The Dallas Stars could be the team to beat in 2022. Youe going to hear that a lot during the offseason, in part because 2021 will be an extra-long summer for the Victory Green Gang. But does this new clich have the advantage of being true Stars senior staff writer Mike Heika has devoted his latest piece to a freeform exploration of that possibility. He starts off with a few thoughts about the defense-vs. -offense mind puzzler:Of the top 13 teams in goals-against average during the regular season, only Dallas (eighth at 2. 64) didn make the playoffs. The Golden Knights, Avalanche and Islanders were top three. Now, you can say that both Vegas and Colorado are great offensive teams, but the Islanders finished 21st in scoring at 2. 71 goals per game, which was worse than Dallas (18th at 2 . 79). To be fair, the top 14 scoring teams made the playoffs. However, eight of those teams were eliminated in the first round, and much was made of their inability to score goals in the postseason. So, is there a different kind of hockey played in the playoffs, and do teams that lean toward too much offense get shut down too easilyIt worth discussing. There also the possibility that some things happen for a reason, or several. Heika considers the consequences of losing a few key players, and it leads him directly to the rise of Robo:One of the reasons all of that has been bouncing around my brain is because so many people like to look at former Stars players excelling in the playoffs and then ponder if they shoulde kept them or if they shoulde developed them better. You can make arguments for each player. Valeri Nichushkin is a regular in a great Colorado lineup, and many believe the Stars dropped the ball on the former first-round pick. But Nichushkin has three points in 10 playoff games this year, and I not sure he was ever going to be good in Dallas. I think the best argument is the Stars shoulde realized that earlier and traded him when he had value. Fans also are bemoaning the fact the Stars let both Mattias Janmark and Corey Perry get away in the offseason . While it true both are having solid playoff years (Janmark with seven points in nine games for Vegas and Perry with six points in 11 games for Montreal), keeping both around woulde likely meant that Jason Robertson didn get the chance he did this season. Ready to let your mind wander There more at Mike place . [Dallas Stars]Stars StuffYou probably saw this coming, but now it official: Stephen Johns has retired from playing. On and off the ice, your hard work and dedication inspired us allThank you for everything, stjohns28 As for his future plans. . . how this, for startersThe next chapter starts tomorrow. Meanwhile, Andrew Cogliano 34th birthday was yesterday, but it not too late to wish him a happy one. HBD, Cogs!