Flames vs Stars Playoff Preview
This will be a tough matchup for a Stars team that struggles to score to begin with let alone being matched up against a Flames team that doesn’t give up many chances to start with and backstopped by Jacob Markstom who will likely be a Vezina Trophy candidate this year. At the other end of the ice, Dallas will also have a tough time stopping one of the league's best first lines who dominated opponents all year. These teams have met three times this season with Calgary winning twice: Flames 2-0-1; Stars 1-2-0.
What a season for the Flames’ top line this year! The trio of Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Elias Lindholm have been men on a mission this year especially at even strength which is crucial come payoff time. Luckily for the Flames they don’t have to worry about what this summer might hold when it comes to contract negotiations and all they need to focus on is making sure those players keep filling the net.
Calgary has enjoyed the calming presence provided by their starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom who accumulated the most shutouts throughout the regular season with 9 in 63 games. This accomplishment was possible because of the Flames solid defensive team structure that brings an abundance of size and physicality.
The Stars have relied heavily on their first line of Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski, and Jason Robertson to score their goals and beyond those three the well seems to have run dry. If the Stars want a chance to win this series they will have to take advantage of any time they have a mismatch with their top line on the ice against the slower third pair of the Flames defence.
The Stars will need Jake Oettinger to continue to impress despite his young age as we will likely face wave after wave of offensive threats from the Flames. The Stars’ decision to hang on to John Klingberg despite rumours of him possibly being dealt provides them with more offensive firepower at the defensive position if their offence continues to stay dry and they need a new look.
Keys To The Series
As much as I wish I could say this could be a close series, it just seems too unlikely. The biggest factors that should push this series in the Flames’ favour will be the mismatch of offensive depth, defensive structure, and goaltending experience. So yeah, pretty much everything.