The NHL has returned, and so have our shining Stars

Fresh Picked Team

Well, it’s that time of year again when the National Hockey League kicks into high gear, and this time, Dallas is off to an excellent start. 

But it’s not just the energy that’s fresh; half of the team is all-new, including the coaching staff. Head coach Rick Bowness became a former head coach when he decided to step away from the Stars, leaving the team in need of a new head coach. The 3 assistants also decided to make a run for it too, leaving the Stars to search for a whole new coaching team. 

The new head coach for the Dallas Stars is Pete DeBoer, former coach of the Vegas Golden Knights. For context, this team has made it to the playoffs for the past 2 years, and although the Stars beat Vegas in the 2020 playoffs to win the Western Conference, they have been known to play unbelievably good hockey and give the Stars a run for their money. The 2 new assistant coaches are both new as well, one of them having worked with DeBoer for the past 7 years, the other coming from the New Jersey Devils. 


As for new players themselves, Dallas has put rookie Wyatt Johnston on the forward lineup. Mason Marchment joined the team as well, but he’s not new to the NHL; he came from the Florida Panthers, which at one point last season, was ranked #1 in the NHL. Marchment signed a 4-year contract with the Stars. Colin Miller signed a 3.7 mil deal with the Stars for 2 years, coming from the Buffalo Sabres, and Nils Lunkvist joined the team in September coming from the New York Rangers via trade. With this lineup, the start to the season could have a few kinks to be working out, but as we’ll see here in a minute, the Stars seem to be off to quite a hot start, regardless of all the changes.

League Leaderboard… am I reading this right?

There’s no better way to frame the Stars’ early season success than to flex the status of being #1 in the league. Yes, that’s right, we are first out of 32 total NHL teams, and we did not get here by shootouts or overtime wins. The team has 3 total wins out of 3 games played, 2 against one of the team’s biggest rivals, which are the Nashville Predators, and the other on Monday night (Oct. 17th) against the Winnipeg Jets. Long-time vets like Seguin and Pavelski have made early appearances scoring goals for the team, but mainly, it’s been some of our younger players, like Roope Hintz, Miro Heiskanen, Jason Robertson that have been the ones truly firing up the ice. 

Making the news recently has been one of the Stars’ 2021 draft picks, Wyatt Johnston. Many rookies don’t start this early on the forward lineup, but it seems as though Johnston is already a key playmaker in the earliest of games, not excluding his NHL debut on Thursday, Oct. 13th. The Stars had a memorable night as they beat the Predators in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, notorious for its crazy and enthusiastic fans. Johnston put his first in the back of the net during his NHL debut, and at that point, the Stars didn’t need any more proof. Since Thursday night, Johnston has been a regular on the ice. 

The fans seem to be picking up on this newfound spark, and some of it must stem from the coach, Pete DeBoer. He is the first coach in franchise history to win his first 3 games with the team. After the home opener victory on Saturday night, DeBoer commented that they were “electric” (taken from a televised press conference hosted by Bally Sports SW). And to DeBoer’s point, they really were. Roope Hintz took 2 goals, Heiskanen with 1, Robertson with 1, and Marchment with 1 to give the Stars a 5-1 home opener win over the Predators. With the Preds being such a physical team and the odds being pitted against Dallas, the Stars really had to show them what they were made of to pull out not just one, but two wins in a row.

This is great, but is it just luck?

Time will tell if this winning streak will continue for the Stars. Their consistency seems to be growing as they shift to playing offensive, forward-moving hockey. But instead of hosting a Q&A with myself, I figured I’d bring in iUPrep 7th grader and hockey player for the Stars Elite Braxton Baker to give us a pulse on whether or not this may actually be the Stars’ year; here’s what he had to say. 

Q: “What do you think so far?”

A: “They’re doing well. I think the coaching change and the way they shifted around the lines have helped out a lot. They seem to be playing differently than last year, and they’re adapting to a different play style so far.”


Q: “Do you think the win streak will last?”

A: “It depends on the teams they play and if they can adapt. So far, they’re doing well, so my guess is this win streak will last maybe 3-4 games then it will shut down.”


Q: “Any players to watch out for?”

A: “For a forward, I would say Marchment. He seems to be working well with the rest of the team. As for a defenseman, it would be Suter. People don’t really see the impact that he makes. In addition, I really liked how Johnston played and scored his first goal of the season.”


According to Baker, there seems to be hope for the Stars yet. Although it’s very early to begin saying things like “this is our year”, the sparks we have seen from the Stars thus far have been pretty promising. In due time, we’ll find out if these Stars are bound for the Stanley Cup.


Go Big. Go Green. Go Stars.