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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Stars Dominance of the Pacific to Be Tested Against the Coyotes

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In which the Winnipeg Jets upgrade their helmets, Tortorella replaces the cardboard cutout of himself behind the bench, and Steven Stamkos most definitely IS Superman...

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

I'm back! Tell me true, did ya miss me?

We'll have to save the celebrations of my return for later. Right now let's get down to business. For anyone who has been pining all season long for the still-Phoenix Coyotes, today is your lucky day. After what feels like many lifetimes, the Stars will once more get to face old friends Mike Ribeiro, Mike Smith, and Mike Dave Tippett. And isn't this great timing for the first matchup of the season? The two teams sitting in 9th and 10th, both within striking distance of Vancouver, Minnesota, and, wait, what's that? LA now too? Well dress me in a lion suit and call me Bailey.

Isn't this fun? LA doing their best to regress to the pack, and Winnipeg and Nashville creeping up from behind. It's getting so cozy on the bubble! Oh for some disparity in the conference! (yes, I see you down there Edmonton)

In more important news, the recent success of Winnipeg is obviously due to this.

On another note, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone that the Stars are 11-2-2 against the Pacific Division. Even if they lose out to the West Coast the remainder of the season they'll still have a winning record against them. How's that for a moral victory? And you can go ahead and put that one in the bank.

Semi-late game for you suckers in the Central time zone, still early for those of us West of the mountains, and prime time for Erin. Enjoy.

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Sportswriters writing about the future. [Stars Inside Edge] [Sports Day DFW] [ESPN] []

So when I was traveling in India, the catchphrase of anyone trying to sell you something that was exactly the same as what their neighbor was trying to sell you was 'Same same, but different.' Meaning of course, better. Ask Razor, and he'll tell you that this year's version of the Stars is 'Same same, but different.' Only this time, unlike with those suspect samosas on the streets of Chennai, I believe him. [Razor with an Edge]

Obscene Alex again, with the kind of insider knowledge that only a Conference III blogger could acquire. [III Communication]

The secret to the Benn Brothers' success? Peanut butter. True story. [Sports Day DFW]

So the Stars don't need to worry about this, but look out Chicago and Anaheim! Top teams and the post-Olympic hangover. [Ottawa Citizen]

Let's talk Finnish goaltenders in the Olympics! One of them's Kari Lehtonen, but you knew that. [New York Times]

Power Rankings! Woohoo! Ahem... But check it out, ranked at number 14 and 15 are the Phoenix Coyotes and Dallas Stars. The plot thickens... Ok fine, here they're ranked 13 and 20, but you know what? Screw CBS. And you know what else? Screw ESPN too. How do the Stars go down in the rankings after beating the number one team in the league? And on the road no less!

In today's 'What the kerfaffle?' moment, Steven Stamkos is coming back this weekend?! *David looks around for Robi* []

A little Eastern bias in this week's 'Weekend in Hockey,' but what the hell. It's Down Goes Brown. [Grantland]

And lastly, Torts is back! And the Canucks still lost. But hey, at least there's this. Who knew John Tortorella could flow this good?