2015-16 Central Division Preview: Dallas Stars

2014-15 record: 41-31-10 (92 points)
5th place in the Central Division, 10th place in the Western Conference
Goals For: 261
Goals Against: 260
Power Play: 19.0% (11t)
Penalty Kill: 80.7% (19)
Team Faceoff Pct: 51.8% (8)

Key Offseason Moves
2015 Top Draft Pick: Round 1 – Pick 12 – F Denis Gurianov
Additions: Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya, Antti Niemi, Stephen Johns
Subtractions: Trevor Daley, Ryan Garbutt

  • Are the Stars better or worse heading into 2015-16? BETTER

Before the 2014-15 season, the Stars made a number of moves the figured to have them in the mix for a playoff spot. But an inexplicable inability to get it done on home ice (17-16-8 home record last year) was a big factor in the Stars coming up seven points short of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

There were some bright spots last year, including Jamie Benn surprising a lot of folks by winning the Art Ross Trophy. Tyler Seguin missed some time with a lower body issue but still managed to score 37 goals in 71 games; he may have pushed for the Ross himself if he’s been healthy for 80-82 games.

Dallas had no problem scoring the puck, but they couldn’t keep their opponents from scoring either. The 260 goals the Stars allowed last season was 33 more than the second-highest total in the Central Division (Colorado).

GM Jim Nill continues to show that he has a great eye for underappreciate prospects; he made a tremendous trade to get Seguin out of Boston and stole Stephen Johns out of Chicago this summer. The additions of veterans Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya will help the all-around game of the Stars, but they still lack a true top end defenseman. John Klingberg is developing into a potential stud, but he’ll need help from more than Alex Goligoski and Oduya on the blue line this year.

  • Will Dallas be a playoff team this year? Maybe

Antti Niemi will need to be better than he was in San Jose and the older players on the roster – Sharp, Oduya, Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky – will need to play well for the Stars to make a serious jump into the playoffs. There’s no question they have the talent to put on a show every night, but they need to learn to win a game 2-1.

5 thoughts on “2015-16 Central Division Preview: Dallas Stars

  • September 1, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Of course you meant that Nill got Seguin out of Boston, not Dallas. It pains me to see Sharp in the Dallas uniform but good luck to him. Dallas will be fun to watch with all that scoring power but I still don’t think their D is good enough to get them into the playoffs.

  • September 1, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Good catch, pucklogic. Thanks.

    It will certainly be interesting to see how they work out this year. I think their defense will be better w/ Oduya and Johns added to the mix, but Niemi must be better than he was in San Jose if they have a shot at the postseason.

  • September 1, 2015 at 10:51 am

    The fun and gun Stars are very similar to the Avs good top 6 but questions on defense and in net. If anyone plays fantasy hockey (I do) the guy to keep in eye on is Valari Nuncushin(sorry spelled it wrong) the big winger. Impressed early and got hurt and missed most of the year.

    Top 4 defense, has some sizzle but not good in their end. Kari is always banged up and Nemo is a good not great tender. I think they are behind the Avs this season.

  • September 1, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    They should score a lot. I’m not sure that Oduya is the savior on the blueline though and without much better team defense I doubt they go anywhere.

    BTW – I love John Klingberg – why couldn’t Stan have plucked him instead of Daley … and of course the answer to that question is that Jim Nill isn’t brain dead.

  • September 3, 2015 at 4:10 am

    They are a playoff team if they get decent GK and avoid superstar injuries.

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