Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

2024 Stanley Cup Playoff Preview: Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche

The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche just finished two very different first-round series, and now they're set to meet in the postseason for the first time since the 2020 bubble. 

It was a smooth ride for the Avs, who absolutely demolished the seemingly sturdy Winnipeg Jets team defence en route to a five-game win. The combination of overwhelming volume, quality, and chaos made Connor Hellebuyck's life miserable, a testament to how hard it is to hit this team's fastball. Now, most see them as the favourites to come out of the West.

It didn't go quite as smoothly for Dallas, who entered the playoffs as the most common pick for Cup champion among fans. They went down 2-0 to the defending champs, clawed back, and had to eke out a victory in a one-goal Game 7. 

However we got here, the slate is wiped clean. It isn't remotely difficult to envision either of these squads lifting Lord Stanley this spring, which has made this the most compelling series of the second round. Can Colorado reach the Conference Finals for only the second time in the Nathan MacKinnon era, or will this Dallas team get there for the third time in five seasons?

My playoff previews are heavily informed by data, using 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 matchup.

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This article is about:
NHL NHL Jamie Benn Alexandar Georgiyev Thomas Harley Miro Heiskanen Wyatt Johnston Nathan MacKinnon Cale Makar Casey Mittelstadt Valeri Nichushkin Jake Oettinger Zach Parise Mikko Rantanen Jason Robertson Tyler Seguin Logan Stankoven Christopher Tanev Devon Toews Sean Walker
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