Dallas Stars Daily Links: Kari Lehtonen Looks to Impress in First Olympic Start

In which Defending Big D wishes you a happy Valentine's Day, Kari Lehtonen moves up in the world, and what wins in an art competition, skeleton helmets or goalie masks?

Kari Lehtonen, you're up.

After Jamie Benn and Valeri Nichushkin forced themselves into the international spotlight yesterday, it's now Kari Lehtonen's turn to step up. His chance in net comes after Tuukka Rask allowed 4 goals. On 20 shots. Against Austria. So much for being the top goaltender on a team with the greatest goaltender depth in the tournament. But Rask's poor performance means a shot for Kari, and no longer is he just spelling the goaltender slated for the medal rounds. Now Kari has a chance to be that goaltender.

On that note, Henri, can you tell me if this is a good article?

Back to Jamie Benn (since Big Val got his own feature article yesterday), he scored the game-winning goal yesterday for Canada and started getting a bit of attention. Anybody else remember how he was snubbed? One would guess now he's definitely earned his place. And skating on a line with John Tavares, Patrice Bergeron, and Martin St. Louis obviously worked out well. Wait, Tavares, Bergeron, and St. Louis? Yeah. Four-man lines. Canada's next big thing.

* * *

With the USA and Russia taking a day off to prepare for their matchup on Saturday, today's Dallas Stars-relevant games are Jamie Benn v Austria, and Norway v Kari Lehtonen.

But whatever. Let's talk USA. Five things we learned from their opening match against Slovakia. [Puck Daddy]

And also, Puck Daddy's Three Stars from yesterday. I just like that Phil Kessel is always referred to now as "Amanda Kessel's brother." [Puck Daddy]

A little more love for Val Nichushkin, the Dallas Stars "monster-in-training." [Sporting News]

[Edit: This link, courtesy of jifan in the comments. Top 5 goals from Thursday. Check out who took the top two spots.]

A skeleton preview, partly because skeleton is terrifyingly amazing, but mainly because the helmets are awesome. That and a Brit is favored to win gold! Something which doesn't happen too often in the Winter Olympics. We have to savour the moments. [The Wire]

Olympic goalie mask art! I often wish I was a goaltender, just so I could design a mask. Gotta say I think Norway's are my favorite, but not sure if that's because I love them or they just crack me up. [The Wire]

Tim Cowlishaw jumps on the 'No more Olympics for the NHL!' bandwagon. Of course they're all valid points, but come on. [Sports Day DFW]

Is it wrong to talk about next season already? 'Yes!' screams everyone still hoping for a postseason run. That's not what I mean though. And I'm talking about next pre-season anyway. The Stars and Blues will be playing a pre-season match in Kansas City on September 27th. Any Kansas City-ians on the blog here getting excited? [Kansas City Star]

And yes, your Valentine today was brought to you courtesy of Ali Lawrence. I hear she's quite open to receiving flowers.

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