Razor With an Edge: The Final Month
The Stars are in 8th in the Western Conference and if that's the case four weeks from now they'll end a five-year absence from the postseason.
Done deal? Hardly. Can they do it? Sure.
Will I continue to ask and answer my own questions? Perhaps.
Plenty of pieces have to fall in place for this to happen and they need to remain on a similar pace to that which we have been witness to since mid-January.
They'll also have to do a lot of the pursuing on the road.
Ten of these final sixteen games are to be played away from American Airlines Center. The Stars are 14-13-4 on the road so far, so giddy-up.
In similar positions in recent past, the team has repeatedly fell just short.
Last year they closed 1-5-1 following a mini surge right after the trade deadline purge of Morrow, Jagr, Roy and Ryder. 48 Points (48 game schedule)
In 2012, they stumbled to the finish with a 3-9 mark, losing the final five. 89 Points
In 2011, they came real bloody close. Unfortunately, a 6-6-3 final fifteen games needed to be 7-5-3. That was the year of the Game 82 showdown in Minnesota. All that was needed was a victory over a Wild team that was depleted, out of the post season, and icing a roster that seemed close to 50/50 NHL/AHL players. The Stars lost 5-3. Ugh. 95 Points
The 2010 playoff bid didn't go poof in the final fifteen games, it got away from the team when they stumbled out of the Olympic Break with a disastrous 1-5-1 skid. The rest of the way they were a decent 8-5-1 but the damage was done. 88 Points
2009 wasn't good. Morrow played only 18 games, Lehtinen 48, Richards just 56. Even worse, Sean Avery played 23 (Ya, remember that turd). They actually got themselves seven games over .500 (27-20-7) in mid-February but couldn't sustain the momentum and ended up winning just five times in regulation over the final 28 games. 83 Points
So what's it gonna take? Twenty more points? Twenty-One? Twenty-Two? (They have 75) 9-4-3?
Not easy but very much doable, because they just posted a 10-3-3 mark in their last 15 games. Ten wins, three regulation losses, and three overtime or shootout losses (of course, they went 3-8-1 in the 11 games prior, but for purposes of panglossity we are just going to ignore that segment - editorial license.).
And just what is the likelihood that Game 82, Stars @ Coyotes, April 13th, ends up being for all the marbles? Highly likely. Of course it will be.
Are there other factors (or teams) in play? Absolutely.
Is making the playoffs an absolute must for this exciting, rebuilding team? No. Will string theory be involved in the algorithm of probability for all of this? What? Is this the last question I'll annoyingly ask and immediately answer? Yes.