The Dallas Stars were not a surprise
The Stars were last in the Pacific last year, but we all should have seen this coming
The Dallas Stars may be the NHL's surprise team of 2010-11 because low expectations (last in the Pacific Division in 2009-10) have been greatly surpassed (currently first in the Pacific with a record of 28-13-5).
But were the expectations too low? Did everyone underestimate the Stars? Or should we have viewed Dallas more favorably as an organization that has been a perennial top-four team in the Western Conference and knows how to construct a winning team?
Yes, they had stumbled on some difficult times as they transitioned away from franchise cornerstones Mike Modano and Sergei Zubov, but the pieces that have carried them to the top of the division have been in place for some time now.
Quick turnarounds in hockey are as rare as the child prodigy who graduates high school at 14. While the results may appear to be quick, the reality is that the building blocks of success have been being laid for quite some time. And that's precisely the case in Dallas.
For the full take here, you need to be an ESPN Insider.
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- Blues considering bringing Brodeur aboard
- Source: Alfredsson to announce retirement
- Panthers G Luongo leaves game with injury
- Canucks honor late coach Quinn before game
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
NHL Insider Content
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Prospectus: Rating B's, Canucks' depth
CapGeek: Bs, Canucks provide cap blueprints Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas takes the lead
Greenberg: Projecting Tyler Seguin
Greenberg: Lapierre is Canucks' MVP
Prospectus: Special teams aren't that key
Conn Smythe Watch: Kesler's charge
Joyce: Sharks stars lack 'it'
Greenberg: Best Gs vs. the best shots
Conn Smythe Watch: Thomas rises
Button: Philly's crisis of crease confidence
Greenberg: Can blocks carry Bolts to Cup?
Prospectus: Ranking Caps' playoff failure
Prospectus: Top playoff rooks since 1998
Conn Smythe Watch: Roloson No. 1
Prospectus: Datsyuk remains underrated
Conn Smythe Watch: Neuvirth shines
Greenberg: Best D pairs vs. Alex Ovechkin
Prospectus: Thomas doesn't give B's big edge
Prospectus: Playoff team depth rankings
Cooper: Preds try to ditch Rd. 1 jinx
Prospectus: Team-by-team odds to win the Cup
Prospectus: Ranking the first-round netminders
Prospectus: These Sharks built to last
Prospectus: Puck luck could pluck Ducks
Cooper: Why playoff hockey is so different
Team Scouting Reports
How to beat the Boston Bruins
How to beat the Philadelphia Flyers
How to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins
How to beat the Washington Capitals
How to beat the Anaheim Ducks
How to beat the Detroit Red Wings
How to beat the San Jose Sharks
How to beat the Vancouver Canucks
May 11: Why Wings may soon fall off
April 28: Strome surges in Mock Draft 2.0
April 13: Nashville tries to overcome history
April 11: D. Sedin tops final player rankings
April 7: Coaches feeling the hot seat
April 6: How Caps' draft strategy has worked
March 30: Can Flyers win Cup with Bobrovsky?
March 9: Re-ranking Top 50 draft prospects
Feb. 28: Traded prospect evals
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the West
Feb. 28: Rating trades in the East
Feb. 17: Worst. Trades. Ever.
Feb. 17: NHL Mock Draft 1.0
NHL Rumor Central
Get news and rumblings before anyone
NHL Experts Blog
Daily ice shavings of insight
NHL Draft Blog
A look towards June 2011