I know, I know. One playoff win in six years does not a great sports team make. The energy outside the AAC last night may have felt like the team had just booked their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals, but the delirium was exaggerated. The Stars will be lucky to get out of the first round against Anaheim. They have shown that they can knock-off the best teams in the league, but in these first three games of this series they have been too careless with the puck and too inconsistent on power plays to expect to make a Kings-esque run deep into the post season. And Kari Lehtonen just isn’t going to stop 37 shots every night.
But last night’s resounding 3-0 shutout of the Ducks may mean something else for this city and the franchise: the Dallas Stars are suddenly — and surprisingly — emerging as the most successful franchise in Dallas. And not only that, they’re top line stars are so young you can only expect them to get better in the next few years. Tyler Seguin, 21, is locked into a six-year deal. At 19, Valeri Nichushkin, who netted one last night, shows flashes of being the best young European player in the league. And while Jaime Benn, 24, proved himself this year on the international stage with Canada at the Olympics, locally, after years of being groomed as the face of the franchise, he has stepped into his captain’s role with real gusto.
Compare that to a Mavericks team built around an aging Dirk, a Texas Rangers team that (despite last night’s win) is really struggling to their form from a few years back, and a Dallas Cowboys team that is firmly entrenched in the circle of hell Satan has set aside for Jerry Jones’ ego. FC Dallas can’t settle on a reliable playmaker and have pinned their hopes on young talent and a new coach. The Sidekicks? You’ll have to ask Mooney.
But at this point, is the team that only a few years ago was struggling in obscurity the mostly likely to make a title run in the next five years?