Which 5 teams would love to turn back time to the start of the 2017-18 NHL season?
The start of each NHL season is fun. Every team has optimism and fans are excited hockey is back. However, like in the real world, hockey is often cruel. Things don’t go your way. Players get injured. Pucks actively conspire against you. Questionable offseason moves combine with factors beyond your control to create the perfect storm.
For every team that overachieves, such as the New Jersey Devils, there’s a team like the Edmonton Oilers who underachieve. The law of averages ensures that for every Vegas Golden Knights team that takes the league by storm there’s a team whose decline is unable to be explained, such as the Ottawa Senators.
Let’s take a look at which teams would most love a reset button that would send them back to early October.
5. Dallas Stars
Okay, maybe the Stars wouldn’t like to go all the way back to October. After all, Dallas, up until early February, was in the postseason hunt. But there were some warning signs before the Stars’ historic collapse.
The biggest one? Injuries. They are so unpredictable, yet they can derail a team. Yes, everyone deals with them. But the Stars got an extra helping, losing two of their three big offseason acquisitions (Martin Hanzal and Marc Methot) for extended periods of time.
Dallas was led by its defense. But since early February, they’ve been averaging three goals against per game, while averaging a shade over two goals scored per game. That, combined with relying way too much on their top three forwards, made Murphy’s Law come to life.
Could the Stars have done anything differently? Sure. Maybe the Stars could have gotten their young players some more experience. So when they needed them to produce down the stretch, they weren’t being thrown into the fire. Fortune didn’t smile upon the Stars this season. Maybe a mulligan doesn’t change that. But it would at least give them a chance to undo some of their questionable decisions.