Post Season Thoughts from Italia:

It’s almost a week later, and while I am still sad about how this season ended, I’ve stopped mopping and started seriously anticipating next season. I’m letting myself be comforted by the ridiculous amounts of young talent and potential our team has. I do believe that good things are yet to come for the Dallas Stars. So I am turning my attention forward and to the future, as I encourage all fans to do. Of course, before we do start looking ahead (as if there hasn’t already been a ton of discussion about changing things for next season already), I need to look back on this past season and reflect a tiny bit.

I know this isn’t a new sentiment, but no one expected the Dallas Stars to be as successful as they were this season. Week after week throughout the season, you’d hear the commentary about how their pace wasn’t sustainable, and how they would sooner or later crash. And yet despite all of the negativity, they consistently remained at the top of the standings for the division and conference, and even briefly in the league before the Capitals ran away with the lead. They broke franchise records for that unbelievable start to the season, and despite a scary looking month in January, they were able to keep it up and finish with the Central Division title, in first place of the Western Conference. A lot of the naysayers were quieted by the end of the season (only to reappear after Game 7 with their “I told you so’s”, but I won’t go into that). This team was a contender.

I understand that regular season merits mean very little if you don’t find playoff success. The Washington Capitals are a painful example of this. I understand that years of mediocrity are not easily forgotten after one great season. The Dallas Stars still have a lot to prove. So while I am bitter towards the critics, I understand that there is merit to what they are saying. This season was cut short due to some very real weaknesses and flaws that will hopefully be addressed in the offseason. We got close, just not close enough.

I know we were all left wanting for more, but I am so proud of this team for what they accomplished, and so optimistic for the future. I had so much fun this season, watching them and following along. I am now anxiously counting down the days until I get to see Victory Green out on the ice.

So thank you, Dallas Stars, for a memorable season. Here’s to many more.

-Italia

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