Time is running out for the Stars to make a move for the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division, and they could be getting some major help in that race as early as Monday night.
The team announced that it has activated Tyler Seguin from injured reserve and that he will be a game-time decision for Monday’s game against the Panthers.
Seguin has not played since Game 6 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, having been sidelined all season as he recovered from offseason hip surgery. His absence has definitely played a role in the Stars’ struggles this season. No player did more for the offense during the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons as his 130 points during that stretch were 24 more than any other player on the roster.
— Tyler Seguin (@tseguinofficial) May 3, 2021
Alexander Radulov was second during that stretch with 106 points. Jamie Benn (92 points) is the only player that topped 80 points in those seasons.
Along with Seguin’s injury, Radulov has also been limited to just 11 games this season (where he had 12 points) and is out for the remainder of the season.
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The injury situation for those two creates a pretty big “what if” for this Stars team and what the season could have been with them. With the emergence of Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz as top-line players, as well as a monster year from Joe Pavelski, a fully healthy roster with Seguin and Radulov could have made this a very interesting and potentially potent offense.
It also could have made a difference in all of the overtime and shootout games the Stars have lost this season. They are just 5-13 in games that have gone beyond regulation. During the 2019-20 season alone Seguin had five points (including three winning goals) during overtime play. He could have definitely made a difference in at least some of those games. A couple of extra wins out of those 13 losses would have completely changed the playoff race.
As it stands now the Stars enter Monday trailing the Predators by three points in the race for the fourth playoff spot. Dallas still has a game in-hand with games against Florida (one), Tampa Bay (two) and Chicago (two) remaining.
Nashville plays Columbus (two games) and Carolina (two games) to finish its schedule.
If the Predators split those two games, Dallas would need to go 4-1-0 its remaining games to finish ahead of Nashville.
If Nashville wins three out of four, Dallas would need to run the table.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.