The NHL regular season is winding down, and with every team having less than 20 games left, the playoff races are getting closer and closer. While the Eastern Conference is all but solidified within the respective divisions, the Western Conference is a dog fight till the end.
The West has six teams within four points of one another to clinch the coveted top spot in the conference. While it seems that the conference title may not be clinched until the last week of the regular season, there is one team that seems to be above the rest as the playoffs inch closer.
Dallas Stars are the top Dog in the West
The Dallas Stars are the team to beat in the Western Conference, and it isn’t simply because they are pushing for the top spot in the standings. They currently are one point out from the top of the conference with their sights set on taking it over.
Their defense has been spectacular all season long. They currently rank fifth in the NHL in goals against per game with an average of 2.65. Four out of their six defensemen have played at least 60 games with a plus/minus rating of at least +10.
Starting goalie Jake Oettinger has been amazing this season for Dallas. He currently has a 27-9-10 record with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. Oettinger has played like a goalie who is ready to push his team toward a Stanley Cup finals appearance.
The Rise of a Star in Dallas
It is no surprise that the NHL has always kept a close eye on top players in the league. The rising young star in Dallas, Jason Robertson, is no exception. Robertson is only 23 years old and is currently leading his team in goals, assists, and points.
He has 38 goals, 45 assists, and 83 points. The Dallas Stars are seventh in goals per game this season with an average of 3.42, and Robertson is a major part of that offensive success.
Depth on the Roster
Dallas not only has top-end talent with their offense and great goaltending. They have fantastic depth on the backend as well. Defensemen Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, and Ryan Suter have been consistent all season long. Expect them to log major minutes as the regular season continues to finish up.
Overall, this Dallas Stars team has youthful playmakers, veteran standouts, and great goaltending. These are all things that are needed for a deep playoff push.
With how tight the Western Conference standings are, the Stars will come into the 2023 NHL playoffs battle tested and ready to play playoff-type hockey off the bat. Keep an eye on the Dallas Stars as the regular season comes to an end as a potential Western Conference champion.