Dallas is another odd team to consider. They took it to the Blues in 2016, giving St. Louis all they could handle before the Blues eventually finished things off and went to the Western Conference Finals that year.
Then, inexplicably, the Stars took a major step backward. They finished 2016-17 ahead of only the Colorado Avalanche in the division.
They only won 34 games and were a whopping -39 in goal differential. Surely, those totals can’t be right can they? They were.
Dallas, admittedly, had a lot of issues last season. They were ravaged by injuries to top players for lengthy amounts of time. Yes, every team has injuries and some deal with it better than the Stars did, but it can’t be ignored.
Then they went and added Alexander Radulov. If you can keep him in the states the entire season, he’ll score 50 points for you. He can be problematic for a team, but it might be worth the risk for Dallas.
Additionally, the team brought in Ben Bishop to solidify their goaltending problem and brought back Ken Hitchcock. Bishop will have more of an impact on the ice, but Hitchcock should not be ignored.
Despite coming off a bad year, with injury, Bishop has the talent to be a top-five netminder in this league. He’s been to the finals as well.
Speaking of finals, Hitchcock returns to the only place where he won the big one. He’s going to do big things for that team, make no mistake.
Blues fans can think what they will of him, but when the message is fresh, players respond. People forget, he took a team on the cusp of floundering in 2012 and led them to their first division title in almost a decade and 97 points.
By the end, he had just been around the same group of players too long for things to be worked out. Give him new enthusiasm and new players and watch out.
Defending will still be somewhat of an issue for Dallas even with some additions. They’re going to be very tough tough.