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And then there were 12: Stars eliminated

Apr 27, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars - Game Six Getty Images

For more entries in this series, click here.

When it comes down to it, the Dallas Stars’ 2013-14 season assessment probably boils down to perspective.

Some will look at the team blowing a two-goal lead with its playoff hopes on the line and feel quite sour. Others will accentuate the positive in the Stars even getting as far as to push the Western Conference’s top team to six (and almost seven) playoff games, even in the first round.

There’s no debating that the Ducks won it 4-2 after a stunning overtime win in Game 6, however.

  • Change was in the air for the Stars overall.
  • Long-time Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff took over in Dallas and helped the team make it back to the playoffs after edging some stout competition, particularly in the Phoenix Coyotes.
  • The Stars drew Detroit Red Wings GM Jim Nill to the Lone Star State with considerable initial results.
  • Most importantly, Dallas gave face-of-the-franchise Jamie Benn a partner-in-crime in Tyler Seguin, who proved definitively that he’s a top-line forward in the NHL (if there was any doubt in Boston).
  • The Stars even enjoyed a nice bit of early returns in the draft, as Valeri Nichushkin became an immediate impact player.
  • The franchise did a nice job giving Kari Lehtonen useful backup support, first with Dan Ellis and then by trading Ellis for Tim Thomas.
  • Dallas seems to be mixing wide-open offensive talent in the form of Benn and Seguin with players who have a knack for getting under opponents’ skin, particularly in Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt.
  • Ultimately, it likely comes down to how Nill decides to support what’s looking like an increasingly promising core. While Shawn Horcoff enjoyed strong playoff performances, former stalwarts such as Ray Whitney slipped to the point of being healthy scratches.

While the Blues find themselves asking big questions and the Red Wings wonder how many runs are left in them, the Stars seem to face a bright future. Still, the Ducks highlighted that there’s still plenty of work to do.

  1. esracerx46 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    I hate to say choke cuz they weren’t expected to do much….but for this game especially, they choked.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:24 AM

      Sorry Esracer, but unless a team scores on their own net, a big choke always involves a big comeback. Half full vs half empty. Depends who’s telling the story. The legendary 1980 Miracle on Ice was also about a monumental Soviet choke.

  2. blomfeld - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    TAKE ‘THAT’ GRASSY KNOLL !

    While I’ve no problem with the Dallas Star players themselves or their decent ‘God fearing’ fans, I nonetheless do have a problem with their current ‘vermin’ ownership !

    FU Thomas (Tom) Gaglardi !

  3. canucks30 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    The Canucks fired Mike Gillis a year too late. Jim Nill is a former Canuck and would have been the perfect fit working with Trevor Linden in Vancouver.

    He’s done an excellent job thus far in Dallas.

  4. govtminion - Apr 28, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    Pretty bad game for Dallas- after that early lead, I can’t believe they fell apart the way they did. But, if not for what Colorado did this season the Stars would be the most-improved team in the NHL this season (and yes, that even includes Columbus). Very good season, and as the article states, the future looks bright.

  5. darksidecowboy - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Although it hurts to lose the way the Stars did, I couldn’t be more excited about the Stars future. With Coach Ruff and GM Jim Nill and deep pockets owner Gagliardi the Stars are in good hands for years to come. Building around one of the best duos in the NHL, this team will be regulars in the playoffs.

  6. gbatap - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Most importantly there is excitement in the building again. Fans are back in Dallas in full force.

    The building is back to being as loud as it was back at Reunion Arena. Some reports from media said it was the loudest building they’ve been in.

    Future is bright and hockey is officially back in Dallas.

    Thanks for the great season boys!

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