VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Soccer
More
Betting Tools

 
Stars still contending for playoff spot

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - The Dallas Stars traded captain Brenden Morrow, then dealt away points leader Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy with a focus clearly on the future.

Advertisement
Except the young Stars playing now still have a chance to make something happen this season.

Just more than two weeks after completing those trades, a stretch that includes a five-game winning streak, Dallas is still in contention to make the playoffs for the first time in five years.

``It's been exciting. It was tough losing the players that we did, but I think we came together as a group, especially with the young guys coming in,'' fourth-year center Jamie Benn said. ``I think we're a younger, better, faster team and we're just going out there and having fun.''

When the Stars wrapped up practice Wednesday, they had six games remaining in the regular season and were 10th in the Western Conference. They were only two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

``We've responded great,'' said Stephane Robidas, one of only two players remaining from the Stars' last playoff team in 2008. ``The easiest thing would have been to fold. You look at what the young guys did coming in, they gave us like a boost of energy.''

The Stars' five-game winning streak ended with a 5-2 loss at Chicago on Monday night, a game tied 2-2 in the third period. That was just less than a month after a seven-goal loss at home to the Western Conference leader.

Dallas plays Roy's new team, Vancouver, at home Thursday night. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen is expected back in the Stars' lineup after missing almost four full games with a groin injury.

That is the first of four games in six days - the rest on the road, at St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Jose. The Stars will end the regular season with home games against Columbus and Detroit, the teams directly ahead of them in the standings right now.

The Stars traded the 41-year-old Jagr and surging center Roy on April 2, the day before the NHL trading deadline. That was just more than a week after Morrow waived his no-trade clause to go to Pittsburgh from Dallas, where his rookie season was 1999-2000, when the Stars were Stanley Cup runner-ups a year after winning the championship.

All three veterans will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.

Stars President Jim Lites, in an open letter to fans, expressed the difficulty for teams ``at this time of the year is weigh their chances of competing for the Stanley Cup against the existing market place for veteran players, particularly veteran unrestricted free agents.''

Dallas got two young prospects from Boston, along with a second-round pick that could become a first-rounder this summer if Jagr and the Bruins advance to the Eastern Conference finals. The Stars got a 23-year-old defenseman and a second-round pick for Roy, and the Penguins sent a young defenseman for Morrow.

``We know we are a stronger franchise today ... and built for the future,'' Lites wrote.

After Morrow was traded March 24, the Stars lost three of their next four games. That included a 4-0 loss to Anaheim the day before separate deals involving Jagr and Roy.

Ray Whitney, the 40-year-old left on the Stars' roster, said it looked as if it could be a ``long month'' to end the season after those deals were made.

``It's mostly the young guys to be honest,'' Whitney said. ```Young guys come in and they play a certain way. They play hard and fast, and they play determined, and they changed the dynamic of your team a little bit.''

Alex Chiasson was called up from the Stars' AHL team after the trades for his NHL debut. He had six goals and an assist in his first seven games, but hurt his shoulder in the Chicago game and is out of the lineup now.

Even if the Stars don't make the playoffs, they are finding out they have some quality pieces moving ahead.

``It's exciting to have the youth that we have around here, and the future is looking pretty bright for the Dallas Stars,'' Benn said. ``We really want to get in (the playoffs), that's our goal obviously. It's given us confidence that we can win these games with this group of guys. It's going to be exciting down the stretch here and for years to come.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: 2017-18 Season Win Totals
News: Vegas Golden Knights Odds
Blues G Opilka undergoes hip surgery
Devils C Zajac could miss six months
Lightning re-sign F McGinn to contract
Sabres sign Girgensons to 2-year deal
Cullen picks Wild for 21st NHL season
Oilers sign C Draisaitl to 8-year extension
Butcher a FA after not signing with Avs
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 6094
Bruce Marshall + 5708
Stephen Nover + 1083
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2199
Bill Marzano + 1384
Stephen Nover + 1329
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 927
Bruce Marshall + 630
Doc's Sports + 127
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3721
Scott Rickenbach + 3715
Bill Marzano + 2697
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 720
Bill Marzano + 534
ASA + 95
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2602
Bill Marzano + 492
Gary Bart + 314
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership