The Dallas Stars won the Central Division a year ago and had the second-most points in the NHL's regular season. Ten months later, Dallas is 13th in the Western Conference and has serious decisions to make.
At 21-23-10 and with only 52 points, the Stars are seven points from making the Stanley Cup playoffs as a wild-card team and would have to climb over four other clubs to reach that destination. Dallas is not a young team and has four useful free agents others teams could possibly use, with the idea of retooling for next year. With the trade deadline on March 1, General Manager Jim Nill will have to decide between now and then on the best course of action.
Where Are Stars Headed?
For those making NHL picks, they have to determine if Dallas can assemble a winning streak before the end of the month that would provide hope the Stars can salvage the season and possibly carry momentum into the postseason if they were to get there.
However, for the astute bettor watching the NHL odds, the Stars have fallen from 1st in scoring last year to 13th, which ends up being roughly a half a goal a night. With Dallas also ranked 29th in goals allowed, there is little reason to believe a real turnaround is coming, even if Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin suddenly start playing like last year.
Best bet: keep betting against Dallas most games and expect the Stars to make trades with those who could enter the free-agent market this summer.