Stars’ Pete DeBoer gives eye-opening ‘track meet’ take before Avalanche series

Pete DeBoer knows what he wants to avoid against the Avalanche.

Stars head coach Pete DeBoer talking about the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Dallas Stars are in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They ended a nearly 60-year drought en route to their series win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Now, head coach Pete DeBoer has to prepare his team for Nathan MacKinnon and the high-flying offense of the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avalanche flexed their offensive muscle against the Winnipeg Jets in round one. Colorado outscored Winnipeg 28-15 in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Jets entered the postseason as one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. Dallas, on the other hand, had issues with allowing goals during the regular season.

The Stars played a tight defensive series against the Golden Knights. However, the Avalanche are another matter. And DeBoer acknowledged that he’d rather avoid an offensive shootout against Colorado in this series.

“We just want to win, whatever that takes. I think we’re going to have to work ourselves into the series to see how we’re going to have to win. My initial reaction is, watching what they did to Winnipeg, I don’t think we want to get into a track meet,” the Stars head coach said, via

An inverse of playing styles

Dallas Stars head coach Peter DeBoer gives a fist bump to goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) after the Stars defeat the Vegas Golden Knights in game seven of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center.Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Stars and Avalanche acknowledged the difference in each team’s playing styles. Colorado will try to outscore you and win with their offense. Dallas, though, plays a smothering defensive game that has come alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, both teams also acknowledged a desire to play the other team’s game.

Pete DeBoer showed respect to some of Colorado’s best players. Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Mikko Rantanen are offensive threats whenever they are on the ice. But the Stars have offensively skilled players as well. And at some point, the Dallas bench boss wants to give those players a chance to shine.

“I think we’re not going to sit and try to defend the entire series,” DeBoer said, via “I think we’ve got other layers to our game. We want to put some pressure on their group defensively too.”

Rest vs. rust

Another aspect of this series is the “rest vs. rust” conversation. The Stars finished a close seven-game series against the defending champions. Meanwhile, the Avalanche have had some time off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Colorado needed just five games to dispatch the Jets.

Colorado certainly could benefit from the extra rest. However, it could also work against them. Pete DeBoer has his team playing a consistent game at this point. Playing games in quick succession may tire them out, sure. But it also allows them to avoid getting rusty.

The Stars head coach acknowledged that the seven-game series can take its toll. When the effects of that close series made themselves known remains to be seen. But the Dallas bench boss hopes his team can avoid a significant drop in play for as long as they can.

“Let’s hope we can push that off, and let’s hope we can help ourselves with that as we move forward here. But the road sure doesn’t get any easier when you look at the potential opponents,” Pete DeBoer said, via

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