Team of the Week: Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars Players
Dallas Stars Players | Image by Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are The Dallas Express Team of the Week after clinching their first Western Conference regular-season championship in 21 years.

Dallas has been on fire, winning 12 of their final 14 games to end the regular season, capped by a 2-1 comeback win over the St. Louis Blues in a shootout to clinch the conference title and end the regular season on Wednesday night after being shut down by goalie Jordan Binnington most of the night.

“It was a battle,” forward Jason Robertson told the media postgame. “I thought we had a lot of scoring chances, but that’s what’s going to happen in the playoffs. You’re going to trade chances. I think their goalie played extremely well. You’re going to run into a hot goalie in the playoffs. So, I think our goal that we did score was kind of an example of what you’re going to have to do in order to score a hot goalie and a hard defensive team.”

Dallas will face the defending Stanley Cup champion, the Vegas Golden Knights, in the first round in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, which Vegas won four games to two.

“I don’t think you make a big deal about it, but you also don’t dismiss it,” Stars head coach Pete DeBoer told the media on Friday. “It’s the team that ended your season and the team that went on to win the Stanley Cup, which was our goal last year. You don’t ignore that. It’s part of our history and our journey as a group.”

One reason Dallas won the West was the increased depth in its roster. Looking at each line, it’s difficult to pinpoint a weakness, and last year’s series against Vegas influenced that.

“There was a big commitment on [general manager] Jim [Nill] over the summer to try and close that gap, and I think the results of our season speak to that,” DeBoer said. “We were the sum of our parts. We weren’t a one-line team. We didn’t rely on a hundred-plus point guy or a couple hundred-plus point guys. We were built around our depth, and that’s what’s going to carry us in the playoffs.”

The Stars’ depth will be tested against a Vegas team that is starting to get healthy. Game 1 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT on Monday at the American Airlines Center.

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