Mile High Sticking Central Division Power Rankings — Preseason Debut!

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Sep 29, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) and left wing Jamie Benn (14) celebrate Seguins third goal against the Florida Panthers during the third period at the American Airlines Center. Seguin has a hat trick in the game. The Stars defeated the Panthers 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars are somewhat of a dark horse to really make some noise in the Central this season. They actually have a lot of similarities to the Avalanche. Both have a dynamic top-six, relatively unknown and underwhelming defenses, and a goaltender who has shown flashes of elite play, but still isn’t mentioned among the game’s elite backstops.

The Stars duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn is going to be a pleasure to watch, and terror to play against this season. Seguin scored 84 points in 80 games last season, good for fourth in the NHL. Benn was no slouch either finishing with 79 points, giving Dallas a pair of scorers in the top ten of the league. Only Anaheim could boast the same feat.

The problem Dallas had last season, is Benn and Seguin’s combined 71 goals accounted for over 30% of the team’s scoring. Dallas really didn’t have a great wave of secondary scoring, yet still managed to be a playoff team. In the off-season the Stars were aggressive, and signed Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky. Spezza is an especially good score, and will ensure that Benn and Seguin aren’t the Lone Stars on the team this upcoming season. Spezza is only 31, and has averaged over a point a game over his career. His presence alone will give the stars another dangerous scoring line.

Last Season: 91 pts – Wildcard – Lost first round

Prediction: 104 pts

Team Strength: Under the radar

The Central Division is stacked this season, and the Stars are a team that may get overlooked a bit on the schedule. St. Louis and Chicago are teams everyone gets up for, and the Avs are the reigning champs and full of young big names. If Dallas can take advantage of a few games where teams may not bring their A+ game it could net them a few critical points towards their end of year seed.

Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby recently called Jamie Benn the most underrated player in the NHL, and Tyler Seguin is a guy you don’t hear too much about, yet he finished fourth in the league in scoring. The Stars are extremely dangerous, and yet they still seem to have the element of surprise on their side.

Team Weakness: The division of death

This is true for every team in the Central, but I feel like it really hurts the Stars. These guys could seriously contend for a division title in either Eastern Conference division, and considering the Kings don’t always post huge point totals in the regular season would probably have a shot at the Pacific too. The Central is going to be a dogfight this year, and while Dallas is no poodle, it’s going to be an uphill battle earning respect in this division.