The Dallas Stars are currently are in 8th place of the 2013-2014 Western Conference with 75 points. With this in mind, I asked myself the question “what would be an indicator if this was a successful season or not?”
Would they need to win the Stanley Cup, and anything short of that would be considered a failure, or was there another goal that they could set for themselves and hopefully ultimately achieve? Of course, every NHL team’s goal is to hoist the Cup at the end of the season, however, that isn’t always the most realistic goal.
I believe that different teams need to set goals that they will be able to achieve but also a challenge to ensure that the goals they meet are worthwhile. With this in mind, it is my opinion that the Stars could consider it a successful season if they accomplish several key goals.
The first goal that is vital to their success is to make the playoffs. By accomplishing this, it would not only give a confidence boost to the younger players, but would also potentially appeal to free agents looking to join a team on the upswing and getting ready to approach their prime.
While simply making the playoffs may seem to be a superficial goal, and that if they don’t pose much of a threat in those playoff games that this season should be considered a failure, I believe that this is untrue and in fact would be a sign of progress being made within the organization. This leads me to my next goal that the Stars should strive to accomplish. Should they make the postseason, it is vital that they remain competitive in every single game in the series, against what will most likely be a “superior” opponent.
What I mean by this is that many of the Stars’ young players like Jamie Benn and Brendan Dillon, among others, have yet to experience the intensity of playoff hockey. By showing that they are not simply content with making the playoffs it will show to the entire league that the Stars are a team that will not roll over and play dead, but will fight to win the game no matter what. This approach would make for an entertaining series but also if they were to win a few games in the series it would show them, as well as fans from other teams, that the Stars are back on their way to being a powerhouse of the NHL.
The pieces are there for the Stars to accomplish these tasks and they cannot continue to miss out on the postseason because of failures during the most critical times. The Stars need to continue to do what they have the majority of the season in order to ensure that they can return to the playoffs in 2014. The Stars have shown that they are a team that is improving, but failure to make the postseason would be detrimental to the success of the franchise in he short-term future.
Everything is in place for the Stars to make the postseason, and only when they do will they be able to call this season a success.