Why will the Dallas Stars win the 2016 Stanley Cup – unless they're doomed to failure, which is just as likely? That sounds like a question for the brainy science people who do #fancystats – or maybe for the hockey writers at USA Today.
Peter Barzilai and Kristen Shilton examined every team in the Western Conference, and here Shilton tells you exactly what you want to hear – that The World's Most Dangerous Offense practically has the Cup in the back of the team bus already.
Dallas Stars: Potent goal scorers. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were two of the most prolific offensive weapons in the Western Conference last season, and they, plus the gifted Valeri Nichushkin and the recently extended Cody Eakin, stand to only get better with more experience. Add in veteran Patrick Sharp, who knows a thing or two about clutch goal scoring, and every team the Stars face this season will be struggling to keep up. (KS)
Of course, they also did this for every other team in the NHL, but you can find their reasoning for the rest of the Western Conference.
But before you start booking a room in Victory Park just to get the best views of the big parade, Shilton would like throw a cooler full of icy-cold water on all your hopes and dreams.
Dallas Stars: Defensive zone play. The Stars brought in Antti Niemi to bolster their goaltending, but it's a stretch to expect the Niemi-Kari Lehtonen duo to be able to make up for Dallas' wretched defense. Without getting the team's young stars as interested in blue-line play as they are in scoring highlight-reel worthy goals, the Stars will stall once again. (KS)
Then again, Barzilai and Shilton can tell you why every other Western team will drop the ball, too.
Does any of this sound fair to you? Discuss.
(Meanwhile, Jimmy Hascup and Kevin Allen did the same for the Eastern Conference. You can find their whys and why nots under these links – but hey, we already know those guys won't get there, because Eastern Conference. Or not.)
Call it partying, or call it friend-raising: Tyler Seguin will be a celebrity judge at Park & Palate, a "celebration of wine and food" that will also help support Dallas' Klyde Warren Park and underwrite its free activities, happening this Friday, Sept. 25.
You already know the Stars were made for 3-on-3 overtime, but who made Jonathan Willis' list of the five teams best equipped for it? [Sportsnet]
Devin Shore is loving the transition from the NCAA to the professional leagues, but he promised his mom he'd finish his degree from the University of Maine, too.
Meanwhile, a rising Star makes another must-own fantasy league list. [USA Today]
And Joshua Friemel picks the 10 Stars (not named Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin) that fans need to know before the 2015-16 season gets underway. [SportsDayDFW]
The ECHL's South Carolina Stingrays are honoring the victims of the June 17 massacre at Emanuel AME Church with an opening-night celebration and a special "Charleston Strong" jersey.
Another bizarre twist in the Patrick Kane case: The alleged victim's lawyer has claimed that evidence in the case has been tampered with after an item that appears to be packaging from her rape kit (with the accuser's name and the administrating nurse's initials) was left inside a storm door at the alleged victim's mother's house. Attorney Michael McCann talked with Allan Muir about what might happen next. [Sports Illustrated]
Did you ask me for some happy news? How about this: Gordie Howe has recovered so well from the serious stroke he suffered last October that he went to the Red Wings-Blackhawks game last night. [CBS Sports]
You will never get enough of this picture, and @BringHockeyBack knows it.
Matt Pryor of The Hockey Writers went to Stars training camp and grouped everything he learned into five broad topics to think about.
Also at THW, Alessandro Seren Rosso provides a translated interview with Denis Gurianov that originally appeared on the HC Lada website, and you'll be happy to learn that he and Valeri Nichushkin are best internet friends now. [THW]
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be here before you know it, and Peter Chiarelli – GM of the U24 team known formally as Team North America and casually as the Young Guns – has a lot to think about as he puts a roster together. [Sportsnet]
Look at you, NHL on NBC:
Finally: This may be the oddest crossover between hockey and Kpop you'll see until at least the next link. Korean girl group DIA, whom you might not have pegged as major New York Rangers fans, costumed themselves in Chris Kreider jerseys (except for the one who's wearing Rick Nash's number) for a recent live performance of their new single, "Somehow." [The Hockey News]
And now for that "next link": Apparently, Kreider was flattered enough by this tribute that he has now replaced his entire Twitter bio with a link to the video. Hey, don't believe me: Go to his Twitter feed and click it yourself. Gosh, this is a fun sport, right?