Three seasons ago the Golden Knights and Dallas Stars met in this same round with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line. Dallas won that series in five games and look to do the same again this year. This team is a lot different than that one though as there has been turnover on all three levels and many of the most important names from back then have been relegated to much smaller roles. To get a rundown of every player we turned to Robert Tiffin from the D Magazine (give him a follow on Twitter @RobertTiffin).
A bonafide star in the NHL who can score from just about anywhere on the ice. The knock on him, and why he fell to the 2nd round in the 2017 Draft, is his skating. He’s used to being able to find space to get into the middle of the ice but in the postseason that space has been taken away and his lack of elite skating has made it hard for him to generate the same types of scoring opportunities. Still a dangerous threat every time he steps on the ice and will be a crucial component to the Stars offense in this series.
According to teammate Tyler Seguin, Hintz is “the EA Sports ideal hockey player.” Big, strong, very fast, and has a killer shot. The biggest threat on the ice at any given moment for Dallas both off the rush and in the offensive zone.
An incredibly skilled player that is always in the right spot and consistently makes the best play possible despite his skating limitations. The leader of the Stars in any way captain Jamie Benn isn’t. Also probably the best tipper of the puck in the history of the NHL.
An excellent middle-six role player who has not quite kept up the production in Dallas he showed in his breakout 18 goal, 49 point in 54 game season in Florida last year. A much more impactful player when he’s physically engaged in a game.
A deadline addition for the Stars, is one of the leading scorers for Dallas in the playoffs despite rarely ever feeling like a true goal threat. Creative, shifty, and plays well with elite players. Always willing to mix it up and go to the dirty areas.
He’s not 22-years-old anymore so he’s lost a step but he still has all the weapons that made him the 2nd overall pick. Playing wing now, he’s always been a top-tier center that finds ways to score. He seems to have learned from Pavelski the art of tipping pucks and is much more willing to go to the front of the goal than he used to. Not afraid of anything and probably shouldn’t be.
The Stars captain can drive the bus for Dallas when he’s completely engaged in a game. A physical presence that will likely become one of the most hated players by Vegas fans by the time the series is over. Playing with Wyatt Johnston has also allowed him to unload his sneakily dangerous shot.
Won’t impress you with his size or his skating but is just one of those players that always knows how to get to the right spots. His routes are impeccable and his shot is NHL quality which had him tied with Matty Bernier’s for the rookie scoring lead this season.
A strong skater that uses his tenacity to be dangerous on the forecheck. He stretches the ice for his line mates and is the complete opposite of a soft European player.
A fourth line speedster that is mostly in the lineup to kill penalties. He’s the speed element to the more physical Radek Faksa and Luke Glendening on the 4th line. Not typically going to take over a shift. He did however post a hat trick in a Game 7 which inevitably comes up just about every time he attempts a shot on goal.
Past his prime but has the capability of upping his game during the playoffs which is happening this season. Excellent faceoff winner and a part of the Stars PK. Makes the Stars 4th line annoying.
A savvy veteran that is elite in the faceoff circle. Fights hard, battles, kills penalties and wins faceoffs but really doesn’t do much else. Often used in the FOGO (faceoff get off) role depending on the location of the draw.
Another hard-nosed player that brings excellent leadership pedigree. Works hard, skates fast, and gets in people faces while playing in a 4th line role. Will likely be the first forward called upon in case of injury or lineup decisions.
A true Norris contender who plays more than half of every game for the Stars. Responsible for a bulk of Dallas’ offense even if that doesn’t involve him scoring the goals. He can escape every forecheck and then has the freedom to carry the puck out himself or join the rush as the Stars transition.
At the age of 38-years-old, he’s still playing top-pair minutes and there’s a reason. The stay-at-home partner for Heiskanen, he does not contribute much offensively and rarely shoots the puck. A good penalty killer and gives Heiskanen the freedom to be the elite puck-moving defenseman he is.
Another stay a home defenseman who can sometimes be susceptible to strong forecheck. Sneakily antagonistic as he’s gotten under the skin of many teams he’s faced in the playoffs. A elite penalty killer who at times would even be relied upon to play the entire two minutes of a kill. Also one of the best quotes on the team with a great sense of humor.
Incredibly hard shot that often fails to be accurate. Underrated skating allows him to defend with his feet. His puck moving skills are strong enough to be paired with a defensive-minded defenseman. Prone to errors in judgement that can drive coaches crazy.
The Stars second-best defenseman but not everyone knows it yet. Has all of the tools you’d want from a star defenseman including size, skating, and the ability to play in all situations and against all players. His transition play is starting to shine through as his confidence has grown to nearly cocky levels. He’ll try a slick play or two at some point in this series that will surprise everyone.
A stereotypical 7th-defenseman who always tends to earn his way into the lineup during the most important time of the season. Excellent defensively with one of the lowest expected goals against, chances against, and goals against rates on the team. A smart veteran defenseman that can play reliable defense for 12-15 minutes a night.
Massive human being who plays the game with his size. His physicality and lack of foot speed tends to lead to a lot of penalties. Has been rough with the puck this season as well. Profiles as a shutdown defenseman but doesn’t quite live up to it when he’s on the ice.
A technically excellent goalie with the leadership qualities and attitude of a true #1 goalie. He can be vulnerable based on his under-reliance on athleticism which often crops up in net front scrambles. Instead of trying to make the athletic save, he’ll choose the slower more technical option to trying and get back into position.
Projected Lineup for Game 1
**Huge stick tap to Robert Tiffin of the D Magazine for basically writing this entire piece. Please follow him on Twitter @RobertTiffin.**