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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Lindy Ruff Found Stars' Play Versus New Jersey Devils 'Awful'

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Free agency talk, big injures for the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning, and five sucky years of facing Varlamov in the division coming right up.

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There are losses that we can all stomach a little easier as fans, those where your team outplays the opposition but their goaltender is the difference in the game. I didn't feel nearly as upset about the loss at home versus the Colorado Avalanche as I did leaving the American Airlines Center last night.

"Slow start" would be generous phrasing, in my mind. I'd term it more like a "molasses start" -- the Dallas Stars didn't seem to really get into the groove until about half way through the second period. They couldn't get anything even remotely close to an offensive attack in what felt like forever.

Coach Lindy Ruff and I might have felt the same way after last night. "A point is good, but you don't like the way you played not for one second. You don't win games playing like that."

What was nice was the fight the team put up, after going down 2-0. They came back to tie it and take a point away, something they weren't able to do in New Jersey earlier in the month. Tyler Seguin seems to be back to his dominant ways after a seemingly endless stretch of games without goals, that saw his points-per-game pace drop considerably.

What was not nice is that, yet again, the special teams had a chance to really set the tone with a decent amount of 5-on-3 time and didn't capitalize, while the penalty kill came up short. Two very unfortunate penalties by Jamie Benn late in the game didn't help things either. To win you have to have your main offensive weapons on the ice, not in the box.

If you want to read more about that terrible game that we should just forget about you can check out quotes on Dallas Morning News here and also Mark Stepenski's thoughts on the game here.

Let's move on from this and talk about more interesting things, shall we? How about some more trade deadline talk?

The New York Rangers have two big unrestricted free agents at the end of this season in captain Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi. Both are seeking five or six year deals worth over $5.5 million a year on average. That's a lot of bones, even if the cap is expected to go up. [CBS Sports]

Ten NHL guys who could use a change of scenery. On the list, a name I haven't heard much around here -- Jake Gardiner of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He's a beautiful skater with great offensive sense. He needs to be somewhere that lets him use the tools he has.

I know this high-speed team that is looking for some help on the blueline.... [Backhand Shelf]

And the CBC has a slideshow of some big names that could be on the move at the deadline this year. []

Mike Green, whose name has floated around in the rumor mill, was injured (for like the millionth time in the last few years) and left the Capitals game last night. Ben Bishop, who many believe is one of the front runners for the Vezina right now, was also injured. Ouch. [Puck Daddy]

Nice little article on Ben Scrivens, who is getting possibly his best shot at showing he's a legit starer with the Edmonton Oilers. But seriously how bad does your team have to be to allow 59 shots on goal in a game? []

The Colorado Avalanche signed goaltender Semyon Varlamov to a five year, $29.5 million extension. Cheers to plenty of "Varlamov-ed" headlines on Defending Big D for the next five years. (Drinks five vodka drinks, realizes that won't be enough, opens another bottle...) [USA Today]

Adrian Dater explains here how it only makes sense that the Avalanche will get an outdoor game. He posits that Detroit would make a good opponent. While that's not a bad idea, what about adding some real honest-to-goodness intrigue to these things if you're going to have a million of them and make it a divisional showdown? [Denver Post]

And if you're wondering what the odds are for upcoming outdoor games, Grantland's got you covered. They mark Dallas at 3-to-1 odds, and I have to say the mental image of Gary Bettman and Jerry Jones trying to negotiate a deal to play in JerryWorld is quite the funny. [Grantland]