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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Jamie Benn's Ready for Game 1. Are You?

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It's Game Day. Plus, Razor talks about how the journey that brought the Stars to this point, and a few more series previews before we get underway.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

By now, I'm sure most of you have read the article Jamie Benn wrote for The Players' Tribune, but I don't think there's anything more fitting than this to start links with today.

This year, everyone came into the season locked in. You could sense it from Day One.

...

I think everyone in the room knew what we were capable of, but we made it our mission to show our fans and the rest of the league how good we were.

We play with pace, we score a lot of goals, but we're also a much better defensive team than in past years. Honestly, we have fun out there because nothing in this world is more fun than good hockey.

The Captain also talks about playing with Mike Modano and offers a little insight into team dynamics (Antoine Roussel is the biggest chirper on the team due to "sheer enthusiasm"), but he closes with this.

When I make my drive to the arena for Game 1, the techno will be blasting, the Dallas skyline will be in my sights, and I know my adrenaline level is going to be through the roof.

This is the best time. This is playoff time.

And this is a hockey town.

Whether you're at the AAC tonight at 8:30 p.m. or watching from your living room, put on your Victory Green, break out your rally towel, and cheer a little louder than usual. It's playoff time. [The Players' Tribune]

--

In case you missed it yesterday, Tyler Seguin and Mattias Janmark are both available, but will be game-day decisions. [Stars Inside Edge]

Lindy Ruff also had this to say when he talked with The Hardline yesterday:

Tyler Seguin joined The Ticket to talk about what would constitute a successful playoff run and, of course, the Justin Bieber concert. [BaD Radio]

And speaking of Seguin, Brad Townsend makes the case for why he's the biggest sports star in Dallas right now. [SportsDayDFW]

Razor walks us through the journey from "bankruptcy to banner year." [Stars]

In case you were wondering how things are going for Stephen Johns...

The playoffs haven't been kind to goalie tandems in the past, but Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi are working to change that. [SportsDayDFW]

Everyone should be cheering for the Stars in the playoffs, basically. [Sportsnet]

Wild beat writer Michael Russo offered these injury updates and wrote about what that might mean for the team.

Are you tried of series previews yet? I hope not. [Puck Daddy]

Mark Stepneski also has a preview for you, and you should check it out while you wait for the puck to drop. [Stars Inside Edge]

The Stars have worked hard to fix their problems from last season. Now, Mike Heika says, they're ready for the real test. [SportsDayDFW]

The playoffs started last night. Here's what went down.

  • The Lightning defeated the Red Wings 3-2, thanks to two goals from Nikita Kucherov. The game also featured a successful Coach's Challenge that meant a disallowed Bolts goal. [Winging It In Motown]
  • Patric Hornqvist scored a hat trick, and the Penguins beat the Rangers 5-2 in a game that was full of goalie drama. With Marc-Andre Fleury still recovering from a concussion, Jeff Zatkoff started in net for the Pens. Then, after being hit in the eye by Marc Staal's stick, Henrik Lundqvist was replaced by Antti Raanta to start the second period. [Post-Gazette]
  • The Blackhawks and Blues gave us our first taste of playoff overtime. Trevor van Riemsdyk David Backes finally broke the 0-0 tie to win Game 1 for St. Louis. [Chicago Sun-Times]

TSN's Scott Cullen has a lot of things on his mind—77 things, to be exact. Some of them involve the Stars, including this note on Kris Russell.

16. Small samples and all that, but since arriving in Dallas, defenceman Kris Russell has been okay in terms of puck possession (50.4 SAT%, -0.5 RelSAT%), which is miles better than he had been in Calgary.

Check out the other 76 thoughts at the link. [TSN]

Just something to keep in mind tonight.

Sean McIndoe makes his predictions and tells you what to look for in each series. [VICE]

From Jonathan Drouin to Johnny Oduya, the surprising players who could be game-changers in the playoffs. [The Hockey News]

Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle also penned a piece in The Players' Tribune. [TPT]

Don't forget to support North Texas hockey.

The Maple Leafs signed both Morgan Rielly and Nazem Kadri to six-year contract extensions. Read about Rielly's deal here, and Kadri's at the link. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Meet David Gunnarsson, the man behind the masks of goalies like Ben Bishop and Henrik Lundqvist. He's also worked with Stars goalies Kari Lehtonen and Marty Turco. [Wall Street Journal]

Former Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas will likely announce his retirement. [Yahoo Sports]

And finally, the Rangers are ready. Are you?