Go right ahead and hate Antoine Roussel. He doesn't mind. In fact, he thrives on it. Mike Heika, who compares Roussel to the French guard in Monty Python, writes about Roussel and the impact he makes for the Stars.
Lindy Ruff called the winger a "workaholic" and described his playing style like this.
"He welcomes animosity, relishes under the thought that they're treating him as an antagonist," Ruff said. "You look at what he has done for us, from the penalty killing, and the physicality, and the energy he's provided for us, and then keeping that all under wraps...he's done a tremendous job."
Patrick Sharp had the chance to see that firsthand when Roussel put away a penalty shot against the Blackhawks back in December 2013.
"I remember one game where he had the crowd in Chicago booing at him and just getting under their skin. He scored on a penalty shot and he didn't just go back to the bench. He stoked the fire and really got the crowd into it. He can take you off your game if you let him do it."
There's more on Dallas' favorite fighting Frenchman at the link. [SportsDayDFW]
The playoff fun continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. Get ready for puck drop by checking out Mark Stepneski's game preview. [Stars Inside Edge]
ICYMI yesterday, the Stars have re-assigned Brett Ritchie to the Texas Stars.
Lindy Ruff had this to say about what changes we can expect to see for Game 3.
Ruff said Mattias Janmark would come back into the lineup. Did not say who would come out. Said he likes physical size of Val Nichushkin.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) April 17, 2016
The Stars' third line of Ales Hemsky, Radek Faksa, and Antoine Roussel has gotten off to a strong start to the playoffs. Steve Hunt takes a look at their production and how the line has built chemistry. [NHL]
While you're waiting for tonight, check out the latest edition of Stars Sunday.
Also at the Star Trib, a look at how the North Stars still hold a special place in Minnesotans' hearts. [Star Tribune]
It's not looking like we'll be seeing Zach Parise any time soon.
Torchetti says Parise is not any closer to returning. #mnwild— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 17, 2016
Currently backstopping the Idaho Steelheads in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, Philippe Desrosiers understands how playing in the ECHL can be good for his future. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]
There's was plenty of playoff excitement to go around last night.
- Brian Elliott made 44 saves, and the Blues defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the series. [Second City Hockey]
- With Petr Mrazek taking over for Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings avoided falling into a 3-0 hole by beating the Lightning 2-0. (This goal from Henrik Zetterberg was also the subject of some controversy.) [Winging It in Motown]
- The Islanders and the Panthers needed a little extra time to settle things, but a goal from Thomas Hickey in OT gave the Isles a 4-3 win. [Lighthouse Hockey]
Hickey's OT winner pic.twitter.com/BpjjmIIAgk— Stephanie (@myregularface) April 18, 2016
- The Predators downed the Ducks 3-2 to take a 2-0 series lead. In case you're keeping track, that's the first time that Nashville's led a playoff series two games to none. [On the Forecheck]
Steve Ott was back in action last night after suffering a hamstring injury in December and dealing with colitis earlier this month. [Puck Daddy]
Here's another important thing that happened last night:
The coach's challenge continues to be controversial. [TSN]
James Mirtle says that hockey's emphasis on parity has ruined what should have been a Blackhawks dynasty. [The Globe and Mail]
And finally, dealing with your playoff anxiety is much more fun with friends.