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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Use Grit, Defense To Pick Up Critical Points

The Dallas Stars have played some very compelling hockey games during their recent six-game point streak, including thrillers against the Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Friday's 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, however, was not one to write home about. The Stars only mustered 15 shots and held the Oilers to 20, and even the physical side of the game, usually a treat between these two teams, was pretty muted.

But the refrain from the Stars after the game was that while they will need a better effort when facing teams that aren't at the bottom of the standings, the two points gained are the most important thing. And frankly, that may have influenced their conservative play in the third period, as they felt no need to press with a 2-0 lead.

Usually I don't use an opponent's quote above the jump, but this one was far, far too good to pass up.

"In the third period they had five guys back, it was like the Germans (soccer team) back there," said Shawn Horcoff. "When you’re playing teams that are fighting for their lives and they get one- or two-goal leads, they’re going to sit back and be stingy. That’s what they were tonight."

After the jump, more on the Stars win over the Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs fire their coach and Vernon Fiddler has an awesome grandmother.

  • The Oilers undoing was several players with ties to their home city. Radek Dvorak is one of the contingent of former Oilers on the team, and Tomas Vincour played his junior hockey with the Oil Kings. Michael Ryder has no ties to the area, but hey, no one's perfect. []
  • This is what Oiler-fan favorite Sheldon Souray had to say after the game, and it sums it up pretty well: "We didn’t paint a Picasso, but we were strong when he had to be and we got the two points." [ESPN Dallas]
  • This is a fabulous post-game write up from our friends over at The Copper and Blue, focusing on explaining why it was silly to boo Souray for wanting out of that organization. [The Copper and Blue]
  • The writers from the Edmonton newspapers were also not impressed with the entertainment level of the game. [Edmonton Journal]
  • Razor takes on the somewhat baffling way the points system currently works, with some games being worth two points and others three, and shows us where all teams would stand if the shootout was just for show. [Razor with an Edge]
  • Brandon covered this topic beautifully on Thursday (language warning for some of the content), and Eric Nystrom talked with Mike Heika about defusing the vitriol Penguins fans were flinging at him via Twitter. []
  • Former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock is hearing that his Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues are channeling the boring hockey of the 1999 Stanley Cup Champions, and he has some choice words for those people. [The StarPhoenix]
  • Masters of timing as per usual, the Maple Leafs have waited until their season is completely down the tubes to fire coach Ron Wilson and replace him with Randy Carlyle. [Toronto Star]
  • Former Montreal Canadiens great Jean Beliveau is recovering after suffering a stroke on Monday night. []
  • Meet the enemy: In reading through this story about how the Calgary Flames lost in the final minute of regulation to the Anaheim Ducks, the fact that jumped out at me is that the Flames have apparently lost their last 15 games in Anaheim. That's Minnesota-in-Dallas levels of futility. [Calgary Herald]
  • Around the Pacific Division: Marcel Dionne isn't exactly calling out Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings, but he does want to see the Kings highest-paid player take a step forward in the leading-by-example department. [Mayors Manor]
  • Other scoreboard watching: The Ottawa Senators gave Stars fans such high hopes but couldn't hold on in 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. And the Minnesota Wild have probably spiraled themselves all the way out of the playoff race as they continued to slide with a 6-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. [ESPN Chicago/St. Paul Pioneer Press]
  • Inspired by Devin Setoguchi and his epic shootout fail from Thursday, here's some of the worst shootout attempts in NHL history. [Backhand Shelf]
  • Vernon Fiddler's 80-year-old grandmother is awesome. Start paying attention about 1:10 into this video if you don't believe me.