Lindy Ruff seems to quite enjoy a little witty back-and-forth with the media about all things secret in the playoffs, from which goalie will start to how the lines might look to the health of his players.
The Dallas Stars coach has had several nice little comebacks in this series, including telling the media that he let the players pick their own lines at the morning skate before Game 2. But some of his more memorable answers have been able the availability of defenseman Brenden Dillon, who has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since midway through Game 81.
There finally appears to be some slightly better news on that front, as Ruff spoke to Dillon's possible return to practice after the team got off the plane at Dallas Love Field.
"There’s a chance he could skate tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes," Ruff said this afternoon. "But skating once and trying to play is a pretty big task, really."
So it's no longer coy quotes about Dillon being close because the locker room is 150 feet away from the ice, which I guess is a step forward. Can we call that progress? Because I'd like to.
We've already covered the fact that Ruff is a lying liar who lies during the playoffs, or at least a man who plays incredibly amusing semantics games because of playoff secrecy, but he is speaking the truth about the fact that the Stars could easily have better results in this series though the first two games. [ESPN]
I generally like the Tyler Seguin quotes in this Associated Press story on the Stars returning home. But there's a typo down the page that's pretty egregious, and I'm not even a Ducks fan. Though they really may have become the same person after all this time. [News and Observer]
The fact that Jamie Benn and Corey Perry are apparently friends isn't totally surprising, especially given the small world of uber-elite hockey players, but it does hurt me a little inside. And it sure doesn't stop either of them from going to the stickwork when they feel it's called for. [DallasStars.com]
From an on-ice perspective, this season has been about as successful as the Stars could have hoped for even before this series (and any potential following series) finishes up. From an off-ice perspective, Jim Lites hopes it is the first signs of a trend like the 1990s Stars were able to generate. [DallasNews.com]
In non-playoffs Stars news, goalie Philippe Desrosiers was signed by the Stars to a standard three-year, entry-level contract on Saturday. He will likely spend next season in major junior, but it's always good to have another prospect officially in the fold. [NHL.com]
Since the Jackets have become the Stars best friends forever, at least in terms of Eastern Conference teams, I thought I would lead the playoffs wrap section with their first ever playoff win, a 4-3 overtime affair in Pittsburgh. [Puck-Rakers Blog]
Here's the video of the game-changing shorthanded and game-winning goals. It's always best if one doesn't fall down before a pile of happy teammates arrives. [Puck Daddy]
I might have laughed if you told me the Stars would have the same record as the Chicago Blackhawks as both teams headed home to continue their first-round playoff series, and then I was a happy girl because there was no way the Blackhawks were going to drop both of the first two games to the zombie corpse of the St. Louis Blues. But those Blues have come back to life and used another overtime win to hold home ice after Game 2. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
That game only went to overtime because Brent Seabrook was called for a major and tossed after a pretty inexcusable hit that looked like it concussed David Backes - the Blues were able to tie the game late on the 6-on-4 power play. Seabrook is almost certainly getting suspended for this hit (if you're a betting person, I'd go even money odds on two games), less for illegal check to the head and more for interference and charging, with a couple side helpings of elbowing and boarding as well. It's just a bad hit. [TSN]
While the Minnesota Wild aren't exactly advanced statistical darlings this year, those "paper tiger" Colorado Avalanche continue to look mighty impressive, this time with a 4-2 win to hold on to home ice advantage. [Denver Post]
This isn't quite the awesome level of the Joel Quenneville GIFs that had him dancing to disco and Michael Jackson, but it's a pretty good follow up from the fine folks who work television graphics. [Awful Announcing]