After a third-period meltdown against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, Dallas no longer controls their own destiny. Dallas would need to win the last two games of the season against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings, but they also needed some help in order to make the post season.
On Thursday night, the Blue Jackets came to town in a must-win game for both teams. Both Dallas and Columbus were battling with Detroit for the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs, and Cam Atikinson made sure he did his part in getting the Blue Jackets closer, putting the team up 1-0 just 19 seconds into the game. That goal seemed to kick off the attitude for the rest of the night.
Of course by the time the game was over, it didn’t matter that Columbus had won 3-1. Detroit had defeated the Nashville Predators and officially eliminated the Stars from any chance at a playoff run.
The fact the Stars were in this position at all is quite remarkable. Not too long ago, the Stars were trading away Steve Ott, Brendan Morrow, Derick Roy, and Jaromir Jagr in what seemed like a sign of waving the white flag.
Nobody would have thought the young players on the Stars team could put them into a position to make the playoffs. Although Dallas missed the playoffs this season, fans should feel optimistic about the future. Jamie Benn has proven he is more than ready to take this team on his shoulders and lead them. With the goaltending of Kari Lehtonen and the veteran leadership of Loui Eriksson the future looks like bright for the Stars.
Unfortunately, though, it’ll have to wait until next season.