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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Stars’ Mistakes Keep Showing Up In the Standings

The team hopes, and needs, to right the ship at home this month. Plus, the #MDK roundup returns, and the Russian doping scandal just keeps going.

NHL: Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars know better than anyone that their season is on the line this month. After last night’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in United Center, they’re focused on ways to right the ship and to deal with their own frustrations.

The failures of the top line and special teams are at least as enervating to the team as to their fans:

"There's no moral victories, there's no 'We played good in Detroit or Pittsburgh or Philly,'" said forward Jason Spezza, who took a third-period slash that led to the Blackhawks' insurance goal. "It's not good enough. It's not good enough with the type of team we have. It doesn't matter if you play well if you don't win games. It's a results-oriented business, and these losses get tougher and tougher because we know we have a hole to climb out of."

Key to the Stars’ problems is the fact that “a team built to score big is not scoring big,” Heika writes. It also reinforces the urgency of the home stand that begins tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks:

It means that having eight of the next nine games at American Airlines Center is critical and will require more goals and fewer mistakes.

"This will be the season for us, I really feel," [head coach Lindy] Ruff said. "For me, I think all of the season is going to land on this homestand."

There’s more at Mike’s place. [SportsDayDFW]

Here’s the short version of last night’s game, courtesy of the Stars’ official page.

Razor ponders Devin Shore dependency and the Stars’ 13th loss in 17 road games in the latest Emporium.

ICYMI, here’s the official DoPS video on the Jamie Oleksiak ruling.

If you’re reading this, you may still have time to send in a question for Sean Shapiro’s podcast (and vote on Big Rig’s suspension).

And you may have time to make it into Heika’s 2 p.m. Monday chat: Here’s the link where you can send your questions and watch the action. [SportsDayDFW]

He’s already answered a few questions about whether the Stars will (or should) make a coaching change.

Last night, in the #MDK:

  • Patrik Laine scored the game-winning goal in his own net to give the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. [NHL]
  • The Minnesota Wild won the four-point game, and their fourth straight, as they defeated the St. Louis Blues 3-1. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • And the Colorado Avalanche bounced back from Saturday’s jaw-dropping loss to the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. [Mile High Hockey]

Pat Iversen writes about the high-level drama surrounding the 2018 Winter Olympics, then makes the case that the NHL should go to PyeongChang anyway. [SB Nation]

Meanwhile, Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren has produced a 144-page report with astonishingly detailed evidence – including spy holes, disguises and a drug cocktail called “The Duchess” – of a state-run doping program that he says involved more than 1,000 Russian athletes, including 12 Sochi medal-winners, between 2011 and 2015.

The Stars aren’t the only team faced with decisions about youth vs. treachery experience in the lineup. Here’s how Big Data is trying to answer the question.

All fans lies to themselves about how good (or bad) their team is. Some fans lie more than others. Sean McIndoe just admits it in the latest Down Goes Brown.

An entire generation of Arizona kids now goes to bed dreaming of becoming the next Auston Matthews.’s Sunday Long Read showcases the importance of community hockey programs in growing the next wave of American stars.

Dallas Stars Ice Girls spent their Sunday off at the 2016 BMW Dallas Marathon, cheering on the runners.

Then Victor E. Green spread some Stars-y cheer at Panther Island Ice in Fort Worth.

In honor of Wayne Gretzky’s Christmas cameo on The Simpsons last night, VICE Sports compiled a list of the best hockey-related moments in the series’ 28-year history – from the hockey-themed open for “Angry Dad: The Movie” to Krusty the Klown barfing in the Stanley Cup. As Bart would say, “Strap on your skates, Gordie – you’re goin’ in.”

Finally: Blue Jackets forward Brandon Saad and his dog love winter. Here’s an eight-second look at how they celebrated Columbus’ first snowfall. Enjoy.