Yesterday, I boldly stated that the Stars would win the Stanley Cup. The likelihood that that will actually happen is very small, but if everything goes right, I think they really could.
But, I have a few concerns with the Stars that might make them miss the playoffs yet again. I’m not trying to depress anyone, but I’m serious;y worried about certain things.
1. Obviously the new GM and coach. What if the Marc Crawford experiment ends up like the Sean Avery experiment? I don’t think that that will happen, but it’s hard to forget the Bertuzzi incident. I’ll admit that when they announced Joe Nieuwendyk as GM, I got a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. When Crawford became coach, that all went away. It really concerns me.
2. The veterans are another year older. Jere Lehtinen’s already injured, and Mike Modano is almost 40. They’re solid players, yes, but the time will eventually come when we have to let them go. That could very well be the end of this season.
3. Marty Turco. What if last year was just a preview of this year’s Turco? What if Marty has really lost it? If we see last year’s imposter, the Stars are toast.
4. We lost Sergei Zubov. I always thought that Zubie was kind of the glue that held the team together. When he played, the whole team looked better. Now, he’s gone. We lost a leader and the point on the power-play.
5. No true number-one defenseman. As much as I love Stephane Robidas, he’s hardly a number one d-man. We don’t have the guy who earns the big bucks. The highest-paid defenseman is Trevor Daley, and he’s only paid $2.3 million. This might come back to haunt them, or they’ll pull a Carolina and have successful no-names.
6. The teams around us are getting better. San Jose acquired Dany Heatley. Anaheim has added instrumental pieces. LA’s kids are getting better. Dallas is virtually the same team they were two years ago. Will tougher opponents spell D-O-O-M for the Stars?
I’m not gonna lie, but I’ve lost some sleep thinking about all of this. Hopefully none of the above are true, but I just had to get that out there. The real test will be to get off to a faster start than last year. The slow start was what really cost them. I look forward to this year, and history shows that this should be a great year.