Stars season all but over after loss to Canucks

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A season that was once filled with optimism looks like it’s heading toward complete and utter disappointment for the Dallas Stars.

The Stars, who entered the day five points out of a playoff spot, didn’t do themselves any favors, as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the lowly Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

For those of you scoring at home, they’ve now lost games to non-playoff teams like Ottawa (twice), Montreal and Vancouver in March. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Dallas has won just two of 13 games this month (they’re 0-6-2 in their last eight).

Things aren’t going to get any easier for them over the final two weeks of the season. They’ll host Philadelphia on Tuesday before playing a home-and-home series with Minnesota on Thursday and Saturday. Next week, they’ll finish the season with three game road trip through California. Good luck with that, Stars.

It’s incredible to think that a team with firepower like Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Alexander Radulov and John Klingberg can’t make a trip to the postseason. But this team is clearly flawed. The good news, is that they have a solid core group of players in place. The bad news, is that the supporting cast needs a lot of work.

The Ben Bishop experiment failed in year one. The veteran simply couldn’t stay healthy and when he was between the pipes, he didn’t do a good enough job. He’ll have to be a lot better next season, or the Stars may find themselves in the same situation next year. The 31-year-old has five years left on his contract.

Martin Hanzal ended up being another free-agent flop in 2017-18. He has another three years remaining on his current deal and he’s probably not going anywhere this offseason, either.

Jason Spezza, who is the second highest-paid player on the team doesn’t have much left in the tank. He has another year remaining on his contract, so it looks like he’ll be back next season.

Whether it’s Jim Nill or somebody else, the Stars will need an infusion of talent this summer if they hope to get back to playing meaningful games in the spring. But for now, they’re done like dinner.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.