Hockey finally returned last week with all except one of the NHL teams playing multiple games. The Dallas Stars still have yet to play their first game after postponements from their Covid-19 diagnosis. 17 players contracted the disease, postponing their first four games against the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. They will now open the season on Jan. 22, at home against the Nashville Predators. Heavy road miles are in the future for the team as they try to make up for lost games. Here are some of the implications of the current situation.
More Postponements Possible
The Carolina Hurricanes postponed three games due to a Covid-19 situation with the team. This may affect future Stars games because of more rescheduling. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still impacting the world and it seems like more cases are coming fast and furious.
17 players on the Stars tested positive, shutting down training camp before the season was supposed to start on Jan. 14. More games will be postponed if the situation gets worse.
Stars Get Back to Work
After the delay, the Stars resumed training camp in anticipation of their Jan. 22 start. They will be the final team to start their season after everyone else already has games under their belt. 5,000 fans will pack the American Airlines Center each game to see the Stars.
These plans to host fans remain unchanged after the positive tests. Because four away games were postponed, their home schedule remains locked for now. There are schedule changes that make matchups quite interesting for the Stars’ time on the road.
Eight Is Great Then Off to the Sunshine State
The biggest homestand of the season comes in the middle of Feb. They play eight games, two against each opponent, at home against the Chicago Blackhawks, Hurricanes, Predators, and Lightning. They head to Florida upon the conclusion of the homestand.
The Stars and Lightning have 8 Stanley Cup Final rematches this regular season. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Three road games in four nights is a difficult trip for any team but at least the Stars get to do it in a single city. On Feb. 22, 24, and 25, the Stars have games in Sunrise against the Panthers. They follow with two away games against the Lightning. Florida is the only state in the Central Division that has multiple teams so the Stars will be staying there for eight games total plus off days throughout the season.
On the Road Again, and Again
Whenever they go on the road, the Stars will do so for quite some time. The Stars have three different five-game plus road trips on the season. Every road trip except for one will be at least four or more games. These games will be clumped together as they play at least two straight games against each opponent, reducing some of the travel miles. The only single game they play against an opponent is on Tuesday, May 4 at the Lightning. Whenever they do go on the road, they will stay there for a while.
Road Miles to End the Season
Apr. 27 will be the final regular-season game for the Stars at home. Upon conclusion of a back-to-back, the Stars hit the road for a strenuous travel schedule. Starting on Apr. 29, the Stars finish the season with seven away games in 12 days.
The Panthers have 7 games postponed due to outbreaks with the Stars and Hurricanes. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
They change cities five times by playing the Predators, Panthers, Lightning, Blackhawks, and then back to the Lightning. With more games tacked on to the end of the season, the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Playoffs may be delayed if more teams postpone their games.
Hockey Is Back, For Now
The Stars will start their season on Jan. 22, after a long absence. Fans can rejoice about returning to the American Airlines Center to cheer on the team after their recent run to the Stanley Cup Final. With breaking hockey news that seems to happen every day now, it’s best to enjoy it while everyone can.
The Stars’ last regular-season game came on Mar. 10, 2020, against the Rangers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
The NHL can pull the plug on the season at any moment just like on Mar. 12, 2020. The Stars are currently in 31st place after every other team recorded points. They are the last to join the party with some teams even playing five games already. Hockey is back for the Stars and fans can finally relax after a long offseason.