Heading into the playoffs, the Stars' biggest question marks are what they've been all year: goaltending and defense. Puck Daddy's Josh Cooper breaks down the "unconventional" team that GM Jim Nill has built and discusses whether Dallas' defense is good enough to give the team a shot at the Cup.
When most contending teams in today's NHL look for defense, Nill has pushed for offense. While winning teams almost always favor one starting goaltender, Nill likes his two-goaltender system.
"We're all dealt certain cards, we've built our team a certain way," Nill said. "We're probably still not where we're going to get to. I think we're going to be a better team the next two or three years but our makeup, the way we are, it is kind of what we are and (coach) Lindy (Ruff) and his coaching staff are playing the way we think we'll be most successful."
Cooper also points out that although relying on offense over defense isn't the best recipe for playoff success, it doesn't necessarily mean the Stars can't succeed in the postseason.
Dallas would trend more towards the Pittsburgh Penguins template in 2008-09. That team scored 3.15 goals per-game and allowed 2.84 goals per-contest.
There's more, including Nill's thoughts on using a goalie tandem in the playoffs, at the link. [Puck Daddy]
Mike Heika held his regular Stars chat yesterday, and it touched on everything from Jamie Benn's chances of winning the Hart to whether or not Valeri Nichushkin could be the "odd man out" in the playoffs. [SportsDayDFW]
Sean McIndoe ranks the 10 best potential first-round matchups, and both Dallas vs. Minnesota and Dallas vs. Chicago make the cut. [Sportsnet]
It's crunch time for the Stars, who still control their playoff destiny. [SportsDayDFW]
Last night, in the #MDK...
- The Predators defeated the Avalanche 4-3, which officially eliminated the Avs from the playoffs. [The Tennessean]
- The Blackhawks routed the Coyotes 6-2, thanks in part to three assists from Artemi Panarin, whose production continues to put Chicago in a sticky cap situation. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- The Wild lost their fourth straight game, but despite getting shut out 3-0 by the Sharks, Minny is now playoff-bound thanks to Colorado's loss. [Star Tribune]
The Rangers received a visit from the injury bug.
Ryan McDonagh will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury. He will not dress in any of the 3 remaining regular season games.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 5, 2016
From concussions in the NHL to Steven Stamkos' future, Elliotte Friedman covers plenty of ground with his latest 30 Thoughts. [Sportsnet]
With Marc-Andre Fleury out with a concussion, the Penguins have had to rely on 21-year-old Matt Murray. As it turns out, Murray is more than up for the challenge. [The Hockey News]
Erik Karlsson is having himself a season.
Erik Karlsson (16-64â80, 80 GP) is 1st defenseman in @Senators history to reach 80 points in a season. Last forward: Jason Spezza in 2011-12— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 6, 2016
Travis Yost crunches the numbers on when you should pull your goalie. [TSN]
Alex Carpenter's overtime goal led the US Women's National Team to a 1-0 win over Canada at the IIHF Women's World Championship. [USA Hockey]
You can read more about how the US got there at The Players' Tribune.
And while our Northern friends may have to suffer through this postseason without any Canadian teams to cheer for, things won't be so bad next year. Right? [TSN]
And finally, NHLers reveal their celebrity crushes.