By Mike Olson
The state of Texas is predominately known as a football state with successful high school and college programs and of course the Cowboys. As of late the MLB and NBA has been making a comeback with the recent success of the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and the San Antonio Spurs. However there is one team that has been lost in the dust of the “Lone Star State” and that would be the Dallas Stars.
Before I start this article I thought I would give you readers a little background information about myself. When I was 8 years old I was hanging out with my two uncles in Iowa. They were watching hockey and were bouncing back and forth between two teams. The Dallas Stars and the Pittsburgh Penguins. This was really my first time watching the sport on television. The only reason I became a Penguins fan instead of the Stars is because during the Penguins game a player with an awesome mullet named Jaromir Jagr rushed in the offensive zone, split two defenders and scored. At that time I thought that was the coolest goal ever and decided to become a Penguins fan.
The Dallas Stars moved to “Big D” in 1993 relocating from Minnesota. The team won a Stanley Cup in the 1998 season but hasn’t had much success since. They have only made the playoffs once in the last seven seasons and even that didn’t last quickly as the Anaheim Ducks knocked the Stars out in the first round of the 2014 playoffs.
Fast forward to this season, and the team that finally tasted the smallest bit of success in 2014, is off to its best start in franchise history posting a record of 13-4 through 17 games. They are the 3rd best team in the league right now behind the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers.
Over the past couple of seasons the team has brought in some big named stars that are making a contribution to the early success of the season. Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin, and Patrick Sharp are leading the way offensively, and the fans couldn’t be happier. Adding a veteran goalie such as Antti Niemi to split time with Kari Lehtonen makes for a lethal combination in net. The duo creates depth at the goalie position which should keep their legs fresh for hopefully a much deeper playoff run this season.
The only question up for debate is will it last? And if it does how long will it last? The Stars are in a very tough Central Division in the Western Conference. The St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wilde, Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, and the Chicago Blackhawks all good teams, all have their eyes set on the Stars. The problem with the NHL is it’s a very long, grueling season that features 82 games. Staying healthy is the hardest part of being a successful hockey team, because it’s something you can’t control. Hockey players typically don’t take nights off to rest up like in other sports due to the scheduling and having back to back games. To state the obvious, if the team keeps scoring, the goalies do their job, and the team keeps winning, the Stars could be set up to make a run deep in the playoffs filling thru American Airlines Center full of die-hard Stars fans. This is something that needs to happen now because the state of Texas has so many talented organizations.