Not to steal a line that I'll quote the Dallas Stars captain on later, but this year's Stars team has never gone about anything the easy way.
Heck, it wasn't even easy for this team to put together a roster that remained above the cap floor after the adventures with Sean Avery and the New York Rangers.
So I guess we shouldn't have expected anything other than the Stars to make this push for the playoffs as agonizing as possible, as they did Saturday with their loss to the San Jose Sharks.
The Stars return home Tuesday for a game against those very same Sharks, and they are very aware of the implications of that game and the next two.
"We’ve been doing it the hard way all year and we’re kind of in that spot right now. It’s nice to go back home, but we’ve got our work cut out," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "It’s three tough teams, (San Jose) is a tough team to play, they’re hungry, they know what’s at stake and it doesn’t get any easier from there."
After the jump, more on the playoff race, the Stars website tries to put a jinx on its most healthy players and who dresses up as Hulk Hogan to go to a hockey game?
- I couldn't find the nifty new 150-word or so summaries of the paywalled Mike Heika articles, but the headline on this one (along with the always awesome photo of Radek Dvorak's happy place) intrigues me. [DallasNews.com]
- How to put this kindly - the Stars were rather bipolar during the just-concluded month of March. I'm sure all of you can come up with your own adjectives to describe their play. [ESPN Dallas]
- This week is so big even the Star-Telegram got in on the act with an article. Not a lot new, but they're not exactly known for their Stars coverage this year. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- If one of Loui Eriksson, Vernon Fiddler or Michael Ryder gets hurt on Tuesday, I'm going to send all sorts of nasty e-mails to the author of this story. [DallasStars.com]
- The Pacific Division playoff race - still a mess. Four teams, three spots and three games for all the hockey marbles. [The National]
- In the cross-town CHL playoff series, the Texas Brahmas tied up the best-of-seven series against the Allen Americans with a 4-3 win on Sunday. [DallasNews.com]
- For those of you who like to bet on impending Shanabans, I present to you the idioocy that was Kyle Quincey of the Detroit Red Wings. Can we all just agree to knock it off with the head-high elbows? [Puck Daddy]
- Meet the enemy: The San Jose Sharks, well, they took a day off Sunday. And the author makes an astute point that the scheduling for the game was distinctly in the Sharks favor, something that won't be the case this week. [San Jose Mercury News]
- Around the Pacific Division: The Edmonton Oilers showed signs of life by getting up to an early lead and holding on for a 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Let's only hope they continue it tomorrow against the Los Angeles Kings. [Edmonton Journal]
- This isn't necessarily the funniest story I read all day, but the picture with it is just so fantastic I couldn't pass it up. Oh Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. Never change. [Puck Daddy]
- Also people who should never change - Scott Harnell, who during aforementioned Flyers-Penguins game got into a taunting match with a fan dressed as Hulk Hogan in the stands. You really can't make this stuff up.