5 Things Dallas Stars Must Do To Make 2015-16 NHL Playoffs

By Darrell Samuels

5 Things Dallas Stars Must Do To Make 2015-16 NHL Playoffs

Dallas Stars
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In the Dallas Stars' history, they have won seven division championships, two conference trophies and two Presidents' Trophies, as well as a Stanley Cup. Over the past five years, they have only made the playoffs once during the 2013-14 season. If they have any plans on a playoff appearance this April, the following five things need to happen in order for the Stars to host playoff games at the American Airlines Center.

5. Youngsters Have To Produce

Mattias Janmark, Dallas Stars
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5. Youngsters Have To Produce

Mattias Janmark, Dallas Stars
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There are promising youngsters on this roster, and the biggest star (no pun intended) who has a bright future in Dallas is rookie Mattias Janmark. Other players that could have great seasons are Jyrki Jokipakka, Cody Eakin and Valeri Nichushkin, and they must all have great campaigns, especially if injuries occur, in order for the Stars to make it to the dance.

4. Patrick Sharp Needs To Return To His Chicago Blackhawks Playing Ways

Patrick Sharp, Dallas Stars
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4. Patrick Sharp Needs To Return To His Chicago Blackhawks Playing Ways

Patrick Sharp, Dallas Stars
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Last July, Sharp was dealt from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stars, along with defenseman Stephen Johns, and the deal was primarily made due to salary cap issues that the Blackhawks were facing. Sharp earned 43 points during the regular season last season, as well as 15 points during their Stanley Cup quest. Sharp needs to return to his 78-point NHL career-high, playing with the other Dallas Stars talented forwards.

3. Team Needs To Improve Defense Core Via Trade

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs
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3. Team Needs To Improve Defense Core Via Trade

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs
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If there is a weakness that needs improvement in Dallas, it would be their blue line. Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is one that has been linked to the Stars in trade rumors, and an upgrade like Phaneuf would definitely solidify the strengths on this roster. If the Boston Bruins continue to fail, Zdeno Chara could be another beneficial addition to the roster.

2. General Manager Jim Nill Must Be Active At Trade Deadline

Jim Nill, Dallas Stars
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2. General Manager Jim Nill Must Be Active At Trade Deadline

Jim Nill, Dallas Stars
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GM Jim Nill has had a great career in NHL management during his previous stops with the Ottawa Senators and the Detroit Red Wings. He joined the Stars in April, 2013, and since his arrival in Dallas, has added Jason Spezza, Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp. If the Stars can compete with the other Western Conference teams, he must continue to add to improve the organization's chances to make the playoffs.

1. Dallas Stars Goalies Must Unite

Antti Niemi, Dallas Stars
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1. Dallas Stars Goalies Must Unite

Antti Niemi, Dallas Stars
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Kari Lehtonen has been the team's No. 1 goaltender for years. The Stars went out to fine tune their goaltending and acquired Antti Niemi from the San Jose Sharks. Both men want to play most of the team's games, and both goalies need to work together for the better of the team. Lehtonen won 34 of his 65 starts for the Stars last year, and Niemi started 61 games and skated off with 31 victories on the season.

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