After forcing a Game 7 in their First Round Western Conference series with the Calgary Flames, Rick Bowness says the Dallas Stars are proving their doubters wrong.
The Stars, 35/1 to in the Stanley Cup this season, stayed alive in the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 win on Friday and will play a winner takes all Game 7 in Calgary on Sunday.
Dallas entered the playoffs as the first Wild Card from the Western Conference (46-30-6), while Calgary won the Pacific Division (50-21-11).
The Stars were the only team to make the playoffs with a negative goal differential (minus-8). Compared to the Flames, who led the Western Conference at plus-64, Dallas weren't picked by many to progress, a view, however, not shared in their dressing room.
Dallas won Game 2 by shutting out the Flames 2-0 in Calgary, with the other two at the Scotiabank Saddledome narrowly going the way of the home side (1-0 and 3-1).
Bowness was promoted from assistant coach to the head coach role in December 2019, and in that first season the 67-year-old led the Stars to the Stanley Cup Final, where they were beaten in six games by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He commented to the media: "I know we're not supposed to still be playing, we're supposed to be on a golf vacation right now, but that wasn't our intention going in.
"As I said right off the bat, we didn't get into the playoffs to be somebody else's steppingstone in the second round. Here we are going into a Game 7, and our guys deserve a lot of credit."