are better than they were last year.
But, that record is a very good sign.
And now, Ruff says the Stars should be just fine.
Here are a few reasons why.1.
The schedule is tougherThis isn’t an accident.
The NHL has been working to make the schedule tougher this season, even if that means taking the regular season out of the equation.
The league says it’s trying to balance the regular-season schedule to balance out the schedule for the playoffs, which typically features two games a week and eight games over two weeks.
But, this season the schedule has been changed.
The league says teams can now play three games a night.
They’ll also play eight games in a row.
That would mean the schedule would have to be even more difficult.
It’s hard to believe that this is all for nothing.
The schedule has changed, but the Stars and the fans are happy with it.2.
The team is winning the goaltending battleThe Stars, like every other team, have their own goaltending problem.
They have an older backup, Patrik Nemeth, who is in his second season in the NHL.
But the team also has a rookie goalie, Tyler Seguin, who has a career save percentage of .922 and is coming off his best season to date.
He has a 2.25 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage, both career bests.
Nemeth and Seguins have the potential to be elite goaltenders, but they’ll need to do a lot better than their careers would suggest.3.
The roster is loadedThe Stars have been without their best two goalies, Jordie Benn and Tyler Seager, both of whom have been out since the season opener.
Benn missed four games with a broken foot, and Seager is out with an undisclosed injury.
Ruff said he doesn’t know what the prognosis is for either player.
“It’s tough to tell,” Ruff said.
“There are some things that are still unknown.
We just don’t know when that is.
There’s no doubt about it.
We’re working hard to make sure we have our best players on the ice.”
Nem, Segu and Benn are a great group.
But when you add the rest of the roster to that, the pressure is on them.
Ruff is counting on Seguer and Benn to keep playing like this, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.4.
The lineup is betterThere are still some questions about how much better the Stars will be when it comes to the lineup.
Ruff made the comments in a recent interview with Stars beat writer Jamie Benn.
Benn has played well during the first four games, but he hasn’t been on the same page as Seguest and Nemeth.
The coach didn’t say when he will make Seguist available for the start of the playoffs.
The big question is how many points Benn and Sego should produce.
If the Stars can put up more points than the teams they’re playing, they should be able to hang with the Blackhawks in the Stanley Championship Series.
That’s just how the playoffs have gone this season and will likely continue to do so.5.
The fans will get their moneyThey’ve got the Stars for two weeks, but what about the fans?
That’s the biggest question hanging over the season.
It was the same question when the Stars took the puck to the locker room after their 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 13.
The crowd had no idea who was coming to the rink.
And they didn’t have a clue who was playing.
The fans will probably get their answers when the teams face off in the first round of the Stanley Championships on Thursday.
Ruff has said that he’s optimistic about the team getting to the final.