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TWENTY YEARS: WHAT A DIFFERENCE

Posted By Travis Currie On Feb 19 2011 @ 11:20 pm In Dallas Stars | No Comments

What’s so ironic about the Dallas Stars sitting at 68 points and fighting for their playoff lives heading into Saturday’s matchup in Vancouver ?

It was twenty years ago this spring that the Minnesota North Stars went on that amazing playoff run. Defeating the first place Chicago Blackhawks, second place St.Louis Blues, and the defending Cup Champs Edmonton Oilers before losing to Super Mario and the Penguins.

The ironic part ? That North Stars team took the fourth and final playoff spot in the Norris division with 68 points.

Maybe it’s not COMPLETE irony but it’s a perfect reflection on the NHL and how much the league has changed over the past twenty years.

The 1991 Minnesota North Stars finished the season with just 27 wins. Twenty of the thirty teams have more than 27 wins already this season heading into Saturday’s games. Only three teams have finished with less than 27 wins since the lockout in 2005 and only the 2010 Montreal Canadiens have made the playoffs with less than 40 wins as they managed to do it with 39.

On average it now takes 93 points to make the playoffs. Twenty years ago,  93 points would have placed you sixth overall and would have won the Patrick division over the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins by five points.

I would love to tell the Stars that 68 points is good enough, but I’m afraid it’s not. Not even close. This isn’t 1991 and you can’t afford a drought like the one they’ve been in for the past few weeks. Not in today’s NHL. In today’s NHL, 68 points has a very good chance at getting you last place.

Time to start winning again boys.

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