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Tuesday Links: D Corps Is Starting to Shut Things Down

Stars D Corp has improved goals allowed, Cracknell doing the little things to stay in the line up. Suspensions affecting the team.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Dallas Stars Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

When the month of December started the Stars were last in the league for goals allowed, with a 3.40 average. Since the Dec. 3 game with the Avalanche the team has improved their average over their last 8 games to only 2.00 goals against.

When you're the worst in the league at goals against, something has to change," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "We made a big change going into Colorado (December 3), and since then I think it's helped our defense. It's been a structure change with how we play, and I think it's really helped them. With that has come some confidence.

Last season the Stars led the league in goal scoring, but this year it has been hot or miss. Now they seem to be more concerned with their defensive responsibilities.

That's where it starts," said Hamhuis. "Everybody is playing good defense now. Systems are designed to shut down top players. It's harder to generate offensive chances. It's ugly goals that go in, so it really is defense that can make the difference. You've got to expect it to be a 1-0, 2-1 game. That's how we need to win."

More here from Mark Stepneski. (Stars Inside Edge)

NHL: Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Adam Cracknell has been a pleasant surprise for the Stars this season. He was signed as a depth player but injuries changed that plan. He has made the most of his opportunities including notching the game winning goal in 2 of the last 3 games. (Dallas Morning News)

St Louis comes into town tonight, They will be plenty mad after blowing a 2-1 lead last night losing to the Oilers in OT 3-2. A preview of the game. (ESPN)

Coach Ruff spoke to the press yesterday after practice and had some thoughts on the recent defensive improvement and injury updates. (DMN)

Mike Heika had his weekly Q&A session yesterday. Topics discussed include: a Nemeth trade, the play of Niemi and the Eakin suspension. (DMN)

How the recent suspensions of Cody Eakin and Jamie Oleksiak is affecting the team, including lineup decisions and missing Eakins defensive presence. (Blackout Dallas)

Antti Niemi’s save on the point shot by Ryan Getzlaf shot made the NHL Top Ten saves of the week.

Only one other game last night, with a Central Division(MDK) teams, other than the aforementioned Blues game.

Ryan Ellis scored the shootout winner for the Predators in the 2-1 win over the Flyers. (On The Forecheck)

Ice problems at the PNC Arena caused a postponement for the game between the Red Wings and the Hurricanes. Carolina GM Ron Francis thinks it will be difficult to reschedule the game.

Extremely tough. This season is already pretty condensed and it’s not going to be easy,” said Hurricanes GM Ron Francis of finding a make-up date. (NBC Sports)

Pat Cannone has 16 points in 28 games for Iowa of the AHL

Minnesota Wild forward Pat Cannone will make his NHL debut tonight at the age of 30. He will be the 2nd oldest player to make his debut behind Lubomir Sekeras, who made his NHL debut in the Wild’s first ever game, was 31. (Star-Tribune)

With the streaky play of Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck has the Jets looking for a veteran to back up the 2nd year goalie. (The Hockey News)

Chicago is getting some scoring from all 4 lines this season, which is helping offset the absence of Jonathan Toews, who is out with back issues. (CSN Chicago)

This being Christmas week the NHL roster freeze began officially yesterday:

Down Goes Brown had his weekend wrap up yesterday. (Sportsnet)

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist tied Dominik Hasek for most wins by an European goalie.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Last year’s Rookie of the Year Artemi Panarin is one of a few players not suffering a sophomore slump this season. (THN)

Florida Panthers owner Vinny Viola is looking to become Secretary of the Army for President Elect Donald Trump. Viola graduated from West Point in 1977. (Sportsnet)

A look at some other people with a NHL hockey background that also should be in Trump’s cabinet. (CBC Sports)

Columbus is awaiting a ruling from the league on the status of forward David Clarkson. Clarkson hasn’t played since last March is one of the players on the official protection list. They would have to protect him at the risk of losing someone else. (ESPN)

Edmonton Oilers v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Former Stars Kirk Muller is one of the coaching candidates being considered for the Vegas Golden Knights. (THN)

Vegas was supposed to announce where they will put their AHL affiliate this month:

A look back at some of the best sweaters from NHL past by the NHL Network. interesting the old Minnesota North Stars jerseys came in at #2, while the first year Dallas sweaters are #26. (LIghthouse Hockey)

Some of the best photos from 2016 NHL season (Yahoo Sports)

On this date 99 years ago the NHL got its start:

Finally Devin Shore and Adam Cracknell share the Stars Frozen Moment: