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Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Playoff Predictions Are Rolling In

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Find out what the experts have to say about the Stars' first-round matchup with the Wild. Plus, breaking down Dallas' goalie situation, and a look at how much the regular season actually matters.

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While the wait continues for the puck to drop on the first playoff game, there's no better time than now to dust off your crystal ball and guess which team is making a run for Lord Stanley's Cup. Here's what people are saying about the Stars' first-round clash with the Wild.

TSN: Stars in 5

The Stars have been one of the most fun teams to watch all season, with an up-tempo attacking style, and if they get Tyler Seguin back from his Achilles injury, they will have the horses to push the attack.

ESPN: Stars in 5

The Stars are far better prepared for the playoffs than most people give them credit for, and they will prove that unequivocally against an overmatched Minnesota Wild team that has been surprisingly fragile this season. Stars in 5.

(All 10 ESPN writers have the Stars winning in five or six games.)

Toronto Star: Stars in 6

Minnesota is the best playoff-bound team when it comes to faceoffs (52.5 per cent) but their overall possession numbers (47.9 per cent) suggest they won't be around long.

CBS Sports: Stars in 5 (or 6)

Additionally, both [Adam] Gretz and I [Chris Peters] are looking at the Minnesota Wild as a team that has the longest odds to get out of the first round. They limped into the playoffs and will play a Dallas Stars team that looks like a well-oiled offensive machine, with or without Tyler Seguin.

For more on the first-round matchup, head to the link. [NHL]

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Before the playoff talk continues, here's an update on Stars prospect Denis Gurianov.

Jason Spezza chatted with The Ticket about hat tricks, playoff nerves, and what playing in Dallas has been like. [BaD Radio]

And speaking of Spezza, he joins Vladimir Tarasenko and Devan Dubnyk (among others) as the Western Conference players to watch this postseason. [ESPN]

Radek Faksa also gets a little love as a potential playoff X-factor. [Today's Slapshot]

Soon, you guys. Soon.

Wild beat writer Michael Russo says that Minnesota is mismatched against Dallas. [Star Tribune]

The folks at Hockey Wilderness recorded a podcast about Round 1. You should go listen to them discuss the Wild's injuries and Antoine Roussel's role in the postseason. [Hockey Wilderness]

The Stars have a good mix of playoff veterans and young guns, says Mike Heika. And, as Johnny Oduya put it, "You have to start somewhere as a group, and why not start right here?" [SportsDayDFW]

John Klingberg is hard at work practicing his photo-bombing.

Over at The Hockey Writers, Derek says the Stars are challenging the idea that defense wins championships. [The Hockey Writers]

Also at THW, Jordan Dix debates whether Antti Niemi or Kari Lehtonen should get the nod in net for Game 1. [THW]

ICYMI, Tyler Seguin is back at practice. Here's what he had to say.

Flyers owner Ed Snider died Monday from cancer at age 83. [Flyers]

Blueshirt Banter's Adam Herman argues that the regular season is a joke. [Blueshirt Banter]

The Jets have signed Kyle Connor to a three-year deal. [Arctic Ice Hockey]

Sean McIndoe takes a look at what happened this weekend and ranks the top five teams heading into the playoffs. [VICE]

Here are your latest three Stars of the Week.

The Coyotes have fired general manager Don Maloney. [Five for Howling]

Matt Duchene and Taylor Hall are among the players confirmed for Team Canada in the 2016 IIHF World Championship. [Hockey Canada]

Despite having played just 45 NHL games, could Connor McDavid step in as the Oilers captain next year? [Sportsnet]

As Capitals teammate Michael Latta puts it, Braden Holtby is a "total freak" on the ice. Off the ice, the Caps goalie is "chill" and "really into music." [Sports Illustrated]

And finally, start making plans for Games 3 and 4..