The names, logos, and jerseys of the team are the same, but if the Golden Knights want to defeat the Dallas Stars once again in the postseason this year they are going to have to do it against a much different team.

Of course, both Vegas and Dallas have many of the same pivotal pieces to the lineup. From Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, and Alex Pietrangelo in gold to Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Miro Heiskanen in green the guys that drive the bus remain. As you peer down each lineup though, there are significant differences, that will likely determine the outcome of the series.

Vegas showed they were a deeper team than everybody in the league last year. Everyone they went through I thought their depth decided the series. You could point to a technical thing here or a technical thing there but that’s the reality. And the times I’ve lost in the Conference Final, every time it’s been to a deeper team. I think we’ve rectified that and we’re on a much more level playing field this year. -Pete DeBoer, DAL head coach

Dallas has taken strides in bolstering their lineup both by adding veterans via trade and free agency and by getting much larger contributions from younger players in the lineup.

Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

At the trade deadline, GM Jim Nill acquired Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames which has gone a long way to balancing a defense unit that struggled with the powerful Golden Knights a year ago. Tanev slots in on the 2nd pair with fellow defense-first defenseman Esa Lindell to make as strong a pair defensively as you’ll find in the NHL. Couple that with 22-year-old Thomas Harley advancing his role from a 15-minute-a-night sheltered defenseman to a 22-minute per-night bonafide 1B to Heiskanen and the Stars look much more well-rounded on the back end. Still though, admittedly, not quite to the level of their opponents in this series.

I don’t think anyone can compete with Vegas’ defense, depth-wise. That’s something pretty special. But everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and we might have better depth other places. -DeBoer, DAL coach

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