This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
Ill never look into your eyes...again
And there is your dagger. Mathematically, it would appear that the Stars season is still within their grasp, but having not missed a shift this season, I am here to tell you that I am fresh out of "Believe".
Against the Canucks, the Power Play lacked power. The Penalty Kill lacked kill.
Yes, the injuries have been absurd (300 man games lost and counting). But, I have to tell you that it would be somewhat missing the boat to suggest that ALL of the problems are a result of the injuries.
I honestly feel that the future is still extremely bright for this team, but this season appears to be a lost cause. They need their full compliment to be a team with ambitions that they can achieve, and right now, the guys who are gone are dearly missed, and the guys who are present are so exhausted that they are not as productive as they were 60 days ago.
Unlike the Mavericks, who are what they are, this Stars team can tweak here and there this summer and be right back in the mix in the Western Conference. Their best players; Morrow, Richards, Ribeiro, Ott, Eriksson, and Neal are all very young and able. They need another goaltender to share the load with Turco and they need a #1 or #2 defenseman (or both) to make the blueline make more sense. But, beyond that, they just need the great reset button to wipe away this silly season that has been.
They have decisions to make with the old guard. Modano will be back, I am not so sure about Sydor. Lehtinen and Zubov are free agents with little leverage in the league due to their health, and therefore will be offered deals that are far more in the Stars favor - but it will be up to the players to see if they want to hang around for another year at a bargain price.
I believe it is over, but in the big picture, the Stars are in a fine position still. The future is bright. Oh, and they actually have their #1 draft pick for the first time since 2006 (thanks to the Ladislov Nagy and the Mattias Norstrom trades), which appears it will be a pretty solid pick assuming they miss the playoffs.
I don't think that is a very big leap to make anymore.