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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Brad Richards and the New York Rangers Come to Town

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In which the Stars look to build upon their road success, the Rangers look to continue theirs, and hockey hugs ensure that everyone feels good about life regardless.

Bruce Bennett

Remember how the New York Rangers were awful on the road to start the season? Well it would appear they got all their bad starts out of the way against such undeserving teams as the Ducks and Sharks. After starting out 2-6 on that season opening 9-game away stretch, when they didn't have a home to go to, the Rangers have won their last four on the road.

Now, that's nothing compared to the incredibleness of the Stars on the road, but it does mean we probably shouldn't expect any 9 goal outbursts against them. Not that it's not a possibility. Stranger things have happened. I have seen it in stories. Conversely, we definitely shouldn't expect any 9 goal outbursts from them. The Rangers rank 27th in the league in scoring, averaging just 2.05 goals per game. And over their last four games? Four goals. The game preview on sums it up like this:

"The Stars' offense is being led by the hottest forward line in the NHL. Meanwhile, the Rangers' offense has stagnated despite the return of All-Star Rick Nash from a head injury that forced him to miss 17 games. Dallas could have a difficult time keeping its furious offensive pace against a New York team that has allowed three goals in the past three games." []

So the Rangers have scored four goals in the last four games, but only allowed three goals in the last three games. At least they make the math simple.

In other important news, the England cricket team began their defense of the Ashes in Australia on November 21st. Which of course, as the more astute among you will notice, is today. However, as today is tomorrow in Australia, it means that the match has already begun. We're missing it! The future is happening now!

But why should you care? How is this relevant to hockey? Well. The tenuous link I'm making is that the original Ashes series was played between England and Australia in 1882. With the trophy known as the Ashes first being awarded in 1883. Making it one of the only sporting trophies older than Lord Stanley's Cup!

Also, ever wondered why defensemen shoot from the ‘point'? Well, wonder no longer. The original terms for the positions now referred to simply as ‘defensemen,' were ‘point' and ‘cover point.' Both of which originated as fielding terms in cricket.

Howzat for relevance?

* * *

Know what else is relevant? These game previews of tonight's matchup. [Stars Inside Edge] [ESPN]

It seems the Stars aren't the only team who has had veteran defensemen struggle early. Michael del Zotto will be returning to the Rangers' lineup after sitting three games as a healthy scratch. [NY Daily News]

Tough week coming up for the Stars. But then, that's nothing new. Games against the Rangers, Blues, and Ducks fill the calendar over the next few days. What to watch for? [On the Radar]

Sweet mother of pearl but this is beautiful. I feel like there should be a stat all to itself for gorgeous passes like this, regardless of whether they result in goals or not (this one did). Also, what's with Ottawa's jerseys? [Kukla's Korner]

The West is indeed best. Fun look at conference disparity from our friends on the Avalanche's SB Nation site. [Mile High Hockey]

Wanna see the points percentages that back up the above 'West is Best' statement, as well as an awkward photo of grinning Blackhawks? [The Hockey News]

Looks like Winnipeg's Helmet Pardy is being cancelled. Too bad... [CBS Sports]

And lastly, hockey hugs! Pure, unadulterated joy. I mean, if you don't want to be a part of that Washington Capitals hug, then I have no words for you... [Puck Daddy]