Despite pledges, assurances and solid sales pitches from the Dallas Stars that they will make the playoffs they are once again in a position to stab their fans in their sports' heart again. But this time they may actually break this awful string of five-consecutive postseason-less years and qualify for said playoffs.
In case you forgot, the last time the Stars made the playoffs was 2008, when they reached the Western Conference Finals under head coach Dave Tippett. Since then, it has been a series of late-season collapses and missed-playoffs.
2009: 3-4-3 in last 10 games; 83 points, 8 points behind 8th place.
2010: 6-4-0 in last 10 games; 88 points, 7 points behind 8th place.
2011: 4-4-2 in last 10 games; 95 points, 2 points behind 8th place.
2012: 3-7-0 in last 10 games; 89 points, 6 points behind 8th place.
2013: 4-5-1 in last 10 games; 48 points; 7 points behind 8th place.
The Stars are currently 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, and now two points ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes for that precious final spot.
The Stars play Columbus, St. Louis and close the season in Phoenix on Sunday. The Stars have the goalie, and they have the forwards, but it will depend on what their defensemen give them in these final three games.
This team is on the cusp of becoming a genuine threat in the NHL, and the only way a run starts is just getting in. The Stars long ago faded from prominent local relevance, and the only way to change that is via the playoffs.
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