2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview: Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild
The Mike Modano Bowl. The North Stars Summit Series. We're still workshopping the names for this one.
But while this Central Division series may not be one of the most intense rivalries out there, it does pose one of the most parallel matchups of the first round.
The Dallas Stars are a defence-first squad headlined by some transcendent talent at the top of the roster, a high-end young defenceman who's been known to take over in the postseason, and a goaltender who went off last season and nearly singlehandedly caused a massive upset in the first round. Despite questionable offensive depth, they beat teams by preventing chances and goals.
The Minnesota Wild are a defence-first squad headlined by the best offensive player in franchise history, some of the most consistent defencemen in the league, and a former backup who came out of nowhere to drag his team back into the playoff mix. Despite questionable offensive depth, they beat teams by preventing chances and goals.
How about the “Narcissism of Small Differences Series"? Not catchy enough?
My playoff previews are stats-based, going off of both macro- and micro-level statistics gathered by TopDownHockey and AllThreeZones respectively. This allows us to look not only at high-level results (like goals, shots, and expected goals) but also the stylistic process that creates them (like passes, shot types, and transition play) to get a better sense of how the teams match up. Instead of comparing offence to offence and defence to defence, I'll be breaking down the offence vs. defence matchups.
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