The Central Division received some unprecedented shake-ups this year. From Patrick Roy's departure to the Suban-Weber t..."/> The Central Division received some unprecedented shake-ups this year. From Patrick Roy's departure to the Suban-Weber t..."/> The Central Division received some unprecedented shake-ups this year. From Patrick Roy's departure to the Suban-Weber t..."/>

Colorado Avalanche Facing a Tough Central Division

Apr 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9), left wing Mikkel Boedker (89), defenseman Tyson Barrie (4), left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) line up for the national anthem before the start of the game against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9), left wing Mikkel Boedker (89), defenseman Tyson Barrie (4), left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) and defenseman Francois Beauchemin (32) line up for the national anthem before the start of the game against the Anaheim Ducks in the first period at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 4, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) is scored on by Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard (31) in the first half at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 4, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) is scored on by Colorado Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard (31) in the first half at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Stars

Key Losses- Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers

Key Additions-Dan Hamhuis

Analysis: The Stars have an interesting mix of veteran talent and youth. Captain Jamie Benn is an Art Ross winner with the makings of a great leader. One thing the Stars lack is grit, especially on their blue line. In addition, their weakness in goal was well documented through out the year. Both Kari Letinen and Anti Niemi were both paid handsomely with super star money (in goalie terms), but neither has lived up to the hype. HOF coach Lindy Ruff has his hands full trying to repeat as Central Division champs. Not helping his cause is the departure of two reliable defensemen in Goligoski and Demers.

It’s clear that the Stars have waves of talent including Patrick Sharp, who has been a steadying force in the Stars locker room. The question is will the blue line hold up and will either Niemi or Letinen become the starter they were supposed to be. If so then the Stars have the fire power for another deep Cup run. If not, it will be a long and frustrating year for the Dallas faithful.

Season Series: 10/15-H, 11/17-A, 12/3-H, 12/29-A, 4/8-A

Next: They who shall not be named